PC Tools File Recover is an undelete utility that is easy to use, and it works.

With its £29 price tag, we went into our PC Tools File Recover (limited free demo) test thinking that it would be just another over-priced undelete utility. Ten minutes in, we were thinking it's a bargain. Most recovery programs that will scan on the sector level, such as Active @ File Recovery and R-studio Data Recovery, will set you back more money.

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PC Tools File Recover recovered all of the deleted files we threw at it by bulk search, or by specific file name/file type. The program did crash once while attempting to recover a large MPG file, but we were unable to replicate the incident.

PC Tools File Recover also easily recognised a USB-attached hard drive from a RAID 0/1 array that had been overwritten with two Mac OS partitions - and it found a number of files there. Unfortunately, the vast majority of the files were false positives that restored as zero length entries. To be fair, no program that we're aware of would do any better, although some will bypass false positives.

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Our only real problem with PC Tools File Recover came during the recovery stage. There's a button to select all and a button to deselect all, as well as selection by folder and type, however beyond that you're stuck selecting or deselecting files one at a time. You can't hold down the shift or control key and select/deselect groups or batches. Selecting files one at a time could get annoying when you have a lot of them in single directory. Also, although you may pause a scan, there's no way to save it so that you can continue or take action on a scan after closing the program.

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PC Tools File Recover: Specs

  • Windows 2000/XP Pro/XP Home/Vista Basic/Vista Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)
  • Windows 2000/XP Pro/XP Home/Vista Basic/Vista Ultimate (32-bit and 64-bit) and Windows 7 (32-bit and 64-bit)


PC Tools File Recover looks to be a bargain. As is typical for this sort of program, the demo will find files but not restore them.

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