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

Emptied Recycle Bin

For this rating, the test file set was deleted and then the Recycle Bin was emptied.

Product Rating Emptied Recycle Bin (NTFS)
Disk 1 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 - Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
R-Studio 5.5 All files and folder information found successfully, except the avi file, which was found but appeared damaged. No disk scan required.
Restorer Ultimate 5.5 All files were immediately found in the $Recycle.Bin folder with altered names upon opening 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.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 5 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.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 5
DMDE 5
For both disk setups, all programs successfully found and recovered most files with some exceptions. R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate recovered deleted files without a disk scan. All programs could correctly recover folder and file names starting from the second level. For example, if the files were in a folder, it was possible to recover the file names but not the folder names. If the files were in a sub-folder within a folder, it was possible to correctly recover the sub-folder and file names.
Product Rating Emptied Recycle Bin (FAT32)
Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
R-Studio 5.5 Most files were found and recovered in the original folder with original names without scanning. The same files were also found in the $Recycle.Bin folder with altered names. For the second disk setup, the program recovered the avi, mp3 and acc files incorrectly.
Restorer Ultimate 5.5
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 5 Most files were found in the original folder with original names without scanning. The same files were also found in the $Recycle.Bin folder with altered names. For the first disk setup, the avi file appeared damaged both in the original place and in Recycling Bin. For the second disk setup, the program recovered the avi, mp3 and acc files incorrectly.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 4.5 Most files were found and recovered after disk scan. File and folder names were slightly altered (e.g., xOCUME~1.doc instead of DOCUMENT.doc). The same files were also found in the $Recycle.Bin folder with altered names. The docx and xlsx files were recovered incorrectly for both disk setups. For the second disk setup, the program recovered the avi file incorrectly.
DMDE 5 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.
R-Studio, Restorer Ultimate, and DMDE showed the best results in file recovery. GetDataBack failed to recover some files and showed incorrect file names.

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