Free Data Recovery, File and Partition Recovery, Undelete and Unformat Utilities

Software to undelete or recover deleted files, partitions and folders

Free Data Recovery, File and Partition Recovery, Undelete and Unformat Software

Have you ever deleted a file, deleted a partition or formatted a disk only to realize that it was a crucial mistake? The data recovery utilities on this page allow you to undelete erased files, recover or restore a deleted partition, restore deleted pictures from your CF card, SD card, MMC, Memory Stick or USB drives, and so on. Some of the tools below can even reconstruct portions of a deleted file (namely, the file header) that have been destroyed or overwritten by some other file.

Note that undeleting a file is an "iffy" business at best, since modern operating systems tend to access the hard disk behind your back while you use it, possibly overwriting portions of hard disk that contain your deleted files, making it impossible for you to unerase them. If you know that you have deleted a file by accident, you should immediately stop using that computer. Use a different computer to download the tools below. If possible, detach the hard disk (if it's a hard disk we're talking about) from the computer and attach it as a secondary drive in another computer and perform the recovery from that computer.

The best file undelete tool / data recovery utility is a regularly backed-up system. If you back up your data at regular intervals, your ability to recover your data improves tremendously. If you do not back up your system regularly, you should check out the Free Hard Disk Backup and Restore, Hard Disk Image and Cloning Utilities page for tools that you can use.

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Free File Undelete Utilities, Disk / Data Recovery, Software to Recover Deleted Files, Folders and Partitions

TestDisk and PhotoRec

TestDisk is designed to recover lost partitions and make non-bootable disks bootable again. PhotoRec is a data recovery software that recovers lost files such as videos, documents and archives from your hard disks and CDROM, as well as pictures from your digital camera memory (the photo recovery function, as its name implies). PhotoRec ignores the file systems it works on, and is thus able to recover from a variety of file systems including NTFS, FAT, ext2/ext3 and HFS+. It specially recognizes certain file formats like ZIP, Office files, PDF, HTML, JPEG and other graphic file formats. Its photo recovery function is able to retrieve lost or deleted files from hard disks, CDROMs, Compact Flash memory (CF cards), Memory Sticks, SecureDigital cards (SD cards), SmartMedia, Microdrives, MMC, USB memory drives, etc. The program works under a variety of operating systems, including Windows 9x, NT, 2000, XP, 2003, DOS, Linux, Mac OS X, Sun Solaris, FreeBSD, NetBSD, OpenBSD, etc.

Undelete 360

Undelete 360 is a Windows program that recovers files that have been deleted from hard disks, USB thumb drives, and memory sticks. You can either install the desktop version on your computer or use the portable version (which can be placed on a USB drive without installation).

PCInspector File Recovery

PCInspector File Recovery is able to find and unerase deleted partitions on your hard disk even if the boot sector or file allocation table (FAT) has been deleted or damaged. It can also recover files that have been deleted; the files are recovered with the original date and time stamps. You can also recover the unerased files to a network drive. It has specially written routines to recover deleted a variety of file formats including document files from popular programs, like Word's DOC and RTF files, Excel's XLS, database files (DBF), Adobe Reader's PDF files, as well as multimedia files like MP3, WAV, MID, AVI (video file), MOV (video file), picture files (BMP, JPG, PNG, GIF, TIF), archive files (ZIP, ARJ, TAR, LZH), executable files (EXE), help files (HLP), web pages (HTML, HTM), etc, so that even if the headers of these files are missing, the program is able to reconstruct them. This is a Windows program.


FreeUndelete recovers accidentally deleted files from your hard disk, whether your hard disk has a NTFS, FAT32 or FAT16 file system. The program is only free for personal use. This is a Windows program.

RoadKil's Undelete and Unstoppable Copier

RoadKil's Undelete is a Windows program that undeletes files from FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS file systems. The Unstoppable Copier attempts to recover files from damaged disks (eg disks with bad sectors or scratches). It does this by copying available pieces of the file and assemble them.

SoftPerfect File Recovery

[WARNING: you'll have to scroll down their page to get the software I mentioned here. The top listing at the time I checked is an advertisement in disguise. This site can be accessed at (just copy and paste the address into the address bar of your browser). (Sorry, I did it this way as a safety precaution because I know some people don't actually read my descriptions, and may end up missing my warning.)] SoftPerfect File Recovery can restore deleted files from NTFS, NTFS5, FAT32, FAT16 and FAT12 disks, floppy disks, USB flash drives, CF and SD cards and other storage media. It also supports compressed and encrypted volumes. No installation is required. The program works under Windows 95, 98, NT, 2000 and XP.

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