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Freeware Menu >> File recovery tools.
It is not uncommon to have problems copying files from
scratched CDs and DVDs and occasionally hard drives.
Sometimes Windows will give the error message "cyclic
redundancy error" and refuse to copy the file.
JFileRecovery gets around this problem, by skipping
damaged sectors and recovering what it can of the file.
It can then retry a recovery of the damaged areas.
When used to recover slightly damaged video, music, image
and text files, the loss of a few sectors shouldn't be a
problem and testing the program on a dodgy CD of my own,
it was able to successfully recover several previously
JFileRecovery isn't a program you
will use often, but it is useful addition to your toolkit.
It is a Java application and can run online, or more
usefully, can be downloaded as a standalone file.
Note: JFileRecovery shouldn't be used to recover
executable files (a program file for instance), as
corrupted executables will probably crash your computer.
Freeware -- Download size 39k, or online -- Will run on
any computer that has Java installed (most computers).
Pandora Recovery enables you to recover deleted files
from NTFS (Win 2000 and newer) formatted hard drives. You
can scan an entire partition, or search for files,
specifying the file name, type, size, or creation date.
There is a wizard (it can be turned off if you wish) to
help you when the program starts. Sensibly, it first asks
you to check the recycle bin for your missing file,
before you attempt anything more drastic.
You are then given the choice of browsing a drive for
deleted files, searching for a file with specific
attributes, or a surface scan.
The search tab is the most useful,
allowing you to narrow your search to a specific type,
size and date.
The browse tab shows all the folders on a drive, but you
can select from the view menu, to "show deleted
items only", this makes finding your file easier,
but annoyingly this setting isn't saved when you close
Deleted files are shown in red, or black. Those files
listed in red have been overwritten and are unlikely to
The surface scan will attempt to find files not
recoverable by normal means, such as after reformatting.
It does this by looking for features unique to a
particular file type, currently it will attempt to
recover jpg, gif, png and bmp file types.
In my tests, the surface scan was able to find 76 more
deleted jpg files on my drive, than the standard search,
which was quite impressive.
The best feature of Pandora Recovery is the file viewer,
this enables you to quickly check the condition of image
files (and some other file types), before you try to
recover them. This is an excellent feature and very
useful if looking for a deleted image.
Pandora Recovery scans for files quickly and is easy to
use, with a detailed help file. It is well worth
installing, ready for that deleted file emergency,
especially if you regularly try to recover image files.
Freeware -- Download size 1.87Mb -- Win XP,2000,2003
We have all had that sinking feeling, when we realise
that a document or program that we deleted a couple of
days ago, we now need and we look hopefully in the
Recycle Bin, despite knowing we emptied it last night.
There are of course file recovery programs, but some are
quite complex to use and many are quite substantial
programs, risking overwriting the files we wish to
recover during install.
Restoration is different, it comes as a self extracting
zip and requires no installing, it is easy to use and
with a file size of just over 400k, will happily run from
a floppy disc, or usb drive, avoiding the risk of
overwriting files, although it is of course best to
install recovery software before you need it.
Using the program is simple, just stick with the default
settings and enter either the name of the file you wish
to recover, or a file extension such as .txt or .jpg,
then press search and a list of any possibly recoverable
files will be listed.
Note: The names of deleted files are
often lost, so if the name of the file you are searching
for does not appear, try a search by extension.
Note: When recovering files they can
often be corrupted, file condition depends on how long
the file has been deleted, how much you have used your
drive and how lucky you are.
It is possible to
recover files from a variety of drives including floppy
and USB thumb drive, both of which I have tested and Zip,
PD, DVD-Ram, Smart Media and Memory Stick, which I haven't
As well as being able to recover deleted files,
Restoration can also overwrite unused areas of your drive,
making file recovery impossible by normal means. This can
be handy if you want to sell your computer but cant be
bothered to do a full format and reinstall of Windows.
It should be noted though, that if you use MS Office, or
similar programs, they tend to store files that you think
you have deleted, within their folders.
Freeware -- Download size -- 162k Win 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP
MyFileFinder is a simple and fast, file search program.
Options are limited to searching in sub folders and
choosing the location to search.
You can search using the full file name and file type, ie:
readme.txt, or you can search using * as the wildcard. So
to search for all files called readme, you would enter: readme.*, or to search for all text files, you would
The initial scan and search of
a location is pretty quick (depending on the size of the
location) and subsequent searches of the same location
are very, very fast.
Located files are listed with their path, size and date
last modified, double clicking will run, or open the file
and right clicking gives a range of options, such as copy
to the desktop.
Previous file name/type searches are saved in the drop
down box, along with previous locations searched, which
is handy, but there is no option to delete the lists,
which could be a problem for the security conscious (although
you can delete them in the registry).
Overall, MyFileFinder is an easy to use and useful
utility, for those of us with simple file finding needs.
It doesn't require installing, just click and run.
Freeware (there is a static advert banner at the bottom
of the window, if that sort of thing worries you)
Download size 319k -- System Requirements not given,
tested on XP.
software -- Avira Unerase Personal.
No matter how organised you are, there always comes a
time, when you realise you have deleted a file, that you
should have kept and you have emptied the Recycle bin.
But this might not be the disaster that it first appears.
Files when deleted, are not overwritten, Windows simply
marks the space as available for use. So depending on how
long ago you deleted the file and how much has be written
to your hard drive since, the file may be recoverable
with the right software.
Avira Unerase is created by the
same company that produces Antivir Antivirus and is free
for personal use.
The program has the simplest interface I have seen on a
As the program starts, you are asked which drive you
would like to be scanned, the program then quickly checks
for any files that may be recoverable and lists them in
By clicking on the column headings in the program window,
you can sort the recoverable files by name, size, type,
date and possible condition. This is useful, as the
original name of the file is not always listed and you
will need to narrow down your search using the file type,
size and date.
The condition of the file is listed as "Good",
which gives you the best chance of recovery, down through
a percentage listing, to "Poor".
In my tests I was able to successfully recover almost all
"good" files and most files down to about 90%.
It is sometimes possible, to partly recover simple file
types, such as text files, even when listed as poor, the
contents may be slightly garbled, but they may be
readable to a degree.
Avira Unerase is a useful utility and has the advantage
of not blinding the user with endless technical recovery
options. A very informative help file is included with
Free for personal use -- Download size 400k -- Win NTws,
2000 Pro, XP