TestDisk & PhotoRec Review 2016: The Most Powerful yet Free Data Recovery Tool (for PC & Mac)

TestDisk as the name indicates was primarily designed to fix system partition and file system problems. So it's the best choice to recover data from disks with partition problems.  

PhotoRec is the little brother of TestDisk. It can be used to recover those deleted or formatted files. 

You can download both of them or learn more from its official site here: http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download

Here's my review:
  • Interface: The command line tool is without graphic interface. You have to rely on your keyboard to finish the whole recovery process. But there are corresponding texts showing you what to do next. Quite intuitive.
  • Commercial Use: Allowed. the issue is not addressed on their site, therefore it is safe to assume that commercial use is ok. 
  • Download Size: 1.7 MB (version 7.0)
  • Supported Languages on Interface: English

What I like: Solid recovery capabilities to deal with different data lose scenaries. Supported multi-platforms from Windows, Macintosh to Linux etc. From technical errors to humar errors that caused files lost, it can recover files with almost existing formats. Also TestDisk can fix file system and partition errors. PhotoRec allows you to select certain types of file formats to scan like Recuva does. It should be a perfect tool for those advanced users. 

What I don't like: Not suitable to those general who don't like command line as there is no GUI. Not applicable to recover RAW disk or files. Also you have to scan the whole disk for the lost files instead of a folder, making it quite time intensive. Sometimes you may need to wait several hours to see the results. One more shortcoming, it automatically reocvered all the found files to its assigned folder. You can’t choose what to recover and what need not. 

Recovery Capability Part:
It succeeded in recovering my deleted test files without problem though cost me nearly 2 hours to see the end (I used PhotoRec to do this). I have to use "Super Powerful" to describe its recovery capability as it also recovered so many files (beyond your imagination) that were deleted several months ago.

Preview Effectiveness Part:
It’s a command line tool, so without preview functions definitely.

Ease of Use Part:
More suitable for advanced tech users. For those general computer users who are also comfortable with command line, the guide text should be enough and easy to get things done. But I can’t give it an Excellent praise.

Help/Wizard/Documentation Part:
No, I didn’t see such information while testing. 

Note: this post was last updated on May 29, 2016

1 comment:

  1. Nice software i will have to see if it works on my old hard drive, I need to delete all my old data off it.