What is the best free, data recovery program?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by hajime, Jul 26, 2012.

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  1. hajime macrumors 68040

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, I am running snow leopard. I deleted from files and folders from my external drive. I emptied the drive. What are the best free programs to recover the files? Thanks.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Free? There aren't any good ones. Try Data Rescue III.
  3. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 23, 2007
    What about commercially available ones? Ideally at a reasonable cost.

    I tried one program yesterday. It recovered 3 video files. When I played back each file, only half of the movie was shown. Anybody know the cause and a solution? Perhaps it was a free program with limitation?
  4. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 23, 2007
    Hello, anybody knows the reason for the short recovered videos?
  5. velocityg4 macrumors 68040


    Dec 19, 2004
    The file was fragmented. To fully recover a file it needs to be continuous on the hard drive. If the file was fragmented it was broken into pieces across the hard drive. The recovery program can't know this so would each piece as a different file as it no longer has a map to go off of.

    There will probably be many files with a random letter/number combo for a name. Within these may be the missing parts of the video. While there may be some advanced forensic techniques to reconstitute the files. I think that would go beyond some forum advice to needing years of advanced training in data recovery.

    You can try Nucleus Kernel Macintosh. It is by far the most thorough and robust data recovery I have used but requires Windows to run even though it recovers Mac volumes.

    For OS X native try Stellar Phoenix. I didn't find it as good but it is definitely the best I know of for OS X.

    I would not bother with Data Rescue or Disk Warrior. They will not do a deep scan of the hard drive. They also won't do a scan if the partition table was lost and won't try to plow through disk errors.

    Also $70 to $100 for data recovery software is very cheap compared to professional.

    Edit: I also hope you are recovering files to a different drive than that external you wiped and that you have not been adding any files to it. Otherwise that data will be mangled fast.
  6. MacDawg macrumors P6


    Mar 20, 2004
    "Between the Hedges"
    It is always good to remember, backups are almost always cheaper than data recovery

    That said, good data recovery will cost you, so you have to weigh the cost of the value of the files vs. the value of your time and money to recover them

    There are no easy or magical solutions to data recovery

    You need to make sure you are not using the drive at all in any way
    That will compromise your ability to recover even further

    You have already been given some good suggestions
    The question is, how much is it worth to you?
  7. hajime thread starter macrumors 68040

    Jul 23, 2007
    Thanks for the info about fragmentation. To avoid the data being overwritten, I should use a recovery program that gives me the best chance of success. (I deleted those files from an external drive. I have not used the drive since then.) Given that I only have one shot, which program would you recommend?
  8. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    Data rescue 3
  9. -tWv- macrumors 68000


    May 11, 2009
    Data Rescue III has saved my a$$ a couple times. Good program.
  10. Edie Brickell macrumors member

    Apr 22, 2010
    I agree with velocityg4, Stellar Phoenix is better among all data recovery tools for Mac. There is no free software for data recovery in Mac. All softwares are free upto some extent, for complete recovery you need to pay. Stellar Phoenix also provide just free scan, recovery is paid.
  11. benwiggy macrumors 68020

    Jun 15, 2012
    Quoted for truth. Files without backups are TEMPORARY.
  12. Lisaain, Jun 27, 2013
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2013

    Lisaain macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2013
    The best data recovery for a operating system upgrade is backup.

    I highly recommend a botable clone made with either CCC or SuperDuper.

    With the clone you can get right back to where you were immedately before you started the upgrade.

  13. Judith123 macrumors member

    Aug 13, 2013
    New York
    Maybe your video is a little be long, or has been overwritten. ;)
  14. Fujitsu1522 macrumors newbie


    Nov 2, 2012
    North Wales UK, 30 Mins Snowdon
    Disk Utility Accidental Erase

    :confused:Hi there i have imac 27 i used disk erase by accident, thinking i was eraseing a card and not my 1tb hdd, is there anyway of getting the drive contents back, i used fast erase when i did it, urgent, Family pics on there...thanks in advance:)
  15. old-wiz macrumors G3

    Mar 26, 2008
    West Suburban Boston Ma
    Data Rescue III is your best choice. Don't use the drive in the meantime. And make backups next time.
  16. Fujitsu1522 macrumors newbie


    Nov 2, 2012
    North Wales UK, 30 Mins Snowdon
    Thanks for your advice, I hope it works, I'll post back soon as, I'm having an heart op in six hours, so I'm going to be busy, resting###
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