Recover (file undelete) Review

Dennis Faas's picture

Last month, I emphasized the importance of backing up files in my review of Eazy Backup.

Eazy Backup Review

Even with regular backups, files can still get lost or deleted accidentally, especially when they are stored on the Compact Flash or Secure Digital cards commonly used in digital cameras. Fortunately, Recover represents an affordable solution for restoring files when they are unintentionally deleted from your system.

What is Recover?

Recover is a utility for recovering deleted files and files missing due to disk failure from FAT 12, FAT 16, and FAT 32* formatted drives.

Side Note: FAT stands for File Allocation Table. Each time you save a file to your hard disk, the operating system stores that file in several pieces called clusters. These pieces aren't necessarily stored next to each other on the disk, so the operating system keeps a record of where to find the pieces in the File Allocation Table.

Recover: Supported Media Types

Recover supports most file storage media, including:

  • Internal hard drives
  • External hard drives
  • Floppy disks
  • ZIP Disks
  • SmartMedia
  • Compact Flash
  • Secure Digital
  • Multimedia Cards
  • Micro Drives
  • Memory Sticks

Recover: Using it on My Machine

If a file is accidentally deleted, or becomes lost due to disk corruption or failure, it isn't immediately removed from the computer until the sectors of the disk it occupied need to be overwritten. In many cases, this means the file is still on the disk after it has been deleted.

Recover examines a disk and finds files the operating system no longer recognizes as being on the disk. Any of the files found by Recover may be saved back to disk, allowing Windows to recognize them again, giving the user access.

To use Recover, simply choose the disk to search, wait for Recover to scan for deleted files, then save the recovered files to disk. The trial version shows which files are available for recovery, but purchase of the software is required to activate the save function.


While there is no guarantee that Recover will find every deleted or missing file, it does an outstanding job of recovering most of the data -- especially if the deleted files have been erased recently.

Some vacation photos went missing from the Compact Flash card in my digital camera and luckily, and the Recover program was able to undelete all but two of them. I looked like a hero to my girlfriend, and all I had to do was download software and spend a few minutes of my time!

Download Recover

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