TestDisk and PhotoRec

TestDisk and PhotoRec

Editors' Rating:
3.5
Very good
Average User Rating:
4.5
out of 83 votes
See all user reviews

Quick Specs

Version:
6.14
File Size:
3.34MB
Date Added:
April 16, 2012
Price:
Free
Operating Systems:
Windows NT/2000/XP
Total Downloads:
184,576
Downloads Last Week:
502
Product ranking:
Additional Requirements:
Not available

Editors' review

TestDisk and PhotoRec from CG Security are freeware utilities bundled together in one portable download. TestDisk is a simple but powerful tool for analyzing and recovering disk partitions, including some unusual selections such as Xbox and Mac partitions. PhotoRec is designed to recover lost files from your digital camera's memory or any similar memory device. It can handle most memory types, including USB, CompactFlash, MMC, and SmartMedia as well as optical disks and your hard drives. Though PhotoRec and TestDisk are bundled, they're separate utilities with separate executables.

PhotoRec is designed to be totally safe to use, and it doesn't write to the drive or memory directory you're trying to recover files from but rather saves recovered files to the directory it's stored in. Since PhotoRec is portable, that destination will be wherever you saved PhotoRec's program files. PhotoRec's user interface isn't a GUI so much as a modified Command Prompt that only allows keyboard control, but don't be put off by the stripped-down look. PhotoRec is easy to navigate. It walked us through every step: selecting a drive and partition, selecting Options, initiating a Search, or starting a recovery operation. We selected a thumbdrive, then the partition, and then clicked Search. PhotoRec automatically searches for lost files. The program usually highlights the best option, and users simply need to press Enter. PhotoRec definitely requires a little more knowledge and skill than many tools that do similar jobs. But it found a lost file, and quickly, too.

TestDisk is very much like PhotoRec in appearance and operation, but it requires more care to use successfully, and more knowledge, too (some experience is also recommended). This tool can analyze your disks and partitions to extract information about their geometry, formatting, and file structure. It saves the data as a text file that serves as a reference when you need to recover the partition. It can do more, such as make a nonbooting disk bootable. But be careful! TestDisk is a capable utility -- capable of wiping all data from a partition, if you let it. Just follow TestDisk's onscreen instructions and you won't go wrong.

Publisher's Description

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All User Reviews
  • All Versions:

    4.5

    out of 83 votes

    • 5 star: 54
    • 4 star: 22
    • 3 star: 5
    • 2 star: 1
    • 1 star: 1
  • Current Version:

    4.9

    out of 13 votes

    • 5 star: 12
    • 4 star: 1
    • 3 star: 0
    • 2 star: 0
    • 1 star: 0
  • My rating:

    0 stars

    Write review

    Results 1-10 of 13

  • 5 stars

    "Excellent program which really works!"

    September 07, 2014

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    The program provides detailed information and does the exact job you want it to do.

    I had a 2TB External HDD die on me and was inaccessible and kept asking for a format whilst even crashing my windows
    This program however detected that hard drive and was able to read the hard drive's contents (very slowly but i assume this hard drive is pretty much broken) regardless i have so far manage to recover quite a lot of my lost data its currently running in the background for the last 24 hours but its retrieved about 80GB of a good 1.5TB i lost.
    Many games and music + video content still working in tact as well!

    Cons

    Very long process (I suspect this is my hard drive's fault since i am running a very strong spec PC + SSDs) i estimate roughly about 1 more week of my PC being on before i can obtain all my data

    The interface is definitely not suitable for normal PC users however if you can follow the instructions on screen you should be fine.

    Shows you your folders however it doesn't have a live update on what files it has found (alternatively you can just check your hard drive for the files and what it as copied onto it)

    Summary

    In a nut shell this does the job and i have not finished using the program yet however i can certainly confirm that everything it has recovered so far still works fine. I will assume using this on a working hard drive will have much better and faster results for deleted files and not what i am using the program for (which is on a broken hard drive which is asking to format so its basically on the verge of its life)

    I can certainly confirm that this program works.

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  • 4 stars

    "Recover very important documents and files!"

    May 25, 2014   |   By Rossain

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    It allows you to scan only the free space on the device instead of scanning the whole thing. That way it is much faster and the free space is where your deleted files are anyway. (Recuva has a deep-scan option; so I wonder if the normal scan searches free-space) Either way, PhotoRec can detect a lot of filetypes.

    Cons

    Of course it is not very user-friendly for novices.

