Data Recovery Digest

Do-It-Yourself Windows File Recovery Software: A Comparison

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Professional Data Recovery Software: A Comparison

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File Recovery Performance Detailed Results

Below are the results of the data recovery tests we performed with each of the software candidates. These tests were designed to recreate the most common data recovery scenarios faced by professionals. In each test, the operating system was Windows 7 32-bit.

For each test, the same set of test files were deleted from the disk. In instances where the file system was damaged or a partition was deleted, the files listed below were present on the disk prior to the damage or repartitioning.

Test File Set

File Type File Extension
Archives rar, zip
Audio files acc, mp3
Documents doc, docx, xls, xlsx, odt, ods, pdf, txt
Video files flv, mp4, mpg, avi, m4v
Images jpg, png, tiff
Programs exe

Disk reformat

For this test, a partition was reformatted to a new partition of the same size using quick format. Each test uses a different before and after file system.

Product Rating Disk Reformat – NTFS to NTFS
Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
R-Studio 5.5

Most files were found in the Extra Found Files and successfully recovered after disk scan. Some files were found but unsuccessfully recovered.

Successfully recovered files: rar, zip, docx, xls, xlsx, odt, ods, pdf, flv, mp4, jpg, png, tif

Unsuccessfully recovered files: mp3, txt, mpg, avi

Files not found: acc, exe, m4v, doc

Restorer Ultimate 5.5

Most files were found in the Lost Files and successfully recovered after disk scan. Some files were found but unsuccessfully recovered.

Successfully recovered files: rar, zip, docx, xls, xlsx, odt, ods, pdf, flv, mp4, jpg, png, tif

Unsuccessfully recovered files: mp3, txt, mpg, avi

Files not found: acc, exe, m4v, doc

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 4.5

Most files were found successfully, and several ones were successfully recovered after disk scan using IntelliRAW.

Unsuccessfully recovered files: zip, acc, doc, docx, xlsx, odt, ods, txt, flv, mp4, m4v, exe

The avi file appeared with double the file size, but it could be played correctly.

GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 3

Only a few files were found in the Lost Files and even fewer successfully recovered after disk scan.

Successfully recovered: jpg, doc

Unsuccessfully recovered files: mp3, zip, avi

DMDE 0 No files were found.
R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate showed the best results for this case. DMDE found no files due to its lack of a raw file search feature.
Product Rating Disk Reformat – FAT32 to FAT32
Disk - Disk 1 size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk – Disk 2 size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 MB
R-Studio 6 All files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.
Restorer Ultimate 6
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 5.5 All files, except rar, were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 6 All files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.
DMDE 6
All programs successfully recovered all files, except for UFS Explorer, which recovered all files except for the rar file.
Product Rating Disk Reformat – NTFS to FAT32
Disk 1 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
R-Studio 5 All files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.
When the files were in the root folder, the recovered files appeared damaged.
Restorer Ultimate 5
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 6 All files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 6
DMDE 5.5

Most files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan, with the following exceptions:

  • The avi and exe files in the root appeared damaged.
  • The avi and mp3 files in a folder appeared damaged.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery and the GetDataBack package showed the best results in file recovery.
Product Rating Disk Reformat – FAT32 to NTFS
Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
R-Studio 2

Only a few files were found in the Extra Found Files after disk scan.

Successfully recovered: mp4

Unsuccessfully recovered: mpg, avi

Restorer Ultimate 2

Only a few files were found in the Lost Files after disk scan.

Successfully recovered: mp4

Unsuccessfully recovered: mpg, avi

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 2.5

Only a few files were found in the IntelliRAW after disk scan.

Successfully recovered: mpg, avi

GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 0 No files were found.
DMDE 0
This test scenario produces very low chances of successful file recovery. UFS Explorer had the best results, but could still recover only few files. DMDE and the GetDataBack package found no files.

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