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Author Topic: Undelete utilities - differences?  (Read 5455 times)

rjbull

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Undelete utilities - differences?
« on: December 05, 2023, 04:45 PM »
A number of utilities claim to be able to undelete deleted files.  Some claim to retrieve data from formatted or even damaged media.

Apart from things like cost, speed and convenience, is there much difference between the various programs?  Are they all using much the same methods, with much the same results?

tomos

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Re: Undelete utilities - differences?
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2023, 04:48 AM »
A number of utilities claim to be able to undelete deleted files.  Some claim to retrieve data from formatted or even damaged media.

Apart from things like cost, speed and convenience, is there much difference between the various programs?  Are they all using much the same methods, with much the same results?

Anecdotal:
a couple of years back I had a HDD I couldn't access. Well, it wasn't completely dead -- some software recognised it as a drive -- but I couldn't access any of the content. Smaller recovery tools (Recuva etc.) were useless.

I did try some free recovery tools at the time (if I kept a record I cannot find it...). One of them was partially successful i.e. it started finding files, but after leaving it running for hours it still only had a handful of files. A few people, here and elsewhere, recommended GetDataBack so I went for it and it did the job, relatively quickly too.

I see it's still the same price ($79), last updated a year ago (my version from 2021 was 5.55, now at 5.61). Dont know if they do a trial. Best of luck, whatever route you take...
Tom

rjbull

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Re: Undelete utilities - differences?
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2023, 04:46 PM »
A few people, here and elsewhere, recommended GetDataBack so I went for it and it did the job, relatively quickly too.

I see it's still the same price ($79), last updated a year ago (my version from 2021 was 5.55, now at 5.61). Dont know if they do a trial.

Thanks!  They do offer a trial.  $79 is substantial, but they offer a lifetime license.

Best of luck, whatever route you take...

The query was prompted by talking to someone who couldn't get her photos off an SD card.  She'd been constantly re-using the card that came with the camera, and hadn't copied any of the files off it for quite a while.  When she did try, neither she nor her husband could retrieve anything, it looked like everything had been deleted.  At that point I thought of undelete utilities, as a hedge against problems. In their case the problem was worse, and probably insurmountable, as both their computers eventually said the card was corrupted.  I'd guess that even forensic IT might struggle to get anything useful from a corrupted card.  There's a moral in there somewhere...

tomos

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Re: Undelete utilities - differences?
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2023, 02:27 AM »
Yes, $79 is substantial, but I paid the price for not having had proper and up-to-date backup...
Tom

Deozaan

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Re: Undelete utilities - differences?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2023, 04:44 AM »

The query was prompted by talking to someone who couldn't get her photos off an SD card.  She'd been constantly re-using the card that came with the camera, and hadn't copied any of the files off it for quite a while.  When she did try, neither she nor her husband could retrieve anything, it looked like everything had been deleted.  At that point I thought of undelete utilities, as a hedge against problems. In their case the problem was worse, and probably insurmountable, as both their computers eventually said the card was corrupted.  I'd guess that even forensic IT might struggle to get anything useful from a corrupted card.  There's a moral in there somewhere...


That sounds like it could be a fake SD card. Where it's actually got very small storage but the vendor/scammer changed the firmware so it reports that it's very large. You can write all you want to it but it's constantly overwriting the data, which probably uses up the write cycles of the flash memory pretty quickly.

These days you should always test flash cards you buy online to verify they are the advertised capacity. You can use a utility like f3 (Fight Fake Flash, or Fight Flash Fraud) to do so.

4wd

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Re: Undelete utilities - differences?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2023, 05:19 AM »
If you want to try something free there's PhotoRec:

PhotoRec is a file carver data recovery software tool. It doesn’t recover the original filenames but it can recover delete files even from corrupted filesystem. PhotoRec recognizes and recovers numerous file formats including ZIP, Office, PDF, HTML, JPEG and various graphics file formats. The whole list of file formats recovered by PhotoRec contains more than 480 file extensions (about 300 file families). It’s possible to create custom signature to recover file format unknown to PhotoRec.

If you want a GUI there is QPhotoRec in the archive.

QPhotoRec is a file carver data recovery software tool with a graphical user interface. Like PhotoRec, it doesn’t recover the original filenames but it can recover delete files even from corrupted filesystem.