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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DMDE

DMDE

Overall product rating: 3.5 Compare

Highly advanced hexadecimal editor tailored for data recovery from Windows disks; includes limited support for Ext file system partitions. Requires a very deep knowledge of disk and file system structures.

Strengths: Very advanced disk and file editing capabilities. No demo mode limitations, except group file recovery. Very attractive pricing.

Weaknesses: Lack of data recovery using file signatures (contributes heavily to low overall rating). Limited support for non-Windows files systems.

Interface and Features Detailed Results

Localization support: 4.5 Compare

Supported Interface Languages: 3 Compare

Languages supported: English, Polish, Russian.

Language management: Languages can be changed only when the program finishes working with a device.

Localized File Name Recognition: 6 Compare

Language tested: French, Russian, Arabian, Japanese, and Chinese.

Recognized all tested localized characters in file and folder names.

Demo version restrictions: 5 Compare

No demo mode limitations, except group file recovery.

File preview: 0 Compare

No built-in file preview. Files must be recovered before attempting to open in third-party application (if installed).

Standard file recovery features: 4 Compare

File systems supported for file recovery: 3 Compare

NTFS/NTFS5, FAT12/16/32; Limited support: exFAT, Ext2/3/4FS

Deep analysis of disks (disk scan): 4 Compare

Hard drives and logical disks can be scanned.
Scan results can be stored in a file and loaded later.

File recovery using file signatures (raw file recovery): 0 Compare

No raw file recovery support.

Disk imaging and copying: 6 Compare

Image types: byte-by-byte and compressed.

Disks can be imaged from the end to the beginning (reverse copy). Disk objects can also be copied.

File search, mark for recovery, sorting: 4 Compare

Filters and sorting: No file sorting.

File search: File mask, search for deleted/existing.

Support for mass file recovery: file recovery lists.

Logging: 4 Compare

Standard logging. The log can be saved to a file. A forensic log can be created.

Disk parts/regions: 5 Compare

Disk regions appear as objects that can be processed like regular disks.

File recovery parameters: 4 Compare

Recovers file names and folder structure. Deleted files can be included or excluded from data recovery results. Recovers alternative data streams for NTFS.

Advanced data recovery features: 3 Compare

RAID recovery features: 4.5 Compare

Direct access to a virtual RAID. Only disks and images can be added to a virtual RAID.

Standard RAID level presets: 4 Compare

JBOD, RAID 0 (Stripe Set), RAID 1(Mirror), RAID 4, RAID 5, RAID 5 with parity delays, with all their variants.

User-defined RAID layouts: 0 Compare

No such feature.

Automatic RAID parameter detection: 0 Compare

No such feature.

Network data recovery: 0 Compare

No such feature.

Hexadecimal editor: 6 Compare

The editor has all standard features. Data may be represented in any coding or as hex values. Excellent navigation.
Any visible object (real or virtual) can be edited. A number of templates can be used to parse and interpret data.

Startup version: 6 Compare

MS-DOS startup disk: Equivalent in its features to the Windows version of DMDE.

Overall interface and features: 3 Compare

File Recovery Performance Detailed Results

Deleted files (Recycle Bin bypassed): 3.5 Compare

Deleted Files (NTFS): 5.5 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk Size: 1 GB, Partition Size 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk Size: 1 GB, Partition Size: 500 MB
All files and folder information found successfully, except the avi file, which was found but appeared damaged. No disk scan required.

Deleted Files (FAT32): 0.5 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
Found a folder, but no files were found.

Emptied Recycle Bin: 5 Compare

Emptied Recycle Bin (NTFS): 5 Compare

Disk 1 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
All files were found in the $Recycle.Bin folder with altered names after scanning the partition. All files, except avi, acc, and mp3, were successfully recovered. The folder and file names could be successfully recovered starting from the second level.

Emptied Recycle Bin (FAT32): 5 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
Most files were found and recovered in the original folder with original names after a disk scan.
For the second disk setup, the program recovered the avi, mp3 and acc files incorrectly.

Disk reformat: 3 Compare

Disk Reformat – NTFS to NTFS: 0 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
No files were found.

Disk Reformat – FAT32 to FAT32: 6 Compare

Disk - Disk 1 size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk – Disk 2 size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 MB
All files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.

Disk Reformat – NTFS to FAT32: 5.5 Compare

Disk 1 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
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.

Disk Reformat – FAT32 to NTFS: 0 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
No files were found.

Damaged partition: 5 Compare

Damaged Partition (NTFS): 4.5 Compare

File System Damage: Signature FILE deleted using a hex editor
Disk 1 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2- Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
The damaged partition was found without a disk scan. Most files with correct file names were found in correct folders and successfully recovered upon opening the partition. The avi and exe files appeared damaged.

Damaged Partition (FAT32): 5 Compare

File System Damage: Bytes per sector and Sectors per cluster were deleted using a hex editor
Disk size: 512 MB, Partition size: 512 MB
All files were found in their original folders with original names and successfully recovered after performing a disk scan.

Damaged Partition (FAT32): 6 Compare

File System Damage: Bytes per sector and Sectors per cluster were deleted using a hex editor
Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
All files were immediately found in their original folders with original names and successfully recovered upon opening the partition. No disk scan was required.

Damaged Partition (FAT16): 5 Compare

File System Damage: Bytes per sector and Sectors per cluster were deleted using a hex editor
Disk size: 256 MB, Partition size: 256 MB
All files were found in their original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.

Deleted partition: 5.5 Compare

Disk 1 (NTFS) – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
Disk 2 (FAT32) – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
All files were found in their original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan, with two exceptions: the avi and exe files appeared damaged on the NTFS partition.

RAID Recovery: 3 Compare

RAID 0 (2 Disks): 5.5 Compare

All files were found in the original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.

RAID 5 (3 Disks): 1 Compare

Although the folder structure could be determined correctly after disk scan and files were found in them, those files appeared damaged.

Overall file recovery performance: 4.5 Compare

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