17 file recovery apps tested in x86 Vista on a nuked SD card


A

a.k.a.

Dear Forum,

I am reposting these test results under a much clearer thread title, so that
people who come trawling the search results with a file recovery need will
spot this info more readily. The original problem was here
http://www.microsoft.com/communitie...n-us&mid=90f5985a-07be-4579-ac68-ec15029e9f3d

As promised, I am writing back with test results from a comprehensive survey
of file / disk recovery software. I'm sure there are other programs about, so
if anyone wants to send me a link to another program in the next day or two
before I fully restore the SD card, I'm happy to test it out as well, and
describe the results.

The SD card that was overwritten was recovered almost completely intact by 3
programs of 17 that I gave this job to. I could only afford to buy one
program of these three, so it may be that, on purchase, the other 2 programs
turn out to have bells & whistles that will put you in better stead.

The three programs that worked were Kroll OnTrack's EasyRecovery
Professional [$200-500, depending on features], Easeus' Disk Recovery Wizard
[$80], and BinaryBiz's Virtual Lab [$150 for up to 100GB].

EasyRecovery managed to do something that none of the other programs could:
Rename the top-level folder structure on the SD card. Remarkably, even though
the other two programs did not complete this part of the recovery task, they
nevertheless managed to reproduce intact all of the subfolder names perfectly.

The advantage of VirtualLab is the capacity to recover Mac partitions and
files.

One headache in EasyRecovery was its failure to uninstall in x86 Vista. For
now, query their support forum before installing in Vista to figure out what
the recommended procedure for uninstalling would be.

Finally, Disk Recovery Wizard has two minor disadvantages: It has very poor
document preview capabilities, and the developers have not bothered to give
the interface a native English-speaking proofing.

For all intents and purposes, though, under these recovery conditions, DRW
does just as complete a job as EasyRecovery. In fact, if you want the
top-level folders renamed, just keep a demo copy of EasyRecovery on your
drive, run its scan, and rename the top-level folders based on its results.

So, the winners are:

Kroll OnTrack Data Recovery EasyRecovery Professional
[$200-500 for differing feature sets]
http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/data-recovery-software/
x Version 6.1 did not uninstall in x86 Vista; have not tested its x64
compatibility.
* Recovered everything, including folder structure, and all folder names
* Will conduct a physical device search

Binary Biz Virtual Lab [$200]
http://www.binarybiz.com/vlab/windows.html
x There is a $150 version, but recovery of over 100GB requires purchase of
more recovery 'quota.'
* Recovered everything, including folder structure
* Identified all folder names, with sole exception of top level folders
* Recovers Mac partitions & files
* Will conduct a physical device search

EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional [$80]
http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizardpro/index.htm
x Misnamed one folder, but all contents were there
x Poor file previews
x Still makes plenty of English mistakes in instructions & alerts
* Recovered everything, including folder structure
* Identified all folder names, with sole exception of top level folders
* Will conduct a physical device search
* Claims to be x64 compatible.


Here is how other programs performed:

[email protected] - Undelete [$40]
http://www.active-undelete.com/
x Recovered nothing

Arax - Disk Doctor [$40]
http://www.disk-doctor.com/
x Recovered nothing

CONVAR - PC Inspector File Recovery & Smart Recovery [freeware]
http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recovery/info.htm?language=1
x Found very little of the missing data

File-Saver [$60]
http://www.file-saver.com/undelete/
x No demo available, so no results to compare

GetData - Recover My Files & Recover My Images [$70; try before you buy]
http://www.getdata.com/
x Recovered no folder structure
x Lots of garbage TXT files
- Must use File Recovery, not Partition Recovery, to get most files
* Will conduct a physical device search
* Good doc preview variety [including PDFs]

Iolo - Search & Recover [$40]
http://www.iolo.com/sr/4/
x In Vista, fatal runtime errors even before scan started

Brian Kato - Restoration [freeware]
http://www3.telus.net/mikebike/RESTORATION.html
x No physical device search; hence, in this case, recovered none of the
missing data
* Stand-alone EXE (i.e., no installer)

O&O - DiskRecovery [$100; limited to 100 files]
http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/products/oodiskrecovery/
x Poor file previews
x No naming of files; no folder structure

