The first initiative towards hard disk recovery is to determine whether the disk damage is:
- Physical (drive failure or component malfunction) or
- Logical (faulty file system or corrupted data)
Once you have a definition to the problem, you could start looking for the answers. Here is the compilation of top 10 tools for hard drive recovery. They are shortlisted based on the efficiency and the effectiveness in making a positive hard disk recovery. So, let’s get started.
10 Best Tools For Hard Disk Recovery
No more wondering how to recover data from hard drive when you have these 10 handy tools with you.
Repairing boot partitions, recovering a partition/deleted data, copying files from inaccessible partitions, and fixing partition tables are easy with the TestDisk. The tool is effective on different file formats like FAT/exFAT/ NTFS/ext2.
Note: TestDisk comes bundled with an associated application called PhotoRec. Now, recovering Photos, videos and documents are a few clicks away. The scanning is robust extending beyond file system and scoping on select data blocks (clusters) associated with missing file.
When you launch TestDisk, you will be prompted whether you need a log file to be generated. You will be shown a list of partition table to choose from. Hence, it will help the application to choose the right signatures while reading the partitions from the disks. You will be prompted with a choice before you are shown the available hard drive partitions to execute an action.
The choice of actions that you are allowed to perform on every partition is as follows:
- Analyzing the structure of the partition to determine the right recovery chronology.
- Manipulating the disk framework.
- Emptying the data in the partition table.
- Recovery of boot sector
- Categorizing and copying of files.
- Performing deleted file recovery.
- Creating the Image of the partition.
2. EaseUS Partition Master Free
EaseUs is another best way to recover data from hard drive. It is one of the best free partition managers that lets you move, merge or ever split the partitions. You can also perform disk conversions, recovery of deleted or lost partitions, detection of partition errors, migration of OS to HDD/SSD, and also helps perform disk fragmentation. While using the EaseUS Partition Master Free tool, you can utilize the operations that are listed on the menu (top) or the left-hand pane against the selected partition.
WinDirStat is a recovery tool that is ideal for disk cleaning. It allows you to visualize the data distribution across the disk and also defines the type of data that takes up most space. The tool generates a tree view of the files that occupies the most space after you have launched the application and have chosen the drives to analyze. By clicking the box inside the graphic, you will be able to view the file being searched in the tree view on window pane towards the left side of the display.
Next on the list of top 10 tools for hard disk recovery is CloneZilla. If you must perform disk imaging and cloning, the best bet is to use CloneZilla. Even though, it is available as a standalone tool, it comes bundled with Parted magic. CloneZilla has dual variety – CloneZilla Live and CloneZilla SE (Server Edition). The latter is a Linux exclusive tool that can be installed and configured to forward the message to multiple clients concurrently via a network. CloneZilla Live is a bootable distribution that is exclusive to Linux; it allows cloning of individual machines.
Mounting images as drive letters and browsing the data efficiently is possible with the OSFMount. The tool is capable of supporting image file format such as ISO, DD, BIN, (*.NRG) Nero Burning ROM images and VMWare images (*.VMDK). OSFMount has an additional feature. It can be used for creating RAM disks. It is useful if you want some additional security measure, as all the RAM contents will be flushed the moment the machine is turned off. It is also useful when there is a need to store data that needs fast access times such as data files and browser cache.
Once you launch the OSFMount, click File and select Mount new virtual disk. But, you must ensure that you leave the “Read Only Drive” option checked to avoid the risk of data overwriting within the recently mounted image.
An ideal defragmentation tool is not just powerful but also lightweight. One such tool is the Defraggler. It helps you defragment drives and folders. The smart interface is a marginal leap regarding usability and it easily helps you visualize how much of the drive is fragmented and even the files that are triggering fragmentation. After the completion of the analysis, you can use the drive map to view the fragmented file. Hover over the square on the map using the mouse and click to see the associated files. You will see what files are associated with the pointed item (color coded).
Having trouble getting the information with regards to your SSD drive? Fret not, it is easier when using SSDLife tool. It captures the health status and approximate lifetime. It helps you plan effectively and act consequently. The SSDLife detects the model of your SSD drives and extracts the information after launching the application.
Note: Every SSD manufacturer will have their proprietary SSD management software that is informative and identical to the SSDLife. Ex.: Intel SSD Toolbox is used to generate health status and to give detailed information about the drive.
If simplicity is the element you are looking for in a hard disk recovery tool, look no further than the Recuva. Its interface is designed to be impressive and functional. You can easily recover most files that have been deleted from your system. To make the recovery simpler, you will be guided a Quick-Start Wizard that walks you through the recovery process. It will be easier for you to specify what you want to recover and where you wanted to save the recovered items. But, if you are interested in working without a step by step assistance, you can use the skip the Wizard and use the application directly.
When you are using Recuva, you will be prompted to choose a drive to initiate the scan, and you will also have to select the filter criteria to recover the type of files from the menu on the right and initiate the scan. You can use the filter to specify the scan elements (add or remove the file types). The options will allow you to upgrade such as enabling deep scan instead of quick scan. You can also modify the viewing mode and control the overwriting method to recover the data securely.
9. HD Tune
Measure, read/write the performance of your HDD using the best-rated tool called as HD Tune. You can easily scan for errors, evaluate the health status, and also simulate the drive for extracting the information. After you have launched the application, choose the drive from the drop-down list and navigate to a suitable tab to view information, or you can choose to start a scan.
Creating Virtual Hard Disk is easier with Disk2vhd tool. It is ideal for making Virtual Disk from a live machine for concurrent usage with Microsoft Virtual PC or Microsoft Hyper-V. You can easily simulate a live environment within a virtual environment for testing the efficiently or if you wish to create a virtual backup of live environment for a later purpose.
Disk2vhd is simple to use, and you will have to enter a name and location to save the VHD file being generated, you will also have to specify the volume that needs to be included and click “Create.” You can also manipulate the creation of VHD files using the Disk2vhd using the inbuilt command line option within the Disk2vhd tool