Best Freeware Data Recovery, TestDisk

TestDisk, an excellent free data recovery utility. TestDisk was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally erasing your Partition Table).

TestDisk is a free
and useful program which queries the BIOS ( DOS/Win9x) or the OS ( Linux, FreeBSD) in order to find the Hard Disks and their characteristics ( LBA size and CHS geometry). TestDisk does a quick check of your disk´s structure and compares it with your Partition Table for entry errors. If the Partition Table has entry errors, TestDisk can repair them. If you have missing partitions or a completely empty Partition Table, TestDisk can search for partitions and create a new Table or even a new MBR if necessary.

TestDisk has features for both novices and experts. For those who know little or nothing about data recovery techniques, the command line parameters /log and /debug can be used to collect detailed information about a non-booting drive which can then be sent to a tech for further analysis. Those more familiar with such procedures should find TestDisk a handy tool in performing onsite recovery.

TestDisk can find lost partitions for all of these file systems:

    * BeFS ( BeOS )
    * BSD disklabel ( FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD )
    * CramFS, Compressed File System
    * DOS/Windows FAT12, FAT16 and FAT32
    * HFS and HFS+, Hierarchical File System
    * JFS, IBM´s Journaled File System
    * Linux Ext2 and Ext3
    * Linux Raid
          o RAID 1: mirroring
          o RAID 4: striped array with parity device
          o RAID 5: striped array with distributed parity information
          o RAID 6: striped array with distributed dual redundancy information
    * Linux Swap (versions 1 and 2)
    * LVM and LVM2, Linux Logical Volume Manager
    * Mac partition map
    * Novell Storage Services NSS
    * NTFS ( Windows NT/2K/XP/2003 )
    * ReiserFS 3.5, 3.6 and 4
    * Sun Solaris i386 disklabel
    * Unix File System UFS and UFS2 (Sun/BSD/...)
    * XFS, SGI´s Journaled File System

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