Piriform - Recuva [freeware]
http://www.recuva.com/
x Recovered nothing

QueTek Consulting Corporation - File Scavenger [$50; free
demo]
http://www.quetek.com/prod02.htm
x No naming of files; no folder structure
x No file preview
* Stand-alone EXE (i.e. no installer)
* Will recover files up to 64KB for free

R-Studio [$80; try before you buy]
http://www.data-recovery-software.net/Data_Recovery_Download.shtml
http://www.r-studio.com/
Extended Viewer [plug-in; includes vast range of file formats, like PDF &
images] [free]
http://www.data-recovery-software.net/Data_Recovery_Download.shtml
x No naming of files; no folder structure
x Missed quite a number of PDFs
x Lots of garbage TXT files
x No PDF preview

StellarPhoenix Windows Data Recovery [$100; try before you buy]
http://www.stellarinfo.com/file-recovery-software.htm
x No naming of files; no folder structure
* Even in demo, opened all MS Office files in Office itself

Symantec Norton SystemWorks 2007 [including Norton Utilities Disk Doctor]
http://www.symantec.com/home_homeof...ish&module=NUCWV&error=OScheck&build=standard
x Unable to do physical device search
x In Vista x86, couldn't uninstall; Symantec updater sends you to the (as
yet unreleased) install of 2008 BEFORE it identifies the uninstall issue and
sends you the Symantec software Removal Tool, which only worsens the
situation; even DD 2008 quit when printing initial diagnostic report

Touchstone - Undelete Plus [freeware]
http://undelete-plus.com/
x Recovered nothing


Hope this is of use -- especially to you, Malke, who steered me to several
of these programs.

Happy New Year to all!
a.k.a.
 
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Advertisements

W

William Peterson

Wow! This is the kind of unbiased comparative analysis that is so hard to
find! I thank you sincerely for the time you took and the work you did to
create this very useful article. I will be purchasing a file recovery
utility based on your recommendations; as I'm sure others will. PC Magazine
used to do this kind of unbiased testing, but they've gone commercial
lately. I'd encourage any others reading this to continue to report their
findings as well. It is a great service because of all the hype these days.
Best,
Pete

a.k.a. said:
Dear Forum,

I am reposting these test results under a much clearer thread title, so
that
people who come trawling the search results with a file recovery need will
spot this info more readily. The original problem was here:
http://www.microsoft.com/communitie...n-us&mid=90f5985a-07be-4579-ac68-ec15029e9f3d

As promised, I am writing back with test results from a comprehensive
survey
of file / disk recovery software. I'm sure there are other programs about,
so
if anyone wants to send me a link to another program in the next day or
two
before I fully restore the SD card, I'm happy to test it out as well, and
describe the results.

The SD card that was overwritten was recovered almost completely intact by
3
programs of 17 that I gave this job to. I could only afford to buy one
program of these three, so it may be that, on purchase, the other 2
programs
turn out to have bells & whistles that will put you in better stead.

The three programs that worked were Kroll OnTrack's EasyRecovery
Professional [$200-500, depending on features], Easeus' Disk Recovery
Wizard
[$80], and BinaryBiz's Virtual Lab [$150 for up to 100GB].

EasyRecovery managed to do something that none of the other programs
could:
Rename the top-level folder structure on the SD card. Remarkably, even
though
the other two programs did not complete this part of the recovery task,
they
nevertheless managed to reproduce intact all of the subfolder names
perfectly.

The advantage of VirtualLab is the capacity to recover Mac partitions and
files.

One headache in EasyRecovery was its failure to uninstall in x86 Vista.
For
now, query their support forum before installing in Vista to figure out
what
the recommended procedure for uninstalling would be.

Finally, Disk Recovery Wizard has two minor disadvantages: It has very
poor
document preview capabilities, and the developers have not bothered to
give
the interface a native English-speaking proofing.

For all intents and purposes, though, under these recovery conditions, DRW
does just as complete a job as EasyRecovery. In fact, if you want the
top-level folders renamed, just keep a demo copy of EasyRecovery on your
drive, run its scan, and rename the top-level folders based on its
results.

