I'm wondering if it's possible to recover several large files (appx. 6.5GB each - too big for WinXP Recycle Bin) which were accidentally deleted from one of my PC's storage drives (not the OS drive). The hard disk from which the files were deleted is in sound physical condition, and has not been written to since the accidental deletion took place.
If possible, I'd prefer the open-source (freeware) route for this data recovery. Thanks in advance for any feedback or suggestions.
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search google for "undelete freeware" and either FAT or NTFS depending on you file system..... I've used NTFS Undelete from ntfsundelete.com successfully to undelete on a NTFS file system.
I guess you know this but don't write anything to the drive or you may overwrite the deleted file data. There are many file undelete programs -- but be careful, this is a common problem and there are a lot of trojans disguised as undelete software. Undelete programs work best if your files were defragmented before they were deleted (one of the best reasons to defrag often). The best ones don't write at all to the drive in question, they just copy the recovered data to another drive. This prevents one undeleted file from corrupting another while undeleting. I can't recommend any specific programs -- I don't keep up with this. But I've done it many times for people in the past.
I know it's an old question, but if someone stumbles on this thread...
The NTFS file system treats the deletion of large files (>4GB) more thoroughly than it does the deletion of smaller files – the cluster allocation information in the relevant MFT record is completely wiped, so no data recovery software can retrieve the file based on the filesystem metadata. For instance, in such a case Recuva indicates “Data could not be found on disk”, and the size is displayed as “0 byte”. (See this for instance.)
So the only way to recover such a file is by the “raw file carving” method, which means extracting files based on their “signatures”, their typical patterns, without relying on the filesystem analysis. It usually works very well if the file wasn't fragmented, but fails if it was fragmented (only the beginning of the file will be correct, so it may be partially usable or totally unusable depending on its type).
Depending on the file type, Photorec (which is free and only does “raw” recovery) and R-Studio (which is commercial and also does recovery by way of filesystem analysis – it's among the most efficient I've tried regardless of the price and its price is very reasonable considering that it generally outperforms the likes of Ontrack Easy Recovery or Stellar Phoenix) are the tools I'd recommend. (R-Studio is constantly improving, right now it's on par with Photorec for most file types, including MKV which used to be a weakness as I reported there, but still inferior for the “raw” recovery of files like MPG / VOB / MTS which have a particular “modular” structure, with a new header for each segment, so it detects thousands of small files instead of considering contiguous chunks as one single file, like Photorec usually does.)
Recuva can work surprisingly well, considering that it's a freeware, for the few file types it detects in “raw” mode (a few years ago it found a RAR file I had just deleted, which neither GetDataBack nor R-Studio 5.4 – an old version – could identify).