It’s pretty safe to say that at some point in time nearly all of us have probably deleted some files or folders by accident. It’s easily done if you are giving your PC a bit of clear out of rubbish and useless data and put something you don’t want deleted into the recycle bin without realising. Of course, if you haven’t emptied the recycle bin yet, no problem and just restore them, unless a file was too big to fit and has been deleted directly. It’s a bit more of an issue if you have turned off the recycle bin function altogether or have done this via the network because there will be no second chance to get anything back through Windows itself.
Anybody with a reasonable amount of knowledge will know that just because these files have been deleted, it doesn’t mean they cannot be undeleted and recovered under the right circumstances. There is a wide market for this kind of tool ranging from professional recovery solutions like Runtime Software GetDataBack and EaseUs Data Recovery Wizard Pro, to the free undelete utilities like Recuva and Wise Data Recovery from Wisecleaner. Wise Data Recovery has just come out of beta so is now a fully fledged stable release and certainly worth looking at. As with most tools like this, Wise Data Recovery is able to recover just about any type of files like music, video, compressed archives, executables, etc. Once a drive is scanned, the files are given a traffic light status for the chances of recovery. Green is for a good chance of recovering the files, Orange for a poor or very poor chance and Red if the program thinks the data is lost and there is no chance of getting it back.
Wise Data Recovery is available as both installer and portable which makes it a good addition to the USB toolkit.
The program boasts a very clean looking and efficient interface with only two buttons needed for it to function effectively. Simply select the drive to be scanned for the deleted files and click the Scan button. What I did notice is most of the time this program seemed to complete a scan quite a bit quicker than Recuva, which is the utility most people will compare Wise Data Recovery to.
After only a few seconds on my system, the results were displayed in both the main window and a file directory structure window on the left, much like a standard Windows Explorer display. You can then search for your files by scrolling through the list and ticking the files for recovery. If they are green then they can be recovered. I tried a few Orange files of Poor recoverability but none of them fully recovered properly. You may still be able to extract partial pieces of data from these files but it’s no guarantee.
Keywords and wildcards can be entered into the search box to filter the files. Some are provided for you by clicking the drop down arrow; images, audio, video, documents, archives and emails.
Once all files to be recovered are ticked, clicking Recover will ask you for a location to save the files to. For obvious reasons the program will pop up a warning if you try to save to the drive the files are to be recovered from. After that, job done.
I ran a quick scan of my S: partition using Wise Data Recovery and Recuva. Both found 1418 deleted files although Wise did complete the scan quickest. Of those, Recuva found 37 unrecoverable (red) and 23 Poor (orange) files, while Wise Data Recovery found 60 unrecoverable (red) files. Scanning other partitions yielded similar results. It seems they are pretty even in finding the amount of deleted files that are recoverable although Recuva also has a slower and more thorough Advanced scan mode available.
So, is Wise Data Recovery a viable alternative to Recuva? I’d have to say if you’re unhappy with Recuva for some reason, then yes it is. But it isn’t something you would use instead of Recuva because Piriform’s utility is still the better program overall. Wise is a nice clean program which does its job quickly, but Recuva still has the ability to Ctrl or Shift click for multiple selections, has a secure overwrite function, different view modes, preview and header view tabs, a wizard and some other options not available in the Wise software as yet. The program is still in its infancy, so there is plenty of scope for the inclusion of more functions as time goes on. Compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Win 7/8 32-bit and 64-bit