So, the winners are:

Kroll OnTrack Data Recovery EasyRecovery Professional
[$200-500 for differing feature sets]
http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/data-recovery-software/
x Version 6.1 did not uninstall in x86 Vista; have not tested its x64
compatibility.
* Recovered everything, including folder structure, and all folder names
* Will conduct a physical device search

Binary Biz Virtual Lab [$200]
http://www.binarybiz.com/vlab/windows.html
x There is a $150 version, but recovery of over 100GB requires purchase of
more recovery 'quota.'
* Recovered everything, including folder structure
* Identified all folder names, with sole exception of top level folders
* Recovers Mac partitions & files
* Will conduct a physical device search

EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional [$80]
http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizardpro/index.htm
x Misnamed one folder, but all contents were there
x Poor file previews
x Still makes plenty of English mistakes in instructions & alerts
* Recovered everything, including folder structure
* Identified all folder names, with sole exception of top level folders
* Will conduct a physical device search
* Claims to be x64 compatible.


Here is how other programs performed:

[email protected] - Undelete [$40]
http://www.active-undelete.com/
x Recovered nothing

Arax - Disk Doctor [$40]
http://www.disk-doctor.com/
x Recovered nothing

CONVAR - PC Inspector File Recovery & Smart Recovery [freeware]
http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recovery/info.htm?language=1
x Found very little of the missing data

File-Saver [$60]
http://www.file-saver.com/undelete/
x No demo available, so no results to compare

GetData - Recover My Files & Recover My Images [$70; try before you buy]
http://www.getdata.com/
x Recovered no folder structure
x Lots of garbage TXT files
- Must use File Recovery, not Partition Recovery, to get most files
* Will conduct a physical device search
* Good doc preview variety [including PDFs]

Iolo - Search & Recover [$40]
http://www.iolo.com/sr/4/
x In Vista, fatal runtime errors even before scan started

Brian Kato - Restoration [freeware]
http://www3.telus.net/mikebike/RESTORATION.html
x No physical device search; hence, in this case, recovered none of the
missing data
* Stand-alone EXE (i.e., no installer)

O&O - DiskRecovery [$100; limited to 100 files]
http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/products/oodiskrecovery/
x Poor file previews
x No naming of files; no folder structure

Piriform - Recuva [freeware]
http://www.recuva.com/
x Recovered nothing

QueTek Consulting Corporation - File Scavenger [$50; free
demo]
http://www.quetek.com/prod02.htm
x No naming of files; no folder structure
x No file preview
* Stand-alone EXE (i.e. no installer)
* Will recover files up to 64KB for free

R-Studio [$80; try before you buy]
http://www.data-recovery-software.net/Data_Recovery_Download.shtml
http://www.r-studio.com/
Extended Viewer [plug-in; includes vast range of file formats, like PDF &
images] [free]
http://www.data-recovery-software.net/Data_Recovery_Download.shtml
x No naming of files; no folder structure
x Missed quite a number of PDFs
x Lots of garbage TXT files
x No PDF preview

StellarPhoenix Windows Data Recovery [$100; try before you buy]
http://www.stellarinfo.com/file-recovery-software.htm
x No naming of files; no folder structure
* Even in demo, opened all MS Office files in Office itself

Symantec Norton SystemWorks 2007 [including Norton Utilities Disk Doctor]
http://www.symantec.com/home_homeof...ish&module=NUCWV&error=OScheck&build=standard
x Unable to do physical device search
x In Vista x86, couldn't uninstall; Symantec updater sends you to the (as
yet unreleased) install of 2008 BEFORE it identifies the uninstall issue
and
sends you the Symantec software Removal Tool, which only worsens the
situation; even DD 2008 quit when printing initial diagnostic report

Touchstone - Undelete Plus [freeware]
http://undelete-plus.com/
x Recovered nothing


Hope this is of use -- especially to you, Malke, who steered me to several
of these programs.

Happy New Year to all!
a.k.a.

a.k.a. said:
Greetings, everyone!

Can anyone provide advice on forensic approaches or utilities to try on a
nuked SD card? Or suggest the best forums to cross-post in?

In the middle of installing a multiboot of Server x64 RC2 and Vista x64
SP1
RC, I began encountering BSODs on shutdown of Vista. On reboot, Autochk
began to hang in Vista, and even on the occasions I could get into a Safe
Mode boot, the BSOD would reappear.

Somewhere in there, the path for the Vista boot was erased, and I used
EasyBCD to restore the entry successfully. That triggered Chkdsc instead
of
Autochk on the next reboot, but no change in Vista's behavior. Amidst all
of
this, I'd inadvertently left an SD card in a reader slot, and the
contents
at some point got nuked.

