Recuva is free Windows file recovery tool designed by Piriform (the provider of CCleaner) to recover files deleted from storage devices (PC, digital camera memory cards or USB flash drive etc.) no matter caused by human error or technical errors(such as virus attack, drive crash or corruption). If you are running Mac machine, please see this posting free data recovery software for Mac. Recuva has been part of my desktop friends for several months ever since I installed it. Generally speaking, it is a fantastic tool even there are some unpleasant setbacks (I’ll talk about it later).
First things always first – In order to maximize the chances of data recovery, better put the storage device in safe place and NEVER attempt to put more files into it. This is to make sure your files are not overwritten or destroyed by physical damage.
Now let’s get started with the free file recovery program!
STEP 1 Install the program on your computer (download from CNET). And make sure the storage device where your deleted files located can be detected by your PC. If your deleted files are stored on external device (USB, memory cards or external drive etc.), connect them to your PC via USB cable or card reader etc. Open the software. Select the file types (Pictures, Music, Video, Compressed, Emails) or “Other” to show all files.
STEP 2 Select file location. There are four situations available for your choice. Or you can directly go to the destination by browsing from “In a specific location”
Click “Next” and you should see the following scene. Here you have two options: Enable Deep Scan or not. My suggestion is DO NOT Enable it right now as Deep Scan is quite time-intensive. Only when your deleted files are not found, then go to this mode.
STEP 3 Scanning Process. Once you have clicked “start” button. Scanning process is entered. But do not worry if you didn’t select Deep Scan, the scanning will be quite fast even take only few seconds.
After the scanning is over, take a breathe! You’ll see lots of files found and most cases not all are what you want. Do not worry. Follow the instruction “Switch to advanced mode”.
Then you will come here with more options to filter the found files. It will be much easier to get what you want (if you are lucky enough).
STEP 4 Save the Recovered Files. Once you find your deleted files, highlight them and click “Recover”. Your selected files will be recovered quickly. Congratulations!
Well, after experiencing Recuva for several times. There are some setbacks that may not be ignored. Firstly, too many junk files (even system cache or temporary files) are found if you just scan the whole disks. It will make users hard to find the real ones. Secondly, unable to preview documents, videos and several photo formats. Still this will take quite a time to figure out the wants. These may make users become unpleased.
However as a freeware the advantages are far more than its setbacks. Generally speaking, it is an awesome file recovery utility. What do you think? Have you ever tried this program? Any ideas or new problems regarding recovering your deleted files?