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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R-Studio

R-Studio

Overall product rating: 5.5 Compare

An excellent combination of file recovery features and performance. Shows the best results in almost every category. A must-have for any data recovery professional.

Strengths: RAID recovery, file preview, network data recovery, disk copy module, built-in hexadecimal editor.

Weaknesses: Lacks support for a few less common file systems.

Interface and Features Detailed Results

Localization support: 6 Compare

Supported Interface Languages: 6 Compare

Languages supported: English, German, French, Spanish, Russian.

Language management: Languages can be changed on-the-fly.

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: 4.5 Compare

File preview (no file size limitations).
Recovers files up to 64 KB.
No time limit for the demo version.

File preview: 5 Compare

Built-in previewer supports all graphic, audio, and video files. Native support for pdf, xls, ppt, docx, xlsx and pptx (doesn’t require installation of Adobe Reader or Microsoft Office).

Standard file recovery features: 6 Compare

File systems supported for file recovery: 5 Compare

FAT/FAT16/FAT32/exFAT/NTFS/NTFS5, ReFS ,UFS1/UFS2, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4FS, HFS/HFS+

Deep analysis of disks (disk scan): 6 Compare

Highly versatile scan parameter set. Certain portions of a disk can be scanned using different parameters and then combined with other scan results from several different scans.
Scan results can be saved to a file and loaded later.
User can control bad sector processing and memory usage.

File recovery using file signatures (raw file recovery): 6 Compare

Raw file recovery support for hard drives and partitions. Can be run as a standalone process or combined with a standard disk scan. Can also be disabled for faster initial disk scans.
User can add and edit custom file signatures. Built-in file signature editor can create very complex signature combinations.
File signatures can be saved to and loaded from a file.

Disk imaging and copying: 6 Compare

Image types: byte-by-byte and compressed.

Parameters specified: compression rate, file split size, password, bad sector processing.

Other features: The program can scan disks and save scan info while imaging Disk objects can also be copied using a built-in Drives Copy Wizard.

File search, mark for recovery, sorting: 6 Compare

Filters and sorting: “Show only deleted files” and “Show only existing files”.

File search: individual file search/mark for recovery, file mask search/mark for recovery, file search for date, file search for size, file search for file ID.

Support for mass file recovery: file sorting by file extension, file sorting by file timestamp, file recovery lists.

Logging: 6 Compare

Very versatile logging. The log can be saved to a file. The Technician version can create a forensic log.

Disk parts/regions: 6 Compare

Disk regions appear as objects that can be processed like regular disks. For scanning damaged disks, exclusive regions (regions that exclude some disk areas) can be created.

File recovery parameters: 6 Compare

Recovers file names and folder structure. Recovers hidden attributes, system attributes, alternative data streams for NTFS, security attributes for NTFS. Extra Found Files (files found using file signatures) can be included or excluded from data recovery results. HFS+ specific attributes can be saved in the “AppleDouble” format. Bad sector processing can be specified.

Advanced data recovery features: 6 Compare

RAID recovery features: 6 Compare

Direct access to a virtual RAID. Any object (including regions) can be added to a virtual RAID. Data can be copied to and from a virtual RAID. RAID consistency can be checked.

Standard RAID level presets: 6 Compare

JBOD, RAID 0 (Stripe Set), RAID 1(Mirror), RAID 10 (1+0), RAID 1E, RAID 4, RAID 5, RAID 5E, RAID 5EE, RAID 6 (Reed-Solomon), RAID 6E (Reed-Solomon), RAID 6 (Double Xor), with all their variants. Parity delay support for all applicable levels.

User-defined RAID layouts: 6 Compare

The user can specify very complex RAID layouts using the graphical RAID editor and the XML RAID description files.

Automatic RAID parameter detection: 5 Compare

RAID parameters and layout can be automatically detected for some RAID 5 and RAID 6 volume sets. Partial RAID parameters and layout can be detected in other cases, with the user providing the missing or incorrect information.

Network data recovery: 6 Compare

Full-featured network data recovery. All data (recovered files, disk images, scan results, etc.) can be saved both on the local and remote computers. Recovery agents on remote computers can run under Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux. An unbootable computer can be started using a special emergency agent. Network recovery can be performed over the Internet or on a local area network.

Hexadecimal editor: 6 Compare

The editor has all standard features, including custom patterns and advanced search. 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. Users can create their own templates.

Startup version: 6 Compare

R-Studio Emergency: Graphical user interface version: equivalent in its features to the Windows version of R-Studio.
Text-based user interface version: offers a limited number of features.

R-Studio Agent Emergency: Client-side agent for network data recovery from an unbootable computer.

Overall interface and features: 5.5 Compare

File Recovery Performance Detailed Results

Deleted files (Recycle Bin bypassed): 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): 5 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 500 MB
The rar, zip, acc and mp3 files were found in the recovered folder. Recovered files folder was incorrectly named.
The following files were located as Extra Found Files: jpg, png, tiff, doc, docx, xls, xlsx, odt, ods, pdf, txt, flv, mp4 (2 similar copies), mpg.
The avi file appeared damaged for the both disk setups. For the second disk setup, the rar and mpg files appeared damaged.

Emptied Recycle Bin: 5.5 Compare

Emptied Recycle Bin (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 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.

Emptied Recycle Bin (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 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.

Disk reformat: 4.5 Compare

Disk Reformat – NTFS to NTFS: 5.5 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
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.

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 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 original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.
When the files were in the root folder, the recovered files appeared damaged.

Disk Reformat – FAT32 to NTFS: 2 Compare

Disk 1 – Disk size: 1 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Disk 2 – Disk size: 2 GB, Partition size: 1 GB
Only a few files were found in the Extra Found Files after disk scan.
Successfully recovered: mp4.
Unsuccessfully recovered: mpg, avi.

Damaged partition: 5.5 Compare

Damaged Partition (NTFS): 5.5 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

All files with correct file names were found in correct folders and successfully recovered after 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: 512 MB, Partition size: 512 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 (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: 6 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.

RAID Recovery: 5.5 Compare

RAID 0 (2 Disks): 5.5 Compare

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

RAID 5 (3 Disks): 5.5 Compare

Correct RAID 5 parameters were not found automatically. All files were found in their original folders with original names and successfully recovered after disk scan.

Overall file recovery performance: 5.5 Compare

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