Ever deleted some important files by mistake and then have that horrible sinking feeling you are never going to get them back again? What many people do not realise is that your files when erased may not exactly mean they are gone forever. So… how to recover them then? This is where recovery tools, such as, Power Data Recovery come in to save the day. Power Data Recovery, which was developed by MiniTool, is capable of recovering files that have been ‘lost’ through various scenarios including viruses, hard drive partitions that have been formatted or deleted and software failure. The software is compatible with all versions of Windows (2000/XP/2003/Vista/7/8) and Mac OS X 10.5 and above. It is also supported on Windows Server 2000, 2003 and 2008 (however this requires a commercial license of the product). For our review, we tested out the Power Data Recovery (Personal License) on PC.
When first downloading and installing the software, it is imperative not to install it on the specific drive where your ‘missing’ data is located. Any new software installed or files copied on to that drive may overwrite the ‘deleted’ files and that is exactly what you do not want to happen. Therefore, it is best to have the relevant drive connected to an alternate computer and install Power Data Recovery onto it.
Power Data Recovery 6.8 (Personal License) contains the following features:
- Recover deleted files and folders
- Recover data from damaged partition
- Recover data from inaccessible hard drive
- Recover data after re-partition
- Recover data from a crashed hard drive
- Recover data after an MBR corruption
- Recover data after reinstalling windows
- Recover data from formatted partition with original path and filename
- Recover photos from memory card
- Recover music and video from iPod
- Recover data from quick formatted CD/DVD disk
- Recover data from an unfinalized DVD disk
- Recover files from scratched or defective CD and DVD disk
- Recover data from Windows Dynamic Disk Volume – Spanned Volume, Striped Volume, Mirrored Volume and RAID5 Volume.
- Supports dozens of RAW file types including (*.m4v, *.3g2, *.wtv, *.wrf, *.pps, *.dps and 4096-byte-sector-based hard drive)
- Unlimted data can be recovered
The interface is friendly and easy to use for any level of computer user. At the welcome screen, you can select what type of data recovery module you want to perform to acquire your erased files. The modules are: Undelete Recovery, Damaged Partition Recovery, Lost Partition Recovery, Digital Media Recovery and CD/DVD Recovery. We tested out the Undelete Recovery (for files accidentally erased from the hard drive, including from the recycle bin).
On the Undelete Recovery page, our list of drivers attached to the computer appears. We simply select the device and choose ‘Recover’ from the left hand side.
The deleted folders (and files) will be marked with an X as in the image below. To recover the files shown, ensure the box next to the relevant folder (or file) is ticked and select ‘Save Files’ button.
The Save Files dialog box comes up requesting which location you want to save the recovered files. We opt to recover the files to the current OS (C:\) and name the folder ‘Recovered Files’. Select OK to continue.
The files have now successfully been recovered to the specified folder on the hard drive.
Advanced Filter Option
Since we had such a success from the Undelete Recovery Module, we gave the ‘Damaged Partition Recovery’ Module a test as well. However, this time, the data that was recovered was around ~900GB! We only wanted to recover the image files, but we were not sure where they were all located. Instead of having to sift aimlessly through all files found from the scan, we utilised the ‘Advanced Filter’ option.
In the Advanced Filter dialog box, we specify the type of file we wanted recover, the size range of the files and the expected date (from and to) they were created or modified.
The folders that contain the image files that fall under the filter categories are displayed. We can navigate through the data and select the files (or folders) we want to recover.
If you want to switch off filter and view all the data found from the scan again, select ‘Advanced Filter’ and ensure the ‘Do Not Use Filter’ radio button is selected. Click OK to continue.
We can also check out what these image files look like by highlighting the relevant image file and selecting ‘File Preview’.
The image file is then displayed in the File Preview dialog box.
The free version of the data recovery software comes fully featured but you can only recover up to 1GB of data. This is optimal for any user who prefers ‘to try before you buy’. If you are satisfied with the product and want to recover any more data then 1GB then you need to purchase a license. Minitool sell personal, commercial, enterprise and technician licenses.
Provided you are connected to the internet, you can gain assistance through selecting ‘Technical Support’ on the welcome screen. You are then taken to Minitool’s technical support page where you can peruse their FAQs, case studies and user manuals. If you require direct help with the software, you can also chat to them on the website or email them directly. This is excellent for users who do not have an extensive background in data recovery and want to make sure they are performing it correctly. It is, after all, your priceless files you are after!
This very easy to use data recovery program is an excellent and innovative tool for recovering lost or deleted data. The interface is adequate for all levels of computer users and the recovery process is quite straightforward. You can make necessary changes on the specific data you prefer to recover in advanced settings. This can be very handy if you only need a few GBs of data than 100GB+! We also exceptionally liked the file preview option so you can check if the files you have found are the ones you want to restore.