Recuva File Recovery Utility

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Did you ever have the “Oh no!” moment – “I deleted a file some time ago and now I need it!”

If you’re lucky, it might still be in your Recycle Bin – if not, you need a file recovery program. One that I have used which fills the bill and at the right price – FREE – is Recuva. This is from the same folks at Piriform that wrote CC Cleaner, a very popular utility for cleaning up those messy registry and temp files that clutter up hard drives.

Recuva is very simple to use – the opening screen:

 

 

It takes you by the hand and the next screen identifies which files you want to find…

 

 

And where you want to look:

 

 

That’s it! Note on this screen there is a option to “Enable Deep Scan” – don’t do this the first time! I have read some posts where users have waited over 24 hours for results. Deep Scan is an option if a quick scan does not yield results.

 

 

A progress screen:

 

 

And results – for images, if no preview is available, the file is toast. When you delete a file, you basically change the file name only so that Windows does not reference it; if the space where the files resided on the disk was not overwritten – the file is still there intact. If you overwrite the space, the file is really lost because there is now new data in that space.

 

 

Switching to Advanced Mode shows more detailed information on each file – a red button means it’s toast.

 

 

Right clicking on a file brings up this menu:

 

 

Note the “Secure Delete Highlighted” tab – this is the way to PERMANENTLY delete any file you find. Click on this and you get this warning:

 

 

Recuva shows detailed information on each file (composite image):

 

 

Conclusion

Even if you don’t need to recover a file, you may be surprised to see what’s still on your hard drive; and if you find something you’d rather not see the light of day, you can use Recuva to permanently clean it off your hard drive. Another freeware favorite!

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