Free Data Recovery Using TestDisk

There are loads of free data recovery tools out there, allowing you to perform data recovery at home without forking out on professional services. But TestDisk, although lacking a fancy interface, is a great example.

We’ve written about free data recovery software in the past – there are so many out there, and they all do the same basic job. TestDisk is designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-bootable disks bootable again if the issue is faulty software; this is where TestDisk differs from other data recovery programs.

However, TestDisk lacks an intuitive graphical user interface that many other pieces of data recovery software boast. TestDisk Data Recovery works on the principle that when you delete a file or partition table, that data is still present on the disk, unless it is overwritten; it’s just a pointer that’s been deleted. It is possible to delete the data as well as the pointer, but this has to be deliberate.

TestDisk can be used to perform data recovery or rescue partitions on Windows or Linux machines. It can be used on FAT, XFS, NTFS and ext2 file systems, and although it’s a command line tool, it’s still pretty simple to use. The user doesn’t have to be well versed in data recovery techniques, as the program guides you along from start to finish. Menus are presently clearly and the program uses simple language.

TestDisk doesn’t even need to be installed for the user to perform data recovery or fix a non-bootable disk – it simply needs to be unzipped from the downloaded archive and run from the chosen location. It’s especially important not to install data recovery software on the drive or device you want to get data back from, as it could be written to the location of your requires files.

Data Recovery