Recover deleted files — maybe

In August, Tom Mighell wrote on his blog, Inter Alia, about a free utility, called Restoration, that can restore deleted files on your computer. As Tom explained: “It searches your hard drive for sectors containing files marked for deletion and provides a mechanism for recovering the files.”

I recently downloaded the program and tried it on my computer, with mixed results. It quickly generated a list of more than 4,000 deleted files and displayed their names and locations in the main window. But on multiple attempts to restore files, I was successful in a full restore only twice. Other times, I got either nothing or mangled or partial files. I tried to restore Word documents, image files, text files, XML files and HTML files. I was not able to restore any of the Word files I tried and only one of the image files. I had the best results — but not consistent results — with HTML files.

If you’ve accidentally deleted a file, this utility is worth a try. You may also want it for its other function, which is to wipe clean permanently all the deleted files it finds on your computer.