You may have been in a situation where you accidentally deleted your important data or it just got deleted due to data corruption or hard drive crash or whatever reason and your first reaction was of panic. All the work and possible non recoverable data is now gone forever. However you don't need to worry too much about it as whenever any file is deleted, its not actually deleted from disk rather the space occupied is marked as reusable or free space. Chances are that the same space hasn’t been used and the data is still there and can be recovered. A fresh delete has more chances of recovering as compared to one after which several disk activity has possibly taken place. One good point to remember is that most of these software are more effective if you install it on a perfectly working PC and attach the affected hard drive to it as the secondary drive which ensures that no further disk activity leading to overwriting of data can happen.
Recuva is a freeware that can recover deleted files from your explorer and even those deleted from your Recycle Bin, digital camera or MP3 player. Files can also be recovered from a formatted drive. Also you can recover deleted emails from Microsoft Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird or Windows Live Mail. Unsaved Word documents can also be recovered. In the program, the state of the file is color coded. Green files indicate files can be easily recovered, while red files indicate files which are hard to recover. Also available as a portable version.
Size: 3.6 MB | Download Link - http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download
ADRC Data Recovery Software Tools
ADRC Data Recovery Software Tools consists of several tools for data recovery and that is why a large number of file systems and drive types are supported. The user interface is very easy to work with. In fact it is so simple that data can be recovered easily and without much difficulties. You can easily undelete files, disk image back up or restore a backup image. You can even copy files from hard disk with bad sectors, clone disks, backup, edit and restore your boot parameters. It does not require any installation as it is a portable tool.
Size: 44.6 KB | Download Link - http://www.adrc.com/software/data_recovery_tools/
Avira UnErase Personal
Avira UnErase is a free data recovery software from the makers of Avira antivirus software. It can recover deleted data or lost data due to virus infection or corruption. It also supports recovering from compressed or encrypted NTFS and NTFS5 file systems. It shows files detected for recovery with a level of recoverability for each file. It has a high success rate of recovering even those poor conditioned files. Its not in development anymore but this is a fully functional version free for personal use.
Size: 403 KB | Download Link - http://www.free-av.com/en/products/10/avira_unerase_personal.html
FreeUndelete from Officerecovery.com is one of the most simplest data recovery tools to undelete files. It can recover deleted files from NTFS 1.0, NTFS 2.0, FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32 file systems. It works on Windows XP, 2000, NT 4 (SP2 or higher required), Windows 2003 Server, but Windows 95/98 are not supported. It is very easy to use. The user just needs to select the drive to be scanned for deleted files and press the Scan button. After scanning is complete, the recoverable file list is displayed, from which the user can select the files to be recovered and recover them to the destination drive.
Size: 720 KB | Download Link - http://www.officerecovery.com/freeundelete/download.htm
Glary Undelete is a free and easy-to-use yet powerful file undelete solution for FAT and NTFS file systems. It can undelete files deleted from the Recycle Bin, DOS window, from Windows Explorer with the SHIFT key held down(deleting without moving it to Recycle Bin). It is also capable of recovering files that have been deleted by bugs, crashes and viruses just like many others on the list. It works under Win 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista operating systems. The program supports all Windows file systems for hard and floppy drives including FAT12/16/32,NTFS/NTFS5 and image recovery from CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMedia and Secure Digital cards.
Size: 3.19 MB | Download Link - http://glarysoft.com/gun.html?tag=download
Undelete Plus (Free Trial)
Undelete Plus is not totally free but it does offer a trial version and that can work for you if you don’t want a regular solution for undeleting files. For instance you just lost a precious file and wants to recover it, you can use the trial version at once. It is one of the quickest and easiest ways to restore accidentally deleted data. It can undelete files deleted from the Recycle Bin, DOS window, from Windows Explorer with the SHIFT key held down(deleting without moving it to Recycle Bin) and from CompactFlash, SmartMedia, MultiMedia and Secure Digital cards. It works with all types of Windows file systems including FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS and NTFS5 and works under Windows 95/98/Me/NT/2000/XP/2003/Vista/7 operating systems. A portable version is also available, which requires no installation.
Size: 3.7 MB | Download Link - http://undelete-plus.com/download
I hope you never lost your precious files again. Have you ever used any such tool to recover files? Share yourself in the comments.