undelete utilities have been around for the PC as long as
I can remember. If I recall correctly there was an
undelete utility included with the first release of the
Norton Utilities for DOS 1.x.
No question that I need
something to protect myself from myself. Windows 9x
certainly improved things with the recycle bin but I still
manage to hose myself every now and then.
So I still look for a
good file undelete utility and I was very impressed with
File Scavenger and how well it worked on NTFS. Certainly
given the way Windows writes new data to disk your odds of
reclaiming a file are enhanced if you try and recover it
immediately, but on some of my less frequently used drives
it managed to recover a file I had deleted months ago. The
interface is clean and simple to use:
I got into the innards of File Scavenger and the
brilliance of the program whacked me upside the head; yes,
it can undelete files, but it really shines by recovering,
get this, reformatted volumes, corrupted disk partitions
and even broken RAID volumes.
Despite the impressive
testimonials on the vendors web site I was somewhat
skeptical so I booted from a diskette and used the old
FDISK utility to delete a partition on my test machine.
Sure enough File Scavenger brought it back. I
formatted it. File Scavenger brought it back. I even went in with a
disk editor, changed a bunch of stuff at random in the
partition table and, yes, File Scavenger brought it back to life.
But the real test was yet to come and that was a broken
RAID volume which had stumped every other utility I'd
tested. Indeed File Scavenger was able to repair it.
It's not only the
fact that it can do it but how easy it is to do it. Once a
partition is gone you have two recovery options. If the
partition can be redefined at the same spot and size you
can use the Exhaustive Search feature to recover files and
folders and you should be able to recover everything.
If the partition is lost
but you do not know where it was on the physical disk File Scavenger can handle that as
well. For example you have a single physical drive divided
into partitions 1, 2, 3 and 4. 2 and 3 are lost and you
don't know the exact size of 2 and thus
you don't know where 3 starts. Using the File Scavenger "Defunct Volume
Search" function which will use the contents of the disk to
determine the starting sector and size of a lost
I hope I never need it
for heavy duty recovery
but an ounce of prevention and all that File Scavenger has
become part of my
toolbox and won't be going anywhere. If you have critical
operations and a reformat, rebuild and restore just isn't
a reasonable solution from a time standpoint I'd highly
recommend you consider having this guy handy because you
the 788k demo version of File Scavenger. $39.95 to buy