Category Archives: File Recovery Software

Easily Recover Deleted Photos And More – Open Source TestDisk & PhotoRec

Summary: When it’s time to recover deleted files from an SD Card, Hard Drive, Flash Drive, etc., this powerful portable recovery application, (despite its command line type interface), makes deleted file recovery just about as simple as it gets.

In previous reviews, I’ve covered more than a few file recovery tools,  some of which have lived up to the developers’ claims – but, most have not. PhotoRec, part of the bundled package included in TestDisk – despite it’s name – is capable of recovering 390 types of files, according to the developer.

In the following review, I’ll describe how easy it was to recover deleted photos from my camera’s SD Card and, deleted music files from my iPod. As you’ll see, this application is not wizard driven – but, despite that, it’s still very easy to use.

First up was a recovery attempt on a camera.

On launching the application, the connected camera was immediately identified.

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Selecting the drive was a simple matter of cursoring down, and pressing the Enter key.

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In just a few minutes (under 3 minutes), PhotoRec identified and recovered 121* previously deleted photos.

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* Much to my surprise, the application actually recovered 241 previously deleted photos. I’m not complaining.   Smile   All recovered files were saved to the recovery directory (a sub-directory of the directory the application is running from) – as shown below.

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Here’s a recovered shot (August 2012), of my BlackBerry Playbook in its Bluetooth keyboard case. As an aside – Tablets are super duper consumption devices – but, for real work, a physical keyboard is a must for me.

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Next up – music file recovery from my iPod.

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In just a few moments (less than a minute), PhotoRec identified and recovered *105 previously deleted tunes.

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* The application actually recovered 106 previously deleted tunes.

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But, can they be played? You bet!

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Fast facts:

Fix partition table, recover deleted partition.

Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup.

Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector.

Fix FAT tables.

Rebuild NTFS boot sector.

Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup.

Fix MFT using MFT mirror.

Locate ext2/ext3/ext4 Backup SuperBlock .

Undelete files from FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem.

Copy files from deleted FAT, exFAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3/ext4 partitions.

System requirements: Windows (NT4, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 2008, Windows 7 (x86 & x64), Linux, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, SunOS and MacOS X. (Reviewed on Win 8 x32)

Download at: Cgsecurity.org

You may only need this application a time or two – but, wouldn’t it be nice to have it sitting in your USB toolbox when you do? The answer is – YES.   Smile

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Filed under downloads, File Recovery Software, Freeware, Open Source, Windows

Free BootMed For Your Sick PC

imageI’ve covered a boatload of  free Live CDs (a boot disk on a CD) in the last few years, including – Boot, Recovery, Rescue, Antivirus, and so on. To work effectively with such tools generally demands a very high level of user experience with operating systems, which effectively restricts usage to geeks or, the occasional very daring newbie.

I’ve just spent a week, or so, testing BootMed, a Ubuntu Linux driven set of recovery tools which is a little different than most such tool sets – it’s much more new user friendly.

On launch, BootMed defaults to Firefox which opens on the developer’s site – “What can BootMed do”.

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That’s a bit of a twist on most recovery tools/disks/applications, since the developer has recognized that not all users have the practical background, or the experience, to work with these types of tools unaided.

The tutorials (walk- throughs) on this page (What can BootMed do) – shown below – should make working with the specific applications included on the CD/DVD much easier for less experienced users than it would be otherwise. Kudos to the developer on this one.

Recovery

Misc.

More experienced users will simply venture straight to the Desktop to access the available tools.

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The following screen capture illustrates the applications available.

Note: Under “Applications”, additional tools are available.

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You can see from the following screen capture, BootMed allows the user to access all attached devices (and their files), from the “Computer” icon.

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The following two graphics show the AV’s available. Both AVs will automatically update their definition database – provided the PC is connected to the Internet.

McAfee’s Stinger – a stand-alone utility used to detect and remove specific viruses.

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ClamWin Free Antivirus – ClamWin is a free antivirus designed for Windows.

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Two file recovery applications are available including PhotoRec, a powerful recovery application.

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And TestDisk, which adds additional functionality – including partition recovery.

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There are many more applications included in this bag of tools including – GParted partition manager, as well as WINE, which will allow you to run Windows applications from within BootMed.

The CD/DVD burning application Brasero (available under “Applications”), is shown in the following screen shot.

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System requirements: Windows XP, Windows Vista, Windows 7

Download 32 bit ISO at: Download.com

Download 64 bit ISO at: Download.com

I particularly like BootMed since it allows a fairly typical user access to complex tools while at the same time, not feeling abandoned in the scary world of operating systems. The developer has recognized this chill factor, and does a fair amount of “hand holding” – I think that’s very cool.

If you’re now a geek, or a high level user, think back to the days when you could have used some “hand holding”. If you were lucky enough to get it, I think you’ll agree that “hand holding” can make a major difference.

Don’t have a CD/DVD drive? Then – install BootMed to a USB flash drive. Easy to follow instructions are here.

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Filed under 64 Bit Software, CD/DVD Recovery Tools, downloads, File Recovery Software, Freeware, Live CDs, Software, System Recovery Tools

Free PhotoRec – Easily Recover Deleted Photos And More

Yesterday, I posted an article on BootMed, a Ubuntu Linux driven set of recovery tools which is a worthwhile addition to any techie’s toolbox. One of the recovery tools packaged with this free Live CD is TestDisk – which includes the file recovery application PhotoRec.

