This is a Windows based tool which is specially designed for Windows and it is user friendly. This tool has got two methods to recover your data and these are:-
1. File-Recovery Wizard
This method would help you, when you know that your data has been deleted but you are not much sure about its location. This wizard searches your Music, Pictures, Video, Documents and all other files. You can also set an option to search either the full Computer or some specific drives or folders like "My Documents", "Removable Media only", "Recycle Bin" or you can also specify a particular location to look in. If you prefer to do a manual search so as to save your time then you can take help of manual mode of Recuva.
2. Manual Mode
This mode is helpful when you know a specific location where your data had gone. This tool uses yellow, green and red light system so that it can indicate the recovery of your files, whenever they are available. Further this tool can securly wipe the files which you have found. Moreover, in this mode, Recuva also provides the previews of image files, which are available for recovery.
Pros of using Recuva
1. Good results.
2. Friendly, step-by-step recovery wizard.
3. Totally free.
Cons of using Recuva
1. This tool is not as full-featured as some paid programs.
I have personally used this software and found that this software has recovered my files which were accidentally deleted by me efficiently. However, this software will only recover those files which were deleted from NTFS, Ext2 and FAT file systems. TestDisk also has the capabilities to: restore backup of boot sector, fix FAT and MFT tables, rebuild your boot sector, copy deleted files from computer partitions to recover your media, locate the ext2 and ext3 backup super block and find the lost partitions of your Computer like Hard-disks or DVD-ROM. This software has several ways to help you locate and restore your important data. This tool is not GUI, it is a command line tool and I know you would not have any difficulties while using this amazing tool.
Pros of using TestDisk
1. Recovers photos, thumbnail and full photo recovered.
Also See: Review of PhotoRec – a reliable digital picture recovery software
Cons of using TestDisk
1. Not all photos recovered, works in Terminal, didn't recover all of my photos.
This tool can be used with all versions of Windows. This tool does not have any advanced functionality as other tools have; but, it has the basic file search function and the ability to have search parameters like file name and size. Restoration is a portable recovery tool with no-frills and it takes less space too. But don't think that it cannot recover your files because of its tiny size, it can easily restore your files like the other professional tools from your disks. Restoration works with FAT and NTFS as well as digital cameras cards. When you will install this program, it will offer you to install promotional, third party components. While installation of these components is optional, you should always pay attention during it's setup. Upon its installation, you can scan for all files that may be recovered and also limit the results by entering a specific search term or extension.
Pros of using Restoration
1. Not only restores. Also wipes.
2. Wipes everything on a certain drive in 1 sigh.
3. Works on FAT as well as on NTFS (another program, DataRecovery, does well as well on NTFS but not so good on FAT).
Cons of using Restoration
1. Little bit of strange interface (with the 'Others'-button for 'Delete Completely' and the completely different button for 'Restore by Copying').
2. As if delition/wipening was not wished for.
3. No HELP at all (details outfindable by TR&E).
When you don't need deep disk recovery, then you should go for PhotoRec. This recovery tool is very powerful and it is capable of recovering your files safely and securely with no disturbance in your computer partitions. This recovery tool will also help you to build your "Master Boot Record" again. If you want to recover your files without slowing down your PC, then this tool will search your disks and file systems safely in read-only mode while ignoring other heavy partitions of your computer. This recovery tool focuses not only in photos but also recovers your other files safely and quickly by copying your deleted files to another disk.
Pros of using PhotoRec
1. Advanced recovery ability.
Cons of using PhotoRec
1. Command line built GUI which is not user friendly for non geeks.
This is a commercial tool but I have used its limited time freeware version and I found that this tool can be used with all versions of Windows. It has the ability to recover not only the files that you deleted from Recycle Bin, but also the files that you have deleted forever from your computer by pressing "Shift+Delete". It can also recover files that were deleted from a USB drive, Compact-flash drive, Smart Media, Multimedia and Secure Digital cards. In some cases, the deleted file may have already been overwritten, in that case, you won't be able to recover it. The "Undelete Plus" has recovery portability like Recuva tool which finds the files on the basis of how much the file is damaged. You can search your lost files by setting filters which are based on size and time while you can also search your lost data by their file types.
Pros of using Undelete Plus
1. Compatible with portable devices.
2. Powerful search engine.
3. Easy to use.
4. Good filtering system.
Cons of using Undelete Plus
1. Some searches are not very precise.