    Summary

    FYI there is a portable version of TestDisk and PhotoRec, which can be found here:
    http://bit.do/TestDisk-and-PhotoRec

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  • 5 stars

    "great software but.."

    December 06, 2013   |   By meral91

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    recovers most of the data,
    free software,
    easy to use

    Cons

    Don't know how to open the testdisk.log
    rename all data,

    Summary

    The software is great. I have got benefit from it, but the last time I used it gave me a .log file now I cannot open it :-( while it contains 185GB

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  • 5 stars

    "Irreplaceable Wedding Photos Recovered"

    August 12, 2013   |   By OccasionalCNET

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    We had a corrupted SD Card that camera was unable to access and computer could not mount. Photorec found the photos quickly and saved them to the designated folder.

    Cons

    It's a long time since I used a command prompt interface, but the steps were clear and easy to understand.

    Summary

    My wife was the official photographer for a wedding. She shot hundreds of photos, then late at night after many guests had already left, the camera was suddenly unable to access the card. Have you ever had something go so wrong that you felt like vomiting? I tried to access/repair the card from my computer using a disk utility application, but I couldn't even begin because the card would not mount. I was ready to mail the card to Recoverfab in Germany and pay them $300 to physically dismantle the card to recover the files...then I found Photorec. I downloaded the app and had all the photos saved within 30 minutes.

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  • 5 stars

    "Photorec found more files on my XD card than any other"

    June 07, 2013   |   By poppyalex

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    worked brilliantly to restore corrupt and overwritten photos

    Cons

    the interface was scary to use, the online help page was good though, step at a time, with screenshots

    Summary

    Go carefully and follow the instructions closely, and this does the job

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  • 5 stars

    "When all is lost, recover it with TestDisk"

    February 07, 2013   |   By nauticarick

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    Simple to use, fast, recovered all files from an infected flash drive. I gladly donated the 25 Euros.

    Cons

    No GUI. Hey, who cares. I got my files back.

    Summary

    My wife's flash drive was corrupted by an unknown virus. The folder and file names were changed to symbols and modified dates changed to random dates 50-100 years in the future. All recovered, but most need to be renamed. A small penance.

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  • 5 stars

    "Literally changed my life"

    January 26, 2013   |   By popesantaxiv

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    Recovered a lot more than I had hoped for. Wasn't sure whether to list this as a Pro or Con, but what the hey

    Cons

    The interface IS scary to use, but the instructions are clear enough.

    Summary

    I needed to recover a few videos that my sister had deleted from the camcorder. My SO also borrowed it from time to time to take make videos of his road trip and meetings and whatnot. Anyway, I am kind of in a state of shock right now due to the nature of images that suddenly showed up. Hundreds of them. Oh god why...

    Needless to say, I did get back the video I was looking for, plus extras.

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  • 5 stars

    "Corrupt Hard Drive - windows & linux couldn't read"

    January 25, 2013   |   By BillyAsh07

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    Appears to have got all my files back - tens of thousands of them. Plenty of holiday pics - which I coouldn't get again!

    Easy to use - just followed the prompts - couldn't get easier - GUI would make it harder - well at least for what I wanted it to do :)

    Cons

    Took about 16 hours to recovery the files - but is it really a con when at least they were recovered? No real cons but I had to write something here!

    Summary

    Brilliant piece of software!

    Updated on Jan 25, 2013

    How could the CNET Editor's Rating be only 3 and a half stars - should be five stars!

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  • 5 stars

    "SD-card unvisible/error for many tools but TestDisk!!!!"

    December 25, 2012   |   By luukdeboer74

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    Helped me to recover a micro SD card which was totally messed up by a mistake using a partitioning tool. Tried several tools to find a solution. TestDisk did the trick VERY EASY. What's the problem for other programmers?

    Cons

    No user friendly interface for computer noobs

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  • 5 stars

    "what have I done..."

    November 23, 2012   |   By annatechnical

    Version: TestDisk and PhotoRec 6.14

    Pros

    recovered like a billion files that I don't remember saving. I found files in russian(what? i don't even speak it) and a large amount of coding in text format plus a lot of gibberish. Within in the mess were my family pictures.

    Cons

    i think i did something wrong because it recovered 100k files i am now going to slog through (and its still going at the time of this post). I only saved 100 on my usb (which i accidentally reformatted)

    THe interface is scary looking if you're not a computer geek.

    Summary

    My usb is 6 years old so that may be the reason. Photorec is too strong for it.

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  • Results 1-10 of 13

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