We have all accidentally deleted a file or had a system failure in the middle of writing a big report and the glorious Microsoft Word didn’t do what it was supposed to and the file is lost forever. Well now there is a program Un-Delete Plus that can help recover files that have been deleted from your computer. This powerful tool has the capability to restore files that were deleted in the recycle bin, in a DOS window, or even off a network drive. This can be a very helpful tool in many instances and can save your life on that paper you lost five minutes before class that is worth 60% of your final grade.
You can get this program for free here (http://www.pcworld.com/downloads/file_download/fid,64843-order,1-page,1/download.html). The download is simple and then you just have to quickly run through the install, I left all of the defaults of the program. Once the program was installed I deleted an unimportant file and then ran a scan and found lots of old deleted files. The program shocked me with its power to find deleted files. I found deleted files from weeks ago that I had cleaned out to clear some space and get rid of them because they were un-needed files. I restored my test file and was able to access it again. The program worked flawlessly.
The program is easy to use and even a basic user should be able to run a scan and find the file they want to restore. The program runs pretty quickly but of course this will change depending on size of your hard drive and amount of files you have. Mine took about 2 minutes to find all of my files and then another couple of minutes to restore the files to my machine. I like how Un-Delete Plus lists on the side of the window the “Types” of files so you can more easily find the file you want to restore. If you want to restore a Word Document then you just have to expand the MS Word Document section and then find the file name. I also like how the program lists some important information about the files, namely size, name, and date created/modified. This can make it a lot easier to find your file and restore it faster. Un-Delete Plus also gives you a field called Status which tells you how easily the file can be restored. If your file says overwritten in the Status field then you won’t be able to restore the file. So if you want to use Un-Delete Plus I suggest running the program as soon as you know the file has been deleted and don’t do any more work until you have attempted to restore the file. If you wait to long you run the risk of your file being overwritten and might not be able to restore the file.
Once you find the file you want to Un-Delete you highlight the file, choose a location to restore the file to, and then hit Start Undelete and let the program do its magic. I did some tests to see how well Un-Delete works and it restored about 75% of my files in my test environment. It was about 95% effective when I used the program immediately after I deleted my files and decreased in efficiency the more time I waited and the more I used my computer between restores. If you delete a file and then instantly work with Un-Delete you should restore nearly any file without to much trouble.
The one thing I don’t like about Un-Delete is how it finds almost every file I have deleted and lists them even though most are impossible to recover. There should be a tool to clear these out and get them off the machine entirely. There is a rumor that the next version of Un-Delete will include such a tool, so keep your eyes out for the next update, this cleaner tool will be a great addition to the program. Other than this tiny flaw Un-Delete is must have data recovery tool for all users. It can save your butt in a jam and can save your life by recovering your 25 page final for anthropology, and you wont have to give the “my power went out and I lost my paper” excuse.
So go get Un-Delete Plus it’s free, useful and will probably save you at least once in your lifetime. It’s a great free program that I highly recommend to everyone who values recovering lost documents.