Thursday, February 27, 2020

How To Recover Your Files Easily & Economically Via R-Studio

December 3, 2006 by · 9 Comments 

Did you lose some data? Perhaps you deleted the wrong file? Perhaps your trusty USB flash drive became corrupted? What do you do now!? You probably lost countless documents of extremely high importance! You would do anything to get them back! ANYTHING!

WAIT! Don’t Panic! There might be something simple you can do…!

At one point in our lives it has happened to us all: lost data. You dropped your hard drive, you corrupted your USB flash drive, a virus struck your computer, you formatted the wrong partition, or maybe you deleted the wrong file. There are so many ways that you can lose important files, pictures, videos and memory. I remember the last time it happened to me directly, April 26, 2000. Somehow my computer got infected with the infamous CIH.1103 virus, also known as the Chernobyl virus. Lets just say that I lost my collection of some 1000 MP3s (that was a lot for me at the time), several hundred personal photographs, and most importantly all of my mother’s lesson plans. The latter was the worse, I was grounded for several weeks, having to re-type every single one. I digress.

Back to the point. It is unfortunate that many people are under the impression that recovering such data might be impossible, or just too expensive. Although, recovering data can be a very complicated and expensive process, it might be easier than you think. If the data was not deliberately corrupted or erased by a trained professional, or the media completely destroyed, it might just be possible to recover the data with some basic software applications.

The question that arises immediately is how crucial was the data and how important is it for you to recover? Of course, some money will need to be spent. I will first state the following: If you ever “lose” data, immediately STOP trying to access, especially writing from/to the affected media. If it’s your main hard drive, go buy another and re-install your operating system on this new one. Writing to the affected media will effectively make this recovery process much more complicated and possibly impossible. One other important fact is that no recovery method is 100% certain. Yes have a positive attitude, but be aware that any method can fail. If recovery of the data is mission-critical and you are willing to pay $500 USD or more for recovery, don’t even read this article and head over to or
However, if like most of us you don’t have $500 USD to spend, but you can spend about $80 USD, I invite you to continue reading:

It is critical, whenever recovering electronic media, hard drives, USB Drives, and the like, that recovery data be written to different media that is the same size or larger than that which you are recovering. This may require you to purchase a new hard drive, perhaps an additional $50-$100 USD depending on its size.

At this point, you’re probably wondering how spending only $80 USD will help you recover your data. Well you guessed right, it is a software program. The specific program I’m talking about is R-Studio by RTT. R-Studio is one of the most powerful and inexpensive data recovery applications available today. It support recovery from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, NTFS5 (created or updated by Windows 2000/XP/2003/Vista), Ext2FS/Ext3FS (LINUX file systems) and UFS1/UFS2 (FreeBSD/OpenBSD/NetBSD file systems) partitions. As their website states it “functions on local and network disks, even if such partitions are formatted, damaged or deleted.”

R-Studio will scan the affected hard drive and present you with recoverable directory structures and files. This scan can take anywhere from several minutes to a couple of hours depending on the size of your hard drive and what file systems you are scanning for. Recovery will also take some time, from several minutes to a couple of hours depending on how much data you are recovering. Even if the directory structures are irrecoverable, R-Studio has an additional scanning algorithm that can find the structures of certain file types. The only disadvantage of this method is that it will not be able to recover the directory structure or the file names themselves. Rather, R-Studio creates a directory structure based on file type, file names look like serial numbers.

My most recent use of R-Studio involved helping a good friend of mine. He is a graphic designer and his backup hard drive suffered a serious crash. He was moving some critical data from his main hard drive over to his backup hard drive when the power in his house went out. His backup hard drive was installed inside an external enclosure and connected to his computer via USB 2.0. Unfortunately, none of his equipment was plugged into Uninterruptible Power Supplies (UPS). Losing power during a write operation can cause serious damage. His initial attempt at recovery included going to Best Buy and getting help from their famous Geek Squad. Unfortunately, the Geek Squad diagnosed the hard drive as completely dead and irrecoverable. He immediately contacted me in hopes that I might be able to help. He wrapped the hard drive in extra bubble-wrap and shipped it to me overnight. Upon receiving it, I carefully removed it from its external enclosure and plugged it directly into an internal IDE controller in my computer.

Windows saw the hard drive as a freshly formatted FAT32 drive. I powered up R-Studio and commenced a full blown scan for all partition types. The scan found a 160GB FAT32 partition. The entire scan lasted approximately 2 hours and a half. Unfortunately, R-Studio was unable to find any directory structures. However, I had included the extra search for known file types. This algorithm found over 75% of the lost files on that hard drive! Success! Furthermore, in just another 2 hours I had all recovered files on a new 200GB hard drive. So much for trusting the Geek Squad… Go R-Studio!!!

R-Studio is a novice friendly application and virtually idiot proof. It is very simple to use and the instructions are very clear and easy to understand. You can even download the demo (2.73MB) and scan your hard drive without purchasing the software. This allows you to see what you can recover. Only when you decide that you want to recover data will you need to purchase it and obtain the registration key. Once you purchase it you don’t need to download another file, you simple select Register from the Help menu, enter your Registration key and all recovery features are unlocked.

Of course, for all us geeks out there, R-Studio also includes some very advanced features, for more advanced recovery attempts. R-Studio includes a very advanced hex editor and some equally advanced imaging and RAID recovery tools. R-Studio also comes with a new light version called R-Studio Emergency, you can create a recovery CD or floppy disk set. This will help in recovery of a hard drive without the overhead of the operating system. This might also be useful when you cannot boot to an operating system.

Ohh yea, by the way, although R-Studio can recover from all those partition types, the software will only run on Windows. I know, its a bummer for you Mac or Linux users. I promise I’ll review some recovery software for Linux and Mac.

R-Studio also has some very valuable enterprise applications for Systems Administrators and large companies. So check out for more features and resources. This is definitely a tool you want to have on your belt. It will get you out of many jams, and might help you save a life or two. For $80, you just can’t go wrong!

In my next article I will discuss several simple, inexpensive tips for protecting your most valuable files.

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