FreeUndelete Reviews

Best file recovery software I tried

Positive Review by Anamon
about FreeUndelete and Recuva Aug 2012

FreeUndelete is a seriously underrated FAT/NTFS file recovery tool. It is the only tool that successfully recovered my files (which I accidentally deleted with Shift+Del), yet I'm only the second person to "Like" the application on this site?

It seems that about 99% of all file recovery tools are quite expensive. That makes sense, since I can't think of many situations where it's as easy to ask people for money as when they fear they might lose their data if they don't pay up. The only renowned free tool I found for the job is Recuva by Piriform. Now, I'm a satisfied user of several other tools by Piriform, and Recuva seems well-made. But the sad truth is that no matter what I tried, it always detected 0 files for the drive I deleted the files from, even using Deep Scan. I suspect that Recuva does not support NTFS 2.0 partitions, since I've successfully used it on external FAT drives before.

My next stop was NTFS Undelete by Its scan is very quick and detected thousands of deleted files. It allows you to see what files the tool could recover if you registered it ($39.95 at the time of writing).

I kept looking though, and that's when I found FreeUndelete by The scan is just as quick as NTFS Undelete's, and it found all the files that tool did, plus a few more. The files that FreeUndelete found and NTFS Undelete didn't were files that were no longer recoverable (for some reason NTFS Undelete did not list these as being overwritten, but omitted them altogether). However, I was very happy about this, since even just having the filenames helped me a long way. I find that in the case of data loss, even if you can't recover your files, having a list of what files exactly were lost is invaluable in itself.

Since FreeUndelete is free for personal use, I was able to directly recover the files to a different drive, which took about 10 seconds for 3 GB of data. The recovered files passed CRC checks and were completely intact.

Bottomline, if you need to recover files (and find that Recuva is unable to, since for example you're working on an NTFS 2.0 partition), you can't go wrong in giving FreeUndelete a try. It is quick, seems reliable, and was the only tool that successfully found and recovered my files without asking me for money.

EDIT–something I almost forgot: during setup, the installer asked me whether I wanted to install the application, or run it directly out of the installer package. I've seen this for the first time, and really liked being given that option. I'm not sure whether this is enough to make it a "portable" application, since it's possible that you need administrative rights to get that far in the installer. But it's definitely a very welcome and comfortable feature.