Later 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.
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.
Sample photo recovery operation from my camera’s SD Card. Click graphic to expand to original.
Undeleted Pic – you can see why I deleted it to begin with.
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.
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.
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
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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