Undelete 3.0 can bring a dead file back to life.
We’ve all been there: One moment, you casually toss a document into the
Recycle Bin and, out of habit or by a scheduled task, you dump the bin.
The next week, you need to make a change and, lo and behold, the document
is missing. After about five minutes of frantic searching, the lightening
bolt strikes: “I deleted it last week. What was I thinking??!?” You go
looking in the Recycle Bin, and the document isn’t there. That document
was the migration plan to move the corporate e-mail system to Exchange
2000, and you’re in trouble with a capital “T.”
Then again, maybe not. Executive Software, which brought you Diskeeper,
has another tool—Undelete 3.0—that just might help. Good news: You might
be not be in for another 20 hours of work and public humiliation at the
hands of your peers.
Now we all know that when you press delete or even do a Shift-Delete
in Windows, the file isn’t annihilated. It’s still on your hard disk,
sitting in the area that’s now zoned as free space. With the right tool,
you can bring it back.
Undelete is a simple tool with a simple purpose: to recover deleted files.
With Undelete 3.0, Executive Software has taken it a step further by creating
a way to recover files across the network. Using Undelete Server, you
can connect to a computer running Undelete Server or Workstation and recover
files from any volume. This is a nice thing, just in case you have to
recover a file that another user may have inadvertently (or purposely)
deleted. The one caveat to remember with remote connection is that only
one console can connect at the same time.
Of course, like all file-recovery tools, Undelete requires the deleted
file to be contiguously complete on the hard disk. If any part of that
file is overwritten, the file is unrecoverable.
But what if you want to delete a file so that it’s unrecoverable—if,
for instance, you’re sanitizing your storage media? SecureDelete, a tool
that comes with Undelete, does the job. SecureDelete does three-pass overwrites
with varying patterns. This is good for those working in classified environments.
When I installed Undelete, I noticed right away that the Windows Recycle
Bin was replaced with an Undelete Recovery Bin. From there, I had access
to the tool. I had a directory listing of files that were deleted since
Undelete was installed. I could do a search if I wanted. I could also
switch to “Direct from Disk” mode, which allowed me to key in on a directory
and recover files from there.
So what about files that were deleted before I added Undelete? No problem.
Undelete comes with an Emergency Undelete tool that allows you to undelete
files without installing the program. The only footprint left is a registry
|Undelete 3.0 may be just what you need to bring back
files from the dead. (Click image to view larger version.)
Undelete has a few configurable options, such as screening out file types
that shouldn’t be recovered—a good thing to use if you have to hunt down
files and don’t want to wade through temporary files from installs and
Undelete isn’t an end-all solution to file availability. It was never
designed to replace a file backup system; but when used in conjunction
with a properly implemented backup system, Undelete can be a good first
line of action.
Undelete 3.0, $49.95 for Workstation, $259 for Server; Executive Software,
(818) 771-1600, www.executive.com.
Rick A. Butler, MCSE+I, is the Director of Information Services for the United States Hang Gliding Association.