Data Recovery using DRPs on test folders within test partitions
** Because of Windows OS and 3rd party programs and utilities constant cycle of deleting, copying, writing, deleting, copying, writing...
The sooner, one learns of any unwanted deletion[s], the sooner one engages any process of un-delete and/or data recovery, the better the chances of quality un-delete or recovery!
An un-delete's or data recovery's listing of "un-deleted or recovered" folders and files does not mean each and every "un-deleted or recovered" file is actually readable and/or usable. Listing results and real un-delete/recovery can vary significantly.**
[I have been using Resplendence's Undelux awhile now, and I remain surprised as to the busy-ness of Windows OS and 3rd party stuff constant cycle of delete, copy, write, delete, copy, write.]
I'm starting this thread here to gather experiences from others who have attempted and succeeded in data recovery.
This topic is not at all important or exciting -- until one needs to recover critical or important folders & files accidentally deleted or quick-formatted. I remember one poster somewhere on the 'Net indicating s/he "tried everything" with several data recovery programs -- which lead me to believe that what was displayed on the monitor did not match end-user expectations.
[The topic title reflects 11/2015 changes]
Wanting to presently being very efficient and effective with, and someday tutorialize how to use, the various tools within just six data recovery programs [or utilities], set up 3 1GB test partitions [NTFS].
After setting up the 3 test partitions, after full-formatting same, copied the test folders from my d-partition onto said test partitions -- each 1GB partition having two folders with selected files, 1 normal folder in which the files themselves have been deleted, 1 folder of which I simply deleted. The selected files have various extensions such as: mp3, mp4, zip, htm, doc, txt, etc. I named the two folders Undeleted Folder and Deleted Folder.
From the beginning I'm used Acronis Disk Director to create the test partitions, I used Windows 7 Professional 64 bit NTFS to create the test folders and for copying the already-existing files into said folders. Essentially, W7Pro is the Windows being used by the six DPs. If there are any read/write engines built into the high-end DPs, I'll try to mention them as I use them.
I changed one partition into DeletedPartition and added one more into the soup: FormattedPartition.
I "converted" the contents in all partitions into: 1DeletedFiles [folder], 2Deleted Folder, 3DeletedFilesAndFolder,
-- to represent the most common problems that lead to either a folder/file restore from a previous backup or onward to data recovery [ranging from Whew! GotEmBack! all the way to HoleyMoley100Steps!].
I simply had to choose what programs and utilities to use, out of so many great choices!, I settled on:
Piriform Recova, Wise Data Recovery, MiniTool Power Data Recovery, Restorer Ultimate, Steller and R-Studio.
A quick review of some things. Long ago, us old timers heard of and used terms such as FAT [File Allocation Tables] and DIRectories which were stored right after Boot Sector on Track Zero. FAT and DIR are part of the main post office to the houses, i.e. the folders and files on the magnetic media. I'm not concerned with CDs and DVDs at this time.
Using an anology that can be snapped like a rubber band if stretched too far: You and your family are the contents within your house, a specific file. The post office knows your street address number and your family name. When a file is simply deleted, the main post office no longer has your [beginning] house number nor the first letter of your family name. If the whole block [a folder] is deleted, although the main post office probably no longer has the stuff mentioned earlier, however, if you're lucky, a sub-station just might have the needed numbers and first letters [along with the whole names] for that block [folder]. Any over-written file, regardless of how or with what the file was over-written with: the people in the house are removed, and often the house itself is in shambles to some degree.
At this time, I cannot visualize how NTFS is structured, and how it keeps the first address and the name of folders and files. Maybe my use of DMDE will help me discover and visualize this process. I used DMDE's Disk Editor to attempt to locate my FAT16 test partition's Track Zero and its FAT and DIR structure -- didn't recognize it. Using Windows 7 Pro to create, format, write folders & files onto a FAT16 partition probably not the same as using Windows for Workgroup 3.11?
FAT16 partition, Piriform Recover appeared to give a very easy to work with, understandable, screen of recoverable files within Undeleted Folder. Had to head for home, later, will check and see if all or only half of the files were listed. Wise Data Recovery, while the recovery menu was very easy to work with, it was a little bit "muddy:" half the recoverable files had their correct names, the other half of the recoverable files had manufactered names.
For the beginner, Piriform Recova seems easier to use, has much less geek-assigned file-names, whether FAT16, FAT32 or NTFS. Wise was much friendlier in my NTFS partition. Piriform Recova did not enter in adv-mode for me today [I had to task-break it]; maybe will try again later.
MiniTool and Restorer, in FAT16 partition, operate much like Piriform Recova, very few files are missing their first character, most have full names listed. I suspect the same will be true for FAT32. Both, in the NTFS partition, listed only a few files. Not sure why yet. Will find out later in deeper tests.
Steller and R-Studio early-bird menu items revealed the same listing as the aforementioned others for FAT16, and I suspect will do so for FAT32. Steller's Preview works really well. R-Studio's Preview often coughs up the View and Edit mode rather than the Preview. Both of these, within the NTFS partition, only listed a few files. Again, not sure why, maybe can find out later in deeper tests.
** Unless somebody want them, I will not be listing the keystrokes, buttons, etc. to click, push, etc. at this point. **
Hitting an unexpected snag in my backup via cloning operations on my two computers containing a 2nd internal HD, realizing the project is just too big to handle; and realizing it's time to make things easier to focus via "rifling" rather than "shotgunning"
-- cut down on the number of test files to 14; only 14 files will go into each of the four test folders in each of the three test partitions
-- earlier eliminated the FAT16 and FAT32 test partitions [thus only three remain; NTFS, Formatted & Deleted]
-- eliminated FormattedFolder, since that old ZeroOutFAT&DIR utility no longer is used, may no longer exist
-- have reCreated but not yet "acted upon" the FormattedPartition and DeletedPartition
[Now, the cloning works just fine; reworded the beginning to reflect only 3 NTFS partitions exist.]
My present and future focus will be on: learning to become proficient with my designated six data recovery programs, from EZ-recovery all the way, eventually, before the 2ndComing, to Green Beret level cluster-by-cluster, sector-by-sector, byte-by-byte recoveries. I've been using Windows 7 Professional [64-bit] as the OS. All my partitions, OS [C], data [D], test partitions: NTFS 4KB/default.