Data Recovery Resources

This page contains useful information on do-it-yourself data recovery software. I have years of experience in using various data recovery software, file systems and developing data recovery software myself.


Data Recovery Software ‘in vivo’ testing.

data recovery software

I have ran a number of DIY DataRecovery tools against a apparently empty disk in a number of blog posts. This disk combines multiple issues with file system and on-disk structures and really is a good test for data recovery software to handle more complex scenarios.

In short, the partition table is zeroed, the boot record of the volume is damaged and also part of the MFT is corrupt/missing. A more in depth analysis of the disk here.

Note: ReclaiMe is not yet included but it also passed test. It showed lost files within a matter of minutes.

Post 1 – Data Recovery from unknown Disk

  • iRecoverpassed test
  • Recover my Filesfailed test
  • Easeus Data Recovery Wizardpassed test
  • Wondershare Data Recoveryfailed test

Post 2 – Data Recovery from unknown Disk

  • HData Recovery Softwarefailed test
  • Data Rescue PC 3failed test
  • Ontrack Easy Recoverypassed test
  • Minitool Power Data Recoverypassed test
  • Tenorshare Data Recoveryfailed test
  • Coolmuster Data Recoveryfailed test
  • Asoftech Data Recoveryfailed test

Post 3 – Data Recovery from unknown Disk

  • Disk Drillfailed test

Playing safe, playing SMART

You should never attempt data recovery yourself on a disk that is about to die. Since it is very hard to determine the actual physical state of a disk there is *always* a certain risk when attempting to recover your data.

Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology – or S.M.A.R.T. for short can he be a useful aid in determining the disk health. Also, SMART can help prevent data loss altogether as it may give you an in advance warning about imminent data loss.

S.M.A.R.T.


RAW vs File System based Recovery

A frequently asked question we get and that I see often mentioned in various forums and online support communities is about file recovery with full filenames and directory structure. To answer this you need to understand the difference between RAW recovery or file carving and file system recovery.

File System Recovery vs. RAW Recovery


Digital Image Recovery

Although recovery of digital images is no different from recovery of any other file types from a data recovery perspective, there are many tools available that specifically address the retrieval of lost photos. Also, these tools are meant to be used on memory cards only.

If you need to buy such a tool, consider purchasing generic data recovery software instead: Price-wise specialized image recovery software is as expensive as generic tools. DIY DataRecovery iRecover is a generic data recovery program but also offers a Digital Image Recovery mode.

Free Digital Image Recovery


Available: an unformat guide for ReclaiMe in English and Dutch. I will be reorganizing this page soon.

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