(For those who begin to tut-tut, please know that Server has given me
none
of the instability issues that the Vista x64 SP1 RC has. It installs
drivers
without balking that Vista refuses to, and has none of the BSODs or
Autochk
hangs of Vista x64. If anything, it's Autochk and Chkdsc that are the
source
of the problem -- reacting to non-threatening driver problems and
directory
mismatches by making the situation a whole lot worse.)

The SD card shows a large number of folder and blank file icons, with
gibberish as names and file extensions. (It's possible that these are
elements of the pre-existing folder and file structure, as there was
about
1GB of info on it.) Double-clicking on anything leads to unreadable file
errors.

Undelete Plus finds the volume unscannable.

Thanks for offering your insights.
a.k.a.
 
R

R. C. White

Hi, a.k.a.

Thank you!

I've saved this post to a Storage Folder I've named "News Posts". This is
one of the few items in that folder.

RC
--
R. C. White, CPA
San Marcos, TX
(e-mail address removed)
Microsoft Windows MVP
(Running Windows Live Mail 2008 in Vista Ultimate x64)

a.k.a. said:
Dear Forum,

I am reposting these test results under a much clearer thread title, so
that
people who come trawling the search results with a file recovery need will
spot this info more readily. The original problem was here:
http://www.microsoft.com/communitie...n-us&mid=90f5985a-07be-4579-ac68-ec15029e9f3d

As promised, I am writing back with test results from a comprehensive
survey
of file / disk recovery software. I'm sure there are other programs about,
so
if anyone wants to send me a link to another program in the next day or
two
before I fully restore the SD card, I'm happy to test it out as well, and
describe the results.

The SD card that was overwritten was recovered almost completely intact by
3
programs of 17 that I gave this job to. I could only afford to buy one
program of these three, so it may be that, on purchase, the other 2
programs
turn out to have bells & whistles that will put you in better stead.

The three programs that worked were Kroll OnTrack's EasyRecovery
Professional [$200-500, depending on features], Easeus' Disk Recovery
Wizard
[$80], and BinaryBiz's Virtual Lab [$150 for up to 100GB].

EasyRecovery managed to do something that none of the other programs
could:
Rename the top-level folder structure on the SD card. Remarkably, even
though
the other two programs did not complete this part of the recovery task,
they
nevertheless managed to reproduce intact all of the subfolder names
perfectly.

The advantage of VirtualLab is the capacity to recover Mac partitions and
files.

One headache in EasyRecovery was its failure to uninstall in x86 Vista.
For
now, query their support forum before installing in Vista to figure out
what
the recommended procedure for uninstalling would be.

Finally, Disk Recovery Wizard has two minor disadvantages: It has very
poor
document preview capabilities, and the developers have not bothered to
give
the interface a native English-speaking proofing.

For all intents and purposes, though, under these recovery conditions, DRW
does just as complete a job as EasyRecovery. In fact, if you want the
top-level folders renamed, just keep a demo copy of EasyRecovery on your
drive, run its scan, and rename the top-level folders based on its
results.

So, the winners are:

Kroll OnTrack Data Recovery EasyRecovery Professional
[$200-500 for differing feature sets]
http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/data-recovery-software/
x Version 6.1 did not uninstall in x86 Vista; have not tested its x64
compatibility.
* Recovered everything, including folder structure, and all folder names
* Will conduct a physical device search

Binary Biz Virtual Lab [$200]
http://www.binarybiz.com/vlab/windows.html
x There is a $150 version, but recovery of over 100GB requires purchase of
more recovery 'quota.'
* Recovered everything, including folder structure
* Identified all folder names, with sole exception of top level folders
* Recovers Mac partitions & files
* Will conduct a physical device search

EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional [$80]
http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizardpro/index.htm
x Misnamed one folder, but all contents were there
x Poor file previews
x Still makes plenty of English mistakes in instructions & alerts
* Recovered everything, including folder structure
* Identified all folder names, with sole exception of top level folders
* Will conduct a physical device search
* Claims to be x64 compatible.


