How To Find Tools and Freeware for Hard Drive Recovery

There is a wide range of recovery software and freeware that can be used to recover files that may have been damaged by a virus or were accidentally deleted from the Recycle Bin, Windows Explorer, a command line window, or a network share folder, including the file’s create and modified dates and original folder names.

Some recovery software and data recovery tools can retrieve damaged or deleted files and folders including photos, music, audio, and video clips from Windows NTFS partitioned disk drives. There are data recovery tools that can also retrieve file formats like jpeg, jpg, gif, riff, avi, and mp3 that are in compressed and encrypted files.

The NTFS file system recovery software can retrieve data lost due to a partition table or boot sector that has been corrupted, a malfunction in software, a virus attack, a logically crashed hard disk, or an unexpected Laptop, Pocket PC or Desktop system shutdown.

There are also utilities that are able to recover deleted files from USB drives, memory cards, and external or internal hard drives used for storage and connected to a computer.

These sites have a number of freeware you can search recovery software, floppy disk recovery and data recovery tools, and partition recovery tools you can use:

If you have the patience and the interest to use your computer skills, you just need to know how to recover lost deleted files using the right tools. Here is a process you can try to recover deleted files using freeware:

  1. Before you start with the recovery process, double-check if you cannot find the missing files in the Recycle Bin or the folder you saved the file in.
  2. Look for the appropriate File Recovery Program you need. There are a lot of freeware options for file recovery for Windows users. Some effective applications include PC Inspector File Recovery, Undelete Plus, and Restoration. The Undelete Plus program is very user-friendly and has an advanced filtering option that makes it easy to search and find a lost file. Both PC Inspector File Recovery and Restoration though are more effective at file recovery.

    For Mac users you will need to spend a little to purchase Data Rescue II or a similar program to recover your files.

    For any platform, for as long as you can open the command prompt or a terminal window, the free cross-platform command-line tool PhotoRec is great at recovering lost photos and any file type from your hard drive or removable media.

  3. After picking the tool to use, try recovering your files by first scanning your hard drive for the lost file. Use the program to scan the folder or hard drive where you saved the missing file. When the scan is completed, a list of jumbled file names will appear. Just look for the file name and file type that matches the file you lost. If you have found the correct file name and type, right click on the file and save it in a new folder.
  4. If you still have not found the missing file try again using a different application of recovery software, for a floppy disk recovery, data recovery tool, partition recovery, or an unformatted hard drive utility.


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