File Scavenger — Best NTFS Recovery Tool

I recently had a series of nightmares with NTFS-formatted hard drives failing because of corrupt master file tables. NTFS apparently has a lot of difficulty with lots (>1 million) of subdirectories and files (>14 million), as I find NTFS drives predictably fail when I approach such large numbers.

I downloaded, tried and even bought a couple NTFS recovery tools, and QueTek’s File Scavenger was hands-down the best program I found for WinXP.

Quite a few of the programs I threw at the recovery process simply choked on the huge number of directories and files — they’d reach a certain process in analyzing the hard drive and then fail. Others could handle the recovery, but were unable to preserve the subdirectory and file names, so I’d end up with thousands of subdirectories labeled Unkown4752, Unknown4753, etc, with files often also labeled Uknown573.jpg, etc.

File Scavenger was the only program I tried that was able to reliably restore most or all of the data, and preserve the file/directory name information. I couldn’t recommend it highly enough — if you’re trying to recover an NTFS volume, definitely give this a try. The demo version’s diagnostic tools are fully functional — you only have to pay if you want to recover more than one file per day, so at least you can download, install and run the program to see if it will recover the data you need before you pay the $49 fee to register the program.

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3 thoughts on “File Scavenger — Best NTFS Recovery Tool”

  1. But if you can only recover one file per day, then it would take approximately 38356.16 years to recover all >14 million files, which kind of forces you to buy their software since it is the only one that can list a large amount of recoverable files and show them in a human-readable structure with their original file names.

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  2. @Joe: the point of the one file/day free is so you can test the software and make certain it is actually going to be able to see the drive and recover the files before spending $49 for the software.

    This is a really awesome policy, as the first program I bought to solve my particular problem back in late 2006 cost me more than $49 and wasn’t actually able to recover all the files once I had it installed.

    If you’ve got a corrupted MBR on a large HD you should definitely check this out — easily among the best $49 I ever spent given the magnitude of the potential data loss and/or days spent doing a backup restore.

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