There are plenty of software tools that claim to recover data from damaged and corrupted disks, after accidental format, deletion, repartitioning or crash. Some of them are free, and some cost well over a thousand dollars. But are these tools worth it? Read my story of trying different data recovery software to save data from a constantly degrading hard disk.
It all started with a Windows crash. The blue-screen occurred literally from the blue sky. After rebooting and trying to open a Word document I was working on, I’ve got a corrupted file. There wasn’t much text typed, so I simply created a new one and went on.
However, the problem persisted. I started getting intermittent crashes every once in a while, every time with more and more corruption. Running scandisk found and recovered multiple ‘lost’ chunks that were essentially useless. What’s worse, I started seeing ‘bad’ sectors in the scandisk reports. Slowly, I began realizing that there might be something wrong with the hard disk.
I would probably be realizing the problem for some more time, but one day the system simply didn’t boot after a crash. Booting from the Windows installation DVD, I was able to do some repairs to the disk that didn’t make it boot anyways. So I went ahead and bought another disk to replace the failed one.
And then I realized a small problem. You see, I am writing a lot of texts in Microsoft Word, having over a thousand documents sitting on the hard drive, and that’s not accounting for family photo archives and occasional Excel spreadsheets. I thought it would be a pity to lose all of this data, and started exploring my options.
Did you ever try firing the “data recovery” queue in Google? You get a whole bunch of ads and SEO-optimized sites offering all sorts of stuff. Obviously, the first results lead to data recovery services. Ouch: expensive! Maybe I could try it myself, I thought, with something like data recovery software. The “data recovery software” search returned more of what I considered appropriate. Let’s try the free stuff, I thought, and downloaded a free undelete tool. Nah; didn’t even find any of my files. Obviously, there’s something wrong with the file system. So I tried another data recovery software, and another one, and yet another one, with similar results. Suddenly, one of the tools could actually see my files! I clicked on one of the files, and immediately saw a preview of one of my Word documents. I went online and paid for that data recovery software. Needless to say I had all of my documents saved to the new disk in less than an hour!
The data recovery software I successfully used to recover my documents and digital pictures is called Disk Recovery Wizard. You can get a copy of Disk Recovery now. It could successfully locate my Office documents and digital pictures on a hard disk with a corrupted and then ‘repaired’ file system by scanning the surface of the disk and looking for byte signatures typical for documents and digital pictures. This turned to be an effective process that saved me hour of work and years of memories. Warmly regarded and highly recommended!