So I’m a dumbass and in the process of attempting to make a 1:1 copy of every file on a full 2 TB hard drive, actually managed to delete them all before I realized what I was doing (did I mention I’m a dumbass sometime). Fortunately once I realized there were no longer any files on my drive, I did stop everything immediately so no data would overwrite the actual file data. Then I started looking for recovery options.
I finally settled on Piriform’s Recuva recovery software which had a number of things going for it.
First, it’s free. And not free as in “it’s free for the first 50 gb of files and after that you’ll need to pay us” but free as in I was able to recover every single deleted file on my hard drive without paying free. Even the Professional version is dirt cheap at just $24.95. That compares well to the $80 its nearest competitor wanted.
Second, it worked very well. When I realized my files had been deleted I did a few Google searches on reviews of data recovery software and quite a few roundups of such software rated Recuva as the best for recovering deleted files. A quick test showed why that was the case. Recuva quickly analyzed my hard drive and gave me an exhaustive list of all the deleted files on the drive, whether they were recoverable, etc.
It took me just a few minutes using some advanced filters to tell Recuva exactly what I wanted recovered, where I wanted the files to be written to, and I was on my way. Many hours later I had recovered all of the deleted files in their original directory structure, after which I made a Success Kid fist and cheered.