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After using a lot of File Recovery Softwares, the only one that I found usefull was TestDisk with PhotoRec. But it lacks a GUI and is not suitable for recommendation to 'not advanced users'.

Please suggest a good File Recovery Software which is user friendly.

Usage Senarios: Someone formatted a hard drive? Filesystem corruption? Undelete a file?

A software which supports all these scenarios is an IDEAL Software. And just like most Ideal things, is unlikely to exist. Support for widely used filesystems like - NTFS, FAT and EXT are expected.

I am looking for "Formated HardDisk/Deleted Partition" and "Undelete a File". testDisk and PhotoRec can handle these situations well. I am looking for a GUI based alternative.

Basic Requirments:

  • Filesystem Support - FAT, FAT32, NTFS
  • Recover Deleted files from MemoryCard or PenDrive.
  • Recover Deleted files from HDD on DeletedPartition.

A wizard driven approach is appreciated. And It should actually work. I have used software that shows the file names but after recovery, all the files are corrupt. Those very files, although with names messed up, were recovered by PhotoRec.

More features are appreciated but not necessary.

  • Do you want a free application or it's not important? – MRS1367 Feb 20 '14 at 7:59
  • Undeleting (immediately after delete or after some time?), recovering formatted data(encrypted data?) and filesystem corruption (physical damage?). It seems like very wide range of needs and require different approach. – danijelc Feb 22 '14 at 18:44
  • Regarding NTFS, I listed a few of them in this answer: softwarerecs.stackexchange.com/a/31377/19806 – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 21 '16 at 14:35
  • Have you tried FTK Imager? It's a forensic tool used by professionals. – Sir Muffington Apr 13 at 19:21
6

The sort of tool you are looking for is unlikely to exist. Understanding why is a big part of the issue.

File recovery is a very wide field. It includes things like:

  1. Undelete a file
  2. Oops, I formatted the partition
  3. The filesystem is corrupt or disk is damged. What can I get off?

This excludes the more interesting/specialized cases like forensic analysis and the like. Additionally every tool out there is going to be filesystem specific. It is unlikely that a tool used to recover data from an ISO9660 CDROM will work on an NTFS hard drive. So for the general case, you won't find it. Sorry.

In the general case, it is also extremely important that someone who knows what to look for and adapt is running the file recovery. So advanced cases like damaged disks (and hence probably filesystem corruption) will in not be helpful in most cases. (Such tools exist for CDROMs though).

The complexity of recovering files also varies considerably by the filesystem.

For a simple undelete utility, I would probably recommend Recuva. It's well respected and easy to use. Unfortunately, it doesn't go beyond undelete scenarios.

3

Long story short, I've installed Ubuntu on one of the partitions on my external HDD where my personal data was saved. Installing Ubuntu means the partition was formatted from NTFS to FAT and added around 1GB of data.

However, I used File Scavenger Data Recovery Utility and it managed to restore my files that were on my HDD partition before installing ubuntu.

File Scavenger can recover data accidentally deleted, removed from the Recycle Bin and files on corrupted, deleted or reformatted partitions. Files are recovered with the original filename, folder path, and dates.

The process of searching and then recovering took in nearly 12 hours (1T HDD, 600GB partition, 180GB data recovered). While Scavenger was searching, it managed to find even older files that I wasn't in need to, therefore I had to select only the files which I wanted to recover (lucky me it was one main folder).

What I was quite happy about is that it managed to bring files with non-English text names. Means all of my files came again with their original names unlink other tools which brought my files in arbitrary file directories and names like __ _____ ____.pdf

A few percentage of the files were not retrieved (not important to me anyway) due to long file name, it seems those files were located into deep files hierarchy dir1/dir2/dir3/dir4.../img.jpg which prevented Scavenger from recovering it.

2

If it's not important that this software is free to use, I can suggest you Recover My Files. You can see its information in the below:

Website

Recover My Files

Main Features

  • Improved partition recovery. Faster recovery speed and better validation of duplicate or invalid files.
  • New file type signatures for File carving.
  • Faster saving and loading of search results. Automatically validate search results.
  • Create drive images in DD, E01 and AFF format.

Important Features

  • Enable a user to accurately determine if their files can be recovered prior to purchasing a license. This is primarily achieved via the display window which shows the content of files found.
  • It will not alter the contents of a drive being searched. Recover My Files is designed as a data recovery tool, NOT a drive repair tool. It will not write to or change the content of the original hard drive. If Recover My Files is not the solution, the user can seek a new solution without any change to the status of the problem drive.

What it can Recover

  • Deleted Files (including files emptied from or bypassing the Windows Recycle Bin)
  • Missing files lost through the corruption of a Windows file-system; Formatted Drives
  • RAW Drives
  • Corrupt Drives
  • Unallocated Drives
  • Missing Drive Letters
  • Data lost through a Windows Operating System reset or reinstall.

Supported Media

  • Hard drives, including external USB drives
  • USB sticks, Thumb Drives, Pen drives or other USB media Camera cards
  • Hardware and software RAID (JBOD, RAID 0,1,5)
  • iPods, MP3 players and Dictaphones

Supported File-Systems

  • Windows FAT12/16/32/exFAT, NTFS, file-systems
  • Macintosh HFS, HFS+ file-systems

Supported Drive Image Formats

  • DD or RAW
  • EnCase®.E01
  • Safeback® v2
  • Forensic File Format .AFF
  • SMART®
  • VMWare®
  • ProDiscover®
  • Microsoft VHD
  • Apple DMG
  • There are many tools who are both graphically and performance-wise very similar to Recovery My Files and this answer looks a bit like an ad. Are you affiliated with the makers of this software? It's perfectly fine, but in tihs case you should write a disclaimer in your answer. – Andrea Lazzarotto Apr 17 '16 at 17:05

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