In previous reviews, I’ve covered more than a few file recovery tools,  some of which have lived up to the developers’ claims – but, most have not. PhotoRec, on the other hand, (despites its name, it’s capable of recovering 390 types of files according to the developer), performed far outside my expectations.

In the following review, I’ll describe how easy it was to recover deleted photos from my camera’s SD Card and, deleted music files from my iPod. As you’ll see, this application is not wizard driven – but, despite that, it’s still very easy to use.

First up was a recovery attempt on an iPod.

On launching the application, the connected iPod was immediately identified.

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Selecting the drive was a simple matter of cursoring down, and pressing the Enter key.

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In just a few moments PhotoRec identified and recovered 13 previously deleted music files.

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All recovered files were saved to the recovery directory – as shown below.

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Each and every recovered music file was playable – as shown in the following screen capture.

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Next up – photo file recovery from my camera’s SD card.

In the following screen capture, I’ve illustrated the files Windows Explorer  identified on the SD card prior to the recovery operation.

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Again, after launching PhotoRec, the application correctly identified the attached device.

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The application “did its thing” and recovered 86 previously deleted pics.

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The following screen captures shows not only the photos that were recovered, but a number of recovered sound files and text files as well. I’ve highlighted one recovered photo file for illustrative purposes.

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The recovered photo (selected in the above screen capture), is shown below opened in IrfanView. As you can see from the Image properties box, all of the file properties have been recovered intact.

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System requirements: Windows 98 and later, Mac OS X, Linux (2.4 /2.6 kernel)

Download at: Cgsecurity.org

TestDisk – which includes PhotoRec – is in fact, a portable application and, does not require installation. Simply unzip the file and you’re good to go.

When it’s time to recover deleted files from an SD Card, Hard Drive, Flash Drive, etc., this powerful recovery application, (despite its command line interface), makes deleted file recovery just about as simple as it gets. It may even be suitable for those users who might not qualify as “expert”.

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Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, File Recovery Software, Freeware

Free Glary Undelete – Easily Recover Deleted Photos And More

frustrated 2Later today, I’m going to perform bit of magic and help a friend recover photos accidentally deleted from her camera. No, I’m not Harry Houdini (magic is definitely not my thing), but I certainly do know which application to run in a given situation, which to many users, has all the appearances of being magical.

When it’s time to recover deleted files from an SD Card, Hard Drive, Flash Drive, etc., my magical application of choice is Glary Undelete. This free recovery application, (from the developers of my all time favorite Windows utility – Glary Utilities), with its wizard driven interface, makes deleted file recovery just about as simple as it gets.

The easy Hard Drive solution that most of us can use, most of the time, is to simply restore the file from the Windows Recycle Bin. The Recycle Bin can be a life saver when a file has been accidentally deleted.

Normally, the deleted file sits in the Bin until you empty it, or restore the file. But, what if the file has been permanently removed from the Bin, to make room for more recently deleted files for example, when the maximum size allocated in the Recycle Bin properties has been exceeded? And yes, it does happen.

If you take a look at the Recycle Bin’s properties dialogue box, you’ll see that the Bin’s size can be customized – but initially, the maximum size is set by the OS. BTW, I don’t recommend that you turn off the Recycle Bin, as I have done here for my data partition.

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Still, all is not necessarily lost and here’s why: when a file is deleted from your Hard Drive, or portable media, what really gets deleted is the system link pointing to the file; but not the file itself.

Surprisingly, it can often be relatively easy to retrieve the deleted file, or a good portion of the file, using specialized file recovery software, which takes advantage of this reality.

To enhance the possibility of recovering the deleted file, rapid action is a prime requirement. File recovery software has limitations, so once you have realized you have deleted that important file; do not write any more files to the drive until you can run the recovery program.

Quick overview of Glary Undelete.

Filter searches by file name, file date, size, and recovery state.

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Sample photo recovery operation from my camera’s SD Card. Click graphic to expand to original.

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Undeleted Pic – you can see why I deleted it to begin with.   Smile

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Just for a bit of fun, I recovered a very large .wav file (5 hours of sound), I had deleted from the camera’s SD Card.

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I’ve had good success with this small application recovering deleted files, and I recommend that all users consider adding Glary Undelete to their toolbox. In computing, it pays to be a Boy Scout – “Be Prepared.”

Note: Glary makes the statement that this utility will, “even recover files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses”. I have not specifically tested this function.

Fast facts:

Supports FAT, NTFS, NTFS + EFS file systems

Supports recover compressed, fragmented and encrypted files on NTFS

Undelete files on portable media (SmartMedia, Secure Digital, MemoryStick, etc.)

Filter by file name, file date, size, and recovery state

Simple and user friendly interface

And more…

System Requirements: Windows Vista, XP, Windows 2003, Windows 2000, Windows 7.

Download at: Download.com

During the install, pay particular attention to the offer to install the Ask toolbar. I suggest you reject this offer.

Note: In Windows 7 (and Vista, I suspect), launching the application requires elevating privileges to an administrator level.

Final note: If you read user comments regarding this application on CNET, for example, you’re sure to find the usual whining and complaining posted by unsophisticated users who have not taken the time to become familiar with the application. Don’t be discouraged by this. Used properly, and in an intelligent manner, this application performs exactly as advertised.

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Filed under Computer Tools, downloads, File Recovery Software, flash drive, Freeware, Geek Software and Tools, SD Card, Software, USB, Utilities, Windows Tips and Tools