File recovery freeware

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For SATA drives, it is more difficult. For SCSI drives, dead simple.
Note that the drive electronics are identical in both, just the controller interface logic is different. Note also that the grade of drive matters, a low-end consumer drive may not provide the capability to resector the drive.
I've reformatted both SCSI and SATA to different sector sizes, but in the SATA case used a manufacturer provided utility not available to the general public to generate 100 byte sectors for a legacy system.
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OK, I've found that several data recovery programs have found and recovered some of the files on my USB drive. The problem is that they're all "demo" and "trial" versions of programs, and are limited in how much they will recover. One of them was limited to 64 kilobytes, which is nothing more than a large text file or a single .JPG image.
And, those that advertise themselves as "free" want to change my home page and default search engine and put up a useless toolbar on my screen which is a pain in the butt.
Does anyone know of any good computer Q&A forums on the internet where I could ask some computer geeks if there are any good freeware data recovery programs available for download? I find that the programs that work best crop up when I Google "digital media data recovery".
--
nestork

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On 4/29/2014 2:24 PM, nestork wrote:

Give File Hippo a try for freeware. There are all sorts of free software mixed in with the shareware and payware. ^_^
http://filehippo.com/download_recuva/
Keep an eye on a couple of daily commercial giveaway sites that I get a lot of software from:
http://www.giveawayoftheday.com/
http://giveaway.glarysoft.com/
I've downloaded a lot of payware from those two sites and a lot of really good file recovery software shows up on a regular basis. ^_^
TDD
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Have you tried "Recuva" by Piriform software?
http://www.piriform.com/recuva
They're the same folks that produce Ccleaner. Thankfully I haven't needed Recuva in some time, but I use CCleaner often. Their "Speccy" program is also handy. All free (with an option to purchase the Pro version) and fully working.
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Anthony:
No, I haven't tried Recuva because I read the write up on it, and it said it was for recovering DELETED files. In my case, nothing was deleted. I expect the file allocation table on the USB drive was corrupted so that the files are all there, but can't be found because their addresses have been all screwed up.
I have found two programs whose "trial" or "demo" versions allow me to recover up to 1 gigabyte of lost data each. Since this is a 4 GB USB memory drive that's been corrupted, my game plan is to recover 2GB with these demo programs, format the hard drive in my computer, reload Windows, download those same demo programs, and then recover another 2 GB of lost files. That will allow me to recover everything that was on that 4 GB USB drive.
I have two computers and a KVM switch. I use one computer strictly for surfing the internet, and I reformat the hard drive and reload Windows XP whenever I get some malware on that computer. I want to reformat the hard drive and reload Windows XP on that computer because of all of the "free" shareware I've downloaded and installed over the past week or so. Each one of those "free" programs has changed my home page, changed my search engine, and loaded tool bars onto my computer that I don't want or need. I'd reformat my hard drive and re-download only the two demo versions that I know will recover data from my corrupted USB drive.
--
nestork

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Well, I tried both Recuva and TestDisk and didn't get any further.
With Recuva all I got was the following message when I tried to scan my USB memory stick:
"Failed to scan the following drives: D: Invalid drive size"
And, I really don't know what that means.
With TestDisk came two programs; one called TestDisk_Win.exe and another called PhotoRec_Win.exe. Both seem to be DOS based programs because the user interface isn't graphical, but text based. And, I didn't get anywhere with either one of these programs.
I'm going to reformat my hard drive and proceed with Plan A to get the remaining two Gigabytes of data off that memory stick. I should be back online in a day or two.
--
nestork


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I didn't see your original post, so I don't know your exact situation, but I've learned from experience to never rely on a single copy of data. Backup, backup, and backup again. With a redundant copy of your data, you don't need to worry about recovering from corrupted or damaged drives. With a second backup, you can still recover your files even if your main backup is unreadable too.
I've been there myself and learned the hard way.
Good luck!
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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I recovered the rest of the files on my USB memory stick and I'm back online now.
--
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Excellent! What did you end up using to recover your files?
Anthony Watson www.watsondiy.com www.mountainsoftware.com
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Oren:
They were mostly family pictures. My dad went on a trip to Ukraine with my oldest sister to see the town he grew up in. That was about 7 years ago, but I scanned the pictures and stored them on that USB drive. My sister has the actual photographs in a album, but I had the digital versions on my USB drive so that I could e-mail them to my dad's brothers and sisters in Toronto, Montreal and Pittsburg. Also, there were some business related files on that drive as well.
Anthony: I used "7-Data Recovery Suite" and "MiniTool Power Data Recovery". The "Demo" version of each program worked equally well in recovering data off the USB drive, but each one would only recover 1 GB before it would tell me to buy the full blown version. Since this was a 4GB USB memory drive, I downloaded 1 GB with each demo version, then reformatted my hard drive, reloaded those same two programs using their installation programs and recovered the remaining two GBytes. I actually found the 7-Data product to be much easier to use, and I'm watching on the "Giveaway of the Day" web site to see if I can get it free.
--
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Thanks for the info. I backup nightly and keep multiple backups, so I'm hoping I never need these kind of tools. But, I will add both products to my reference list for the future, in case the free Recuva doesn't work for me.

Tricky. Since your drive was removable, I suppose you could have installed the software on different computers to achieve the same task.
I'm glad you were able to recover your photo data.
Take care,
Anthony Watson www.mountainsoftware.com www.watsondiy.com
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