recuva-file-recovery-list-view It appears that I've never reviewed an undelete tool on 4sysops. I will make up for this omission today. Piriform's Recuva is a free and easy-to-use file recovery utility. It has to be installed, but if you then copy its executable (Recuva.exe) from its Program Folder to another computer, it will work there without problems. It therefore qualifies as a standalone tool. I think, every admin needs such a tool on a USB stick. How often does it happen that a user tells you an extremely important document has disappeared in mysterious ways and can't even be found in the Windows Recycle Bin?

If you are unfamiliar with how unerase utilities work, then I recommend reading Piriform's short explanation. When you launch Recuva for the first time, a wizard will open asking some questions about the file types and the drive or path. Note that this will just filter the output in the results windows and has no effect on the scanning time. I suppose, most IT pros will just disable this wizard. You can also apply filters after scanning.

recuva-file-recovery-options Recuva supports two different scan modes. In default mode, the tool will scan the Master File Table for files marked as deleted. In contrast, the deep scan process scans the complete drive to find file headers indicating the start of a file. Naturally, the deep scan method requires significantly more time. Note that this method only works for certain file types and if the disk is defragmented.

Once the tool is finished with scanning, its shows all restorable files in the results window. In List View, files having an excellent chance for a successful recovery are marked green, orange stands for an acceptable chance, and red signifies unlikely. There also is Tree View showing recoverable files sorted by folders and drives, as well as Thumbnail View displaying restorable images.

You can also display some file types in the preview pane. The info tab displays file properties such as the path, size, or creation time and the Header pane show the hexadecimal and ASCII codes of the file header.

All in all, I found that Recuva offers quite a few features for a free tool. I tested version v1.29.429.

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Recuva File Recovery

2 Comments
  1. moiecoute 13 years ago

    Great application. Have used it in the past for friends that have lost their work.

    Use this app and save yourself $USD25+ for similar apps…… and if you really like it send an email through and tell the author 🙂

  2. Yes, comparable tools are usually not free. I think the author deserves to receive an email through PayPal. 😉

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