What is the best undelete software for your particular problem? Well, it would be nice if we could simply say: the very popular free undelete program XYZ that you can download from website ABC is your best bet. Wouldn’t it?
Unfortunately, it’s a little more complicated than that.
Why? Because it depends on what your specific problem is. In this article we will deal with different scenarios, like:
Unfortunately, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer for the best undelete software question.
In today’s times of prolonged periods of slow economic growth, let’s start with the most economical scenarios to select the best undelete software.
If your computer is running Windows XP or an older version of Windows, chances are that your file system is FAT (sometimes referred to as FAT 16) or FAT32. There are Windows XP undelete programs out there that are completely free to use and that will do the job perfectly.
With Windows Vista, Windows 7 or Windows 8, you will probably be facing an ntfs recovery undelete situation, which is a trickle more complicated, but let’s come back to that later.
Not sure if you’re dealing with a Windows undelete FAT scenario? No worries, it’s super-easy to find out. Simply launch Windows Explorer (right-click the Windows Start Button and Select Explorer) and locate your c: drive.
In Windows Explorer, right-click your “Local Disk c:” and select “Properties”.
In the Disk Properties information dialog that will open up, you will quickly be able to see your file system type. In the example below, we’re dealing with an NTFS file system, but if yours is FAT or FAT 32, you’ll be able to use freeware undelete software.
R-Undelete (r-undelete.com) has a free undelete software version for home users. It will help you get your deleted files back on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, and exFAT file systems. And it will do so with internal as well as external hard disks, USB flash drives and photo or video camera memory cards (even if they are accidentally formatted). Provided that you are dealing with FAT file systems, this might be your best undelete software bet to recover your files, accidentally deleted music, photos or movies. To learn more on how it works, you can check out our article on R-Undelete functionality.
R-Undelete also offers you the possibility to evaluate the NTFS recovery undelete functionality from the paid version, but for NTFS, it’s limited to files of maximum 64KB in size. This will allow you to test NTFS undelete recovery and see it in action, but if you want to actually want to recover a real-life file, you’ll need to purchase a license.
Or you could try Active Undelete.
If you’re stuck and R-Undelete doesn’t seem to be your best undelete software choice, you can try another popular free undelete software called Active Undelete Lite (active-undelete.com).
Active Undelete Light is a freeware undelete program that will help you with several problematic scenarios, including fat recovery undelete and ntfs recovery undelete challenges.
The software is certainly worth a closer look, because it will help you get out of trouble, even with USB external hard drives, USB flash drives, SD or compact flash camera memory cards and the free version will also work on NTFS formatted file systems.
If you want more details on the pros and cons of Active Undelete, feel free to read about our experiences with this data recovery toolkit.
The best undelete software for FAT file systems may or may not be your first choice for NTFS file systems, but if your deleted files were living on a RAID system, chances are that you will need a more business or enterprise-oriented undelete software.
RAID systems consist of multiple physical disks that can present themselves as one logical disk. Depending on the RAID level (RAID 0, 1, 0+1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) your files may be split up and spanned over several physical disks, be mirrored (copied) on several physical disks, have additional redundancy data bits associated with them, or any combination of these scenarios. Needless to say that these extra whistles and bells add extra complexity to undelete operations.
But it can be done.
The abovementioned Active Undelete software also comes in an enterprise version, capable of processing RAID disk systems and network recovery functions. The enterprise version also knows how to deal with deleted or damaged partitions and comes with a bootable cd-rom to work on unbootable systems.
The R-Undelete counterpart that handles RAID situations and deleted or formatted partitions is called R-Studio.
With R-Undelete and Active Undelete we’ve covered two of the best undelete software packages out there, but what if you need to recover a deleted e-mail message?
You can try your luck with R-Mail.
On the r-undelete.com website, you will find a link to R-Mail, which is designed to recover accidentally deleted e-mail messages, but it can also help you with damaged or corrupted MS Outlook and Outlook Express files.
There is no free version available, but you can download the demo version. The demo version will preview the recovered messages, but in order to actually save your recovered messages, you will need the full version.