iRecover is DIY DataRecovery.nl’s flagship product.
The official current version can be downloaded here – 32 bit – Setup file.
A newer version (no setup) can be downloaded here – 32/64 bit – Self extracting archive.
iRecover features a wizard like approach interface. In each step of the data recovery process you make a choice after which iRecover goes to work or takes you to the next step where you make another choice. For example, during step 1 you select a data recovery mode and click next. The next step, iRecover asks you to select the drive from which you want to recover data. After going through all steps you have (hopefully) recovered your data.
|Example: Steps required for NAS and ‘unformat’ type Data Recovery using iRecover.|
- Digital Image Recovery: Free module, designed to do RAW photo recovery from memory cards.
- Windows and Linux recovery: FAT, FAT32, NTFS, EXT and XFS support.
- Files recovered including file names and directory structure.
- NAS Recovery (use Windows and Linux Data Recovery mode). Automatic parsing of mdadm RAIDs and support for common NAS file systems (XFS, EXT).
- RAID Data Recovery: Automatic (virtual) RAID reconstruction for ‘broken’ RAID arrays. Supports RAID 0, 1 and 5. Also, iRecover supports RAID 5 reconstruction with one disk missing.
- Additional tasks: SMART viewer for estimating disk health and 2 pass disk imager.
- Configurable disk access parameters (for dealing with bad sectors).
- Data is recovered with original filenames and directory structure.
Typical scenarios in which iRecover can be used
I will list scenarios, but usage of iRecover is not limited to those! Sometimes a combination of symptoms may occur. A more complex scenario is discussed here.
- Partition Recovery: Partition(s) disappeared due to accidental deletion, MBR corruption etc.. Disk manager is showing unallocated disk space where partition used to be. Partitions are not recovered in-place, however files are copied from the lost partition to another drive.
- Accidental format. This is often called ‘unformat’ in other tools. This recovery mode is not limited to reformatted drives, but is meant to recover files from any kind of file system corruption (example: RAW file system). A virtual file system is rebuilt in memory from which files can be copied to another disk.
- Data recovery from degraded disk (in RAID array or NAS). iRecover will analyse the RAID array to determine RAID parameters such as the stripe size or block size. With found parameters a virtual array is built in memory. On the virtual array then file system reconstruction is performed to rebuilt a virtual file system.
Note: NAS RAID sets often can be reconstructed without additional RAID analysis!
- Data lost due to bad sectors in vital system areas. Either the original disk can be processed with fine tunes disk access parameters, or the bad disk can be ‘imaged’ first. File recovery can then be done from the image file without having to worry about the bad sectors or further deterioration of the original disk.
- Corrupt memory card digital image recovery.
Limitations and drawbacks
The one major drawback is that iRecover treats every case like a worst case scenario. As a result it will always scan the entire disk to rebuild a virtual file system. This is overkill on some situations. For example, to recover a deleted file, parsing the current MFT is enough to detect deleted files. A utility like DiskTuna DFR can do that in a matter of minutes.
As any other consumer grade (although iRecover is in use in several labs) DIY Data Recovery Software it can not deal with physically damaged disks.