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Don Watkins

File Scavenger -- Industrial Strength Drive/File Recovery -- Easily recover lost and deleted files with File Scavenger

By Don Watkins

A new version of FS has just been released and I haven't updated this article yet. Some of the highlights include recovery from all types of media; floppy, ZIP disks, memory sticks, flash cards as well as NTFS, FAT-16 and FAT-32. Even better than before! The download link will get you the latest version with these features.


File 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:

File Scavenger ScreenshotThen 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 partition. Impressive!

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 never know...

Free download of the 788k demo version of File Scavenger. $39.95 to buy


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