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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Interface and Features Detailed Results

Standard file recovery features

Standard file recovery features are the basic features that professionals expect from every suitable data recovery software. These are the tools that technicians will use for most file recovery tasks. We evaluated each product’s support for each standard feature and combined them to get the overall rating for the “Standard file recovery features” column in the Interface and Features Ratings table above.

Product Rating File Systems Supported for File Recovery
File systems in bold are more common in server / business environments.
R-Studio 5 FAT/FAT16/FAT32/exFAT/NTFS/NTFS5, ReFS ,UFS1/UFS2, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4FS, HFS/HFS+
Restorer Ultimate 5 FAT/FAT16/FAT32/exFAT/NTFS/NTFS5, ReFS ,UFS1/UFS2, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4FS, HFS/HFS+
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 6 NTFS, FAT12/16/32/ExFAT, ReFS, XFS, ZFS, JFS, Ext2/Ext3/Ext4FS, HFS+, UFS/UFS2, Novell NWFS/NSS, VMware VMFS
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 4 NTFS/NTFS5, FAT12/16/32; Limited support: EXT2FS/EXT3FS, Novell, XFS
DMDE 3 NTFS/NTFS5, FAT12/16/32; Limited support: exFAT, Ext2/3/4FS
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery has an unrivaled set of supported file systems. R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have a set of supported file systems suitable for most common data recovery tasks. The GetDataBack package cannot recover damaged file systems and deleted files from EXT2FS/EXT3FS, Novell, XFS disks; it can only copy existing files from healthy disks. DMDE can only in-place restore deleted exFAT and Ext2/3/4FS partitions rather than recover files from them.
Product Rating Deep Analysis of Disks (Disk Scan)
R-Studio 6

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.

Restorer Ultimate 6

Very good range of scan parameters. Support for partial disk scans and combination of scan results using different parameters.

Scan results can be saved to a file and loaded later.

User can control bad sector processing and memory usage.

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 5

Good range of scan parameters. Supports partial disk scans.

Selected scan results can be stored in a file and loaded later.

GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 4

Hard drives and logical disks can be scanned.

Scan results can be stored in a file and loaded later.

User can control bad sector processing and memory usage.

DMDE 4

Hard drives and logical disks can be scanned.

Scan results can be stored in a file and loaded later.

R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have the best set of scan parameters.
Product Rating File Recovery Using File Signatures (Raw File Recovery)
R-Studio 6

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.

Restorer Ultimate 6

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.

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 5.5

Raw file recovery support for partitions.

IntelliRAW technology allows recovery of some fragmented files.

Raw file recovery can be disabled, if necessary.

No support for custom file signatures.

GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 3.5 Supports raw file recovery and user customizable file signatures. However, custom file signatures have a limited set of parameters, including the maximum possible file size.
DMDE 0 No raw file recovery support.
R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have the best features for file recovery using file signatures. UFS Explorer can recover fragmented files in some cases. On the other hand, DMDE does not have a file signature/raw file recovery feature, which severely reduces its file recovery capabilities.
Product Rating Disk Imaging and Copying
R-Studio 6

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.

Restorer Ultimate 5

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.

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 5

Image types: byte-by-byte and compressed.

Disk images can be loaded from devices with any file system supported by the program, even if Windows doesn’t support it.

Native support for VMware VMFS file system (used in virtual machines); loads VMFS images directly in the file recovery program.

GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 5

Image types: byte-by-byte and compressed; file split size can be specified.

Native support for virtual image files (.vim); loads .vim files directly in the file recovery program.

DMDE 6

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.

All programs can create images of hard drives and partitions. R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have the best disk imaging capabilities. They can also scan the disks while creating images. R-Studio and DMDE can also copy disk objects.
Product Rating File Search, Mark For Recovery, Sorting
R-Studio 6

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.

Restorer Ultimate 5

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

Search and mark: 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.

UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 3

Filters and sorting: Similar to Windows Explorer.

File search: File search for name or/and extension and size.

GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 4

Filters and sorting: Similar to Windows Explorer.

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

DMDE 4

Filters and sorting: No file sorting.

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

Support for mass file recovery: file recovery lists.

R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have the best file search capabilities, including several features specifically developed for mass file recovery. R-Studio and DMDE support file recovery lists.
Product Rating Logging
R-Studio 6 Very versatile logging. The log can be saved to a file. The Technician version can create a forensic log.
Restorer Ultimate 5 Very versatile logging. The log can be saved to a file.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 1 No logging feature. Files are shown while being restored, but this data cannot be saved to a log file.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 4 Standard logging. The log can be saved to a file.
DMDE 4 Standard logging. The log can be saved to a file. A forensic log can be created.
R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have the best logging capabilities. R-Studio and DMDE can create forensic logs.
Product Rating Disk Parts/Regions
R-Studio 6 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.
Restorer Ultimate 5 Disk regions appear as objects that can be processed like regular disks.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 0 No support for disk regions.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 0 No support for disk regions.
DMDE 5 Disk regions appear as objects that can be processed like regular disks.
R-Studio has the best region capabilities.

Regions or disk parts are useful when it’s necessary to process only a part of disk—for example, only the disk area where a deleted partition may reside. Support for disk parts or regions is also useful if a part of the disk is known to be damaged.
Product Rating File Recovery Parameters
R-Studio 6 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.
Restorer Ultimate 5 Recovers file names and folder structure. Recovers hidden attributes, system attributes, alternative data streams for NTFS, security attributes for NTFS. Lost Files (files found using file signatures) can be included or excluded from data recovery results. Bad sector processing can be specified.
UFS Explorer Professional Recovery 3 Recovers file names and folder structure.
GetDataBack + RAID Reconstructor + Captain Nemo 3.5 Recovers file names and folder structure. Deleted files can be included or excluded from data recovery results.
DMDE 4 Recovers file names and folder structure. Deleted files can be included or excluded from data recovery results. Recovers alternative data streams for NTFS.
R-Studio and Restorer Ultimate have the best file recovery capabilities.

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