Recuva (pronounced "recover") is a freeware Windows utility to restore files that have been accidentally deleted from your computer. This includes files emptied from the Recycle bin as well as images and other files that have been deleted by user error from digital camera memory cards or MP3 players. It will even bring back files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses.
You must specify the type of files you are trying to recover, whether they are pictures, music, documents, video, compressed, emails or others, as well as their last known location.
Recuva can be configured to search on a media card or iPod, in My Documents, in Recycle Bin, in a specific location, or everywhere.
If previous attempts have been made to recover the respective files but failed, you can enable Deep Scan, which is a thorough scanning process that takes a longer time.
Expert users can enjoy Recuva without using the simple wizard. All they have to do is select the drive, scanning mode (for files or contents), and file type.
When results are displayed, you can view the current state of each file by checking out the bullet color (green - excellent, orange - poor, red - unrecoverable). Plus, you can view useful information on each file, such as size, last modification and access time, comments, number of clusters allocated at offset, number of overwritten file clusters, and hex mode.
File recovery can take a long time (depending on the size and state of the file), and if the output destination is in the same drive, Recuva tells you this decreases the chances of a successful recovery.
Additionally, you can overwrite files, which means they will be completely deleted. However, this doesn't always work on files with red bullets (Recuva tells you if the operation was a success or not).
If you use Recuva to securely delete overwritten files, the software will overwrite any residual sectors and change the file status to "unrecoverable", but you can still see the contents of the file that overwrites it, and these are recoverable.
Except for Deep Scan, Recuva works extremely fast, and uses a fair amount of system memory. Too bad it doesn't offer quick access to a help file (Online Help requires you use a Priority Support account for Piriform).
All in all, Recuva offers immediate solutions for file recovery, and we strongly suggest you try it. It's free to use!