It is a huge waste of time searching online, trying to find the one program that will undelete the photos, videos and files from your memory card or hard drive, don't you think? Well, if you think so, then this article is just for you. Here you can find the top three free but powerful tools that can recover the deleted or formatted files from your card, on both Windows and Mac. No matter it is memory card (SD card, miniSD card and such), USB drive or hard drive you lost files from, or it is a memory card for camera or phone, you can just read this article to find out the free card data recovery tools to help you recover the data.
Before we start, please remember that it is important to minimize the use of the device (memory card, usb drive or hard drives), to ensure the complete recovery of your lost files. Programs listed here will require installation, so please bear in mind not to install the tool to the partition where you lost files from on your computer.
Though honestly speaking, there is no such thing as free lunch. So if your photos, videos, files are really that important, you might as well use a reliable program for them, at least it is secured, like Card Data Recovery.
Its name might imply it can only recover photo, while in fact, it supports more than 390 types of files. Photos, videos, music, documents… you name it. Also, it works on both Windows and Mac, and it's totally free.
When you unzip Photorec and launch the program, you will see all the storage devices in your PC in a list. Then choose the device and partition you wish to recover from, choose the path where you want to keep the recovered files, and the program will take care of the rest. It sounds very easy to use, but if you do not have much experience with command prompt, you might be intimidated when you see the command-prompt-like interface. The technical terms in it might be off-putting for some users, so it is recommended that advanced users to try this software, its sheer power and flexibility will certainly amaze you.
Cons: Photorec indeed is a powerful data recovery program, but the process of recovering data is relatively more complicated, and during the process you need to pay extra attention to each of the available menu choices, for some of the most important options are not obvious. Plus, it is very difficult to avoid recovering all deleted files at one, not just the one or two you wish to recover.
You might have heard of the software Recuva, which is pronounced like "recover" and is exactly what it does. It is a powerful and yet easy to use tool that will help you to recover the deleted or formatted files from you card. Three versions of the software are provided: free, home and business, though for average users, the free version is good enough. Unlike most of the free version of data recovery programs, free version of Recuva actually works, and in fact, works very well.
When launched, Recuva will prompt in wizard mode, which will guide you through the basic questions – the type format of your lost files, from which drive you lost them, then you will proceed into the scanning of your drive. After the scanning is over, you will be able to see the found files.
You can click on any file to see the detailed information about it, its header information or how healthy it was (whether it was partly overwritten or not). The files will be renamed arbitrarily so it might take you some time to select the files you want to recover, if you have loads of deleted files.
Cons: First of all, when installing Recuva, it was installed in your system drive by default, which is disturbing, for me at least. Secondly, the files it found have all been renamed randomly, you have to preview each file to make sure which one is what you need. And, if you realize you have selected the wrong drive, you have to close the program first and restart to choose again, which doesn't make the data recovery any easier. Finally, Recuva does not provide Mac version, what a pity for Mac users.
This software doesn't have the downside of intimidating interface as the last one. In fact, it resembles Office 2007 application, which might appeal to some users. Undelete 360 will scan all the drives in your PC and then produce a list of result, filtered by types and properties. Also, the scanned files will be shown in different recoverable condition for users to see if the files can be recovered or not.
Cons: To use Undelete 360 is pretty easy though, while the biggest disadvantage is its inability to scan and recover the files that could be recovered by other programs. Plus, Undelete 360 could do nothing about a quick formatted card, so if you want to undelete some recent files from your drive or card, it is a good choice for you.
Seems like every one of the software listed has some disadvantages, isn't there any software that is well-rounded? Yes there is. To avoid these downsides, please try Card Data Recovery. An easy to use, problem-free yet powerful software that does great on recovering files from your memory card, USB drive and hard drive. Give it a Whirl and you won't regret it!
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