Here is how other programs performed:

[email protected] - Undelete [$40]
http://www.active-undelete.com/
x Recovered nothing

Arax - Disk Doctor [$40]
http://www.disk-doctor.com/
x Recovered nothing

CONVAR - PC Inspector File Recovery & Smart Recovery [freeware]
http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recovery/info.htm?language=1
x Found very little of the missing data

File-Saver [$60]
http://www.file-saver.com/undelete/
x No demo available, so no results to compare

GetData - Recover My Files & Recover My Images [$70; try before you buy]
http://www.getdata.com/
x Recovered no folder structure
x Lots of garbage TXT files
- Must use File Recovery, not Partition Recovery, to get most files
* Will conduct a physical device search
* Good doc preview variety [including PDFs]

Iolo - Search & Recover [$40]
http://www.iolo.com/sr/4/
x In Vista, fatal runtime errors even before scan started

Brian Kato - Restoration [freeware]
http://www3.telus.net/mikebike/RESTORATION.html
x No physical device search; hence, in this case, recovered none of the
missing data
* Stand-alone EXE (i.e., no installer)

O&O - DiskRecovery [$100; limited to 100 files]
http://www.oo-software.com/home/en/products/oodiskrecovery/
x Poor file previews
x No naming of files; no folder structure

Piriform - Recuva [freeware]
http://www.recuva.com/
x Recovered nothing

QueTek Consulting Corporation - File Scavenger [$50; free
demo]
http://www.quetek.com/prod02.htm
x No naming of files; no folder structure
x No file preview
* Stand-alone EXE (i.e. no installer)
* Will recover files up to 64KB for free

R-Studio [$80; try before you buy]
http://www.data-recovery-software.net/Data_Recovery_Download.shtml
http://www.r-studio.com/
Extended Viewer [plug-in; includes vast range of file formats, like PDF &
images] [free]
http://www.data-recovery-software.net/Data_Recovery_Download.shtml
x No naming of files; no folder structure
x Missed quite a number of PDFs
x Lots of garbage TXT files
x No PDF preview

StellarPhoenix Windows Data Recovery [$100; try before you buy]
http://www.stellarinfo.com/file-recovery-software.htm
x No naming of files; no folder structure
* Even in demo, opened all MS Office files in Office itself

Symantec Norton SystemWorks 2007 [including Norton Utilities Disk Doctor]
http://www.symantec.com/home_homeof...ish&module=NUCWV&error=OScheck&build=standard
x Unable to do physical device search
x In Vista x86, couldn't uninstall; Symantec updater sends you to the (as
yet unreleased) install of 2008 BEFORE it identifies the uninstall issue
and
sends you the Symantec software Removal Tool, which only worsens the
situation; even DD 2008 quit when printing initial diagnostic report

Touchstone - Undelete Plus [freeware]
http://undelete-plus.com/
x Recovered nothing


Hope this is of use -- especially to you, Malke, who steered me to several
of these programs.

Happy New Year to all!
a.k.a.

a.k.a. said:
Greetings, everyone!

Can anyone provide advice on forensic approaches or utilities to try on a
nuked SD card? Or suggest the best forums to cross-post in?

In the middle of installing a multiboot of Server x64 RC2 and Vista x64
SP1
RC, I began encountering BSODs on shutdown of Vista. On reboot, Autochk
began to hang in Vista, and even on the occasions I could get into a Safe
Mode boot, the BSOD would reappear.

Somewhere in there, the path for the Vista boot was erased, and I used
EasyBCD to restore the entry successfully. That triggered Chkdsc instead
of
Autochk on the next reboot, but no change in Vista's behavior. Amidst all
of
this, I'd inadvertently left an SD card in a reader slot, and the
contents
at some point got nuked.

(For those who begin to tut-tut, please know that Server has given me
none
of the instability issues that the Vista x64 SP1 RC has. It installs
drivers
without balking that Vista refuses to, and has none of the BSODs or
Autochk
hangs of Vista x64. If anything, it's Autochk and Chkdsc that are the
source
of the problem -- reacting to non-threatening driver problems and
directory
mismatches by making the situation a whole lot worse.)

The SD card shows a large number of folder and blank file icons, with
gibberish as names and file extensions. (It's possible that these are
elements of the pre-existing folder and file structure, as there was
about
1GB of info on it.) Double-clicking on anything leads to unreadable file
errors.

Undelete Plus finds the volume unscannable.

Thanks for offering your insights.
a.k.a.
 
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Advertisements

S

sum1152

Hi aka,
I'd just like to say a big thank you for your wonderful work! My data
got lost last week, when I was searching help I saw this discussion. I
bought EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard Professional [$80] and restored all
the lost files. It's a real deal!
Thanks!
 

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