Nothing leaves you feeling more helpless than attempting to recover a file from a crashed PC. Perhaps it’s the treasure trove of family pictures that cannot be found inside its folder or the documents you scanned as well as saved as PDFs to the new hard drive.
Whatever the specific instance, you’ll go to any length to get all those files back. You don’t have to give up your firstborn child or a kidney to do just that. A Best PC Recovery Software might just be what you need to get out of the jam you’ve found yourself in.
What Functions Does Best PC Recovery Software Have?
In some cases, data recovery software is almost magically useful, while in others it is completely useless. The best file-recovery apps we reviewed make it simple to recover files from conventional spinning flash drives, hard drives, SD cards, and other types of portable storage, such as your phone. They can also recover some or all of the information from a failing CD as well as a DVD that you would otherwise be unable to access.
What they can’t do is recover a file that you removed from the solid-state drive that’s possible in your computer if you bought it within the last year or so, and potentially on your desktop if you bought it within the last year or so. You will need to submit your disk to a restore lab for SSD data recovery; more on that below. Many of the applications we evaluated have both Mac and Windows versions, which may be slightly different in price.
When you accidentally format a memory stick or even a media card without memorizing to grab the files now stored there, or when you accidentally delete files from your phone, data recovery software comes in handy. This is the type of blunder that can occur to anyone. Advanced users are frequently overly eager to empty the Recycle Bin to recover files that they didn’t mean to delete forever.
If you have a classical spinning hard drive, the best support software will be able to recover those lost files. When going to perform housekeeping on their hard disks, a few users know who you are—have accidentally deleted entire disk partitions. Again, recovery software can bring a traditional spinning hard drive back to life.
All of these apps claim to be able to restore lost and deleted files. Some also include the ability to create a disk image (as well as a full clone) of a drive to attempt to restore files from the picture or clone rather than the disk itself. This is a necessary feature if you’re attempting to recover documents from a disk that is physically failing and may keep failing if your recovery software attempts to read from it.
Some data recovery software also offers the inverse of file recovery: permanent file deletion. You can instruct these apps to overload the data with just enough random bytes to render the source document unreadable if you want to ensure that no one can recover your data. Please remember that government agencies have techniques that can recover data from almost anything, however, these apps make recovering personal data from those accused of stealing or discarded disk drives technically infeasible even for expert thieves.
Labs may succeed where software fails.
Several of the Best PC Recovery Software we reviewed were developed by companies that provide laboratory-based data retrieval services at a high cost. If you are unable to restore files from your drive using an app, you may wish to consider having them recovered by such an in-lab service. Most of these offerings claim to be able to recover data from SSDs.
We have not yet tested these claims, but all of these services will not charge you except if they truly retrieve your data, so it might be worth investigating them in the event of a true emergency. The services that offer postal recovery labs are listed in the table above, so you can learn more about the specific offerings in the reviews of those services.
A Word of Caution Regarding SSDs
One flaw in all of these apps, including our top picks, was that they didn’t sometimes warn us that we really can not recover documents from an SSD. An app can easily determine whether a drive uses rotating or SSD technology and whether TRIM technology is involved in a drive. All of the software we tested, both on the Mac and the PC, misled us by claiming to be able to restore deleted files from SSDs, only to disappoint us by delivering corrupt but also unusable files instead of the ones we desired.
We hope that if the next development of data recovery software is remodeled to make it clear that we can’t expect file recovery on SSDs unless such deleted files are securely in the Recycle Bin—which, of course, is easy to find without the use of recovery software. We hope that if the next development of data recovery software is remodeled to make it clear that we can’t expect file recovery on SSDs unless such deleted files are securely in the Recycle Bin—which, of course, is easy to find without the use of recovery software.
The reason data recovery software cannot recover data from SSDs is straightforward. TRIM technology, which improves productivity and disk life by trying to clear out non-used disk sectors, is used by nearly all current SSDs. As a result, even though the file system maintains its history of the segments where the information used to be, the software cannot recover the data.
File recovery is relatively easy with typical spinning hard drives as well as USB flash drives. Even if you’ve emptied the Recycle Bin and, in some cases, reformatted the disk, recovery software can locate a file’s data. However, once files are stored from an SSD and the Recycle Bin is empty, there is no way to recover that file if you have backups somewhere.
What Best PC Recovery Software Do Users Require?
Kroll Ontrack EasyRecovery and Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery are the 2 Best PC Recovery Software applications for Windows. In our tests, Ontrack outperformed Stellar Phoenix in terms of the number of files retrieved, and besides Stellar Phoenix has by far the software/hardware of anything we tried. Alsoft DiskWarrior is an Editors’ Choice for Mac because of its ability to restore entire Mac directories. Prosoft Data Rescue is a good substitute for recovering an unexpectedly deleted document or spreadsheet from your Mac.
Best PC Recovery Software: Data loss can lead to both financial and emotional problems. You most likely have hundreds of pictures and audio files that you cannot bear the thought of losing. A dependable backup method is a perfect choice, and though data recovery software is the second best, and in some cases the only option. Examine our suggestions now so you’re prepared if disaster strikes.