Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Data Recovery: Active@ Undelete

Last week, I was in a bad mood. One of my external hard drives failed and became unreadable. My collection of music and old email archives were on this drive as well. I still have no idea what went wrong with it.

So I started looking for hard drive data recovery software. I tried over sixty different software titles that were pieces of junk. I tried about ten that seemed like they were working but in reality did not do anything at all.

I came across BinaryBiz's software called "VirtualLab 5.0" which is highly recommended by a number of sites. Unfortunately, the software is originally listed as freeware. I installed the software and ran a scan that took about five hours. An entire list of files came up! I clicked on recover and I was brought to a screen asking me to pay anywhere from 120 to 200 dollars for a quota. Moreover, the quota maxed out around 20-something gigabytes of data, and my harddrive was 200GB, meaning that I would have to pay whole lot just to restore my drive.

I lost all hope and in a last ditch effort I purchased and downloaded "Active@ Undelete." It searched through all 200GB of data in about an hour and recovered all of the files with their original file names in a matter of hours.

Active@ Undelete is well-balanced software. It's not bulky nor is it spare. The interface has a number of wizards for novice users, but more importantly has advanced features for those with special circumstances. You can recover files on any kind of hard drive, removable media (smartmedia, SD, MemoryStick), zip disks, usb hard drives. It supports large drives formatted in any file system. It will recover long file names, too (which is great when you're dealing with MP3's).

However, the two problems I found with recoverying my MP3s were: (1) all of the album art included in the files was lost; and (2) each directory was renamed from the artist name into a random number. The second problem could have been a complete disaster but for the fact that all of the ID3 tag data within each MP3 remained unaffected. Therefore, I could just load up the files in MusicBrainz and have it do all the reorganizing for me.

I finally figured out why the software is so good: it is from Canada.

For more information, visit http://www.active-undelete.com

1 comment:

Joshua Schulman-Marcus said...

This program saved all my pictures from a digital camera that supposedly "ate" them. It was nothing short of a miracle.