Free File Recovery Software by Piriform’s – Recuva

by Frost

Introduction
Recently I had a pretty massive fiasco at work which nearly gave me a heart attack. Apparently one of the harddrives in our Network File Server decided to give out and the backups I had been doing stopped working (have not ran for a month or two) due to a Windows Patch.

As most of anyone who has been in the situation of losing important data that you thought was backed up, it is very nerve racking, especially since all the data recovery programs I have ever used never re-created the folder structure. Well your troubles are over, Recuva is an excellent file un-delete recovery program that is also free!

Recuva
Through out the day when I realized that the file server’s harddrive had been erased I was doing research for free solutions to file recovery / un-deletion. In my research I tried a few different programs, which worked but not very well until I came across Piriform’s Recuva program. This program seemed well developed and they offered a portable solution (meaning you can install the software onto a Jump Drive and run the recovery software from that Jump Drive. This is an ideal solution, as installing any new software onto a harddrive can put your data at risk of not being recoverable (due to over-writing). To say the least I was extremely excited about the Free Recuva Software from PiriForm and could not wait to try it.

Using Recuva
When I started the software up it had a quick recover option or a deep scan, since the deleted data that I was trying to recover was highly sensitive I opted for the deep scan. This took about 5 hours on a 250 GB (gigabyte) harddrive. I let the Recuva Program do it’s thing and left the computer fully alone during this time. When I came back I was astonished to see not only did it find all the files (and then some) but it also had the full paths listed! Well before you get too excited and hit “Recover” there is a simple setting you need to know about. Inside the Recuva Options you will need to check a check box “Recover with path Name” this will do just that! It will take those paths and recover the files with that path name.

Now when using this program it is necessary to recover all the files you want to an external harddrive, so you will need a harddrive of comparable size to the data you are recovering. Not doing so, which the program may not allow, can cause data to be over-written and un-retrievable from that point on. Just be aware of that before you try to do this recovery to have that. Then just check all the files you want to recover (if you want to select all click on the first one, Hold Shift then press End then press space and it should select all files). Now you just have to wait. Since I recovered to a USB drive (that was not 2.0) it took a fair amount of time (roughly 6-7 hours). But was well worth the wait.

After the recovery I verified the files and 99% of the files were recovered succesfully and worked flawlessly. One of the other nice benefits of Recuva is that it adds _X (where X is a number) to any duplicated files (meaning the other one was previously erased / different version). This is very handy as you can enter the file and pick which version you want to keep, especially incase one is corrupted.

Ending Notes
Well I had to learn a hard lesson this day, but I was so excited there was a free File Recovery / Un-Delete program that worked great (I would put this over programs such as Recover4All, which you have to pay for anyday). I have donated to PiriForm for this program, as I always support software that has helped me. This was a massive help and I think PiriForm for making it. Hopefully you will not require Piriform’s Recuva services, but if you do you now know that PiriForm Recuva is definately the software for your file recovery / restoration / un-deletion needs!

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