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Deep recovery

Recover lost files with this free disk scanner.

DiskDigger is a compact, self-contained utility that can recover lost, damaged, and deleted files from any media your PC can read, including hard, floppy, and optical disks, flash drives, and memory cards. It bypasses the Windows file system drivers, with built-in support for all file systems, so it can scan most media directly. It scans disks deeply, including reformatted, badly formatted, and wiped disks. It even handles disks with bad sectors and other damage, though it's not a repair utility, it's just an excellent file-recovery tool that happens to be free.

The entire application resides in just one executable file that can be run from any computer, so there's nothing to install, and it leaves no traces of its operation behind. DiskDigger has an attractive, clean interface that's surprisingly sophisticated for such a compact utility; just two main panes: The left pane displays the scanned data, and the right pane shows an image of recovered files. It has two methods of scanning, a file system scan and a deep scan of the entire disk surface that looks for traces of lost and deleted files. The file system scan is quick and the deep scan is slow, but you might be surprised what you can dig out of an old hard disk with it. Still, we like that DiskDigger lets you preview most files before actually scanning them, so you don't waste time.

DiskDigger works with all versions of Windows. It's easy to use, but its Web site offers excellent support if needed.

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