A friend had a recent hard drive corruption and lost all the data on his drive, his computer wouldn’t even boot up so much data had been lost. In trying to fix the problem, I looked at various data recovery packages. The industry leader appears to be a product called EasyRecovery (new window) from Kroll OnTrack (new window), however, at an entry price of £70 to recover 25 files at a time, or £180 to recover up to 20 disks, it’s not cheap.
As it happens, I was on the phone to Alex (new window) today, my source of all technical wisdom, and mentioned the problem. He pointed me to a lovely little program called HandyRecovery (new window) which at £18 plus VAT appears to be performing the same function.
I’ve no doubt that OnTrack’s product is more sophisticated if the data has been partially overwritten, or the corruption is more extensive. For example, OnTrack’s product includes the ability to burn a recovery CD which will allow you to boot your computer into the software so as to run the data recovery, while HandyRecovery requires Windows to be running. In my case, I’m recovering data from a hard drive which I’ve taken out of my friend’s PC and have connected to my laptop via a USB enclosure, so it works fine.
HandyRecovery looks great for simple data deletions or simple corruptions. It even comes in a free flavour, I’m not sure of the differences, but for £18 I wasn’t going to quibble. It looks like data recovery software might finally be available at a reasonable cost to the end user. Delightful.