Minitool Power Data Recovery is an easy to use data recovery tool, you don’t need to have any technical background to use it, a clear interface helps you choose the best data recovery method for your situation, besides recovering erased files which many other tools can do, this software can recover data from damaged and formatted hard drives, scratched CD/DVDs (ISO9600, Joliet, UDF format) and memory cards (SD, USB, MMC, iPod,etc).
After installing Minitool Power Data Recovery you are shown five different data recovery modules with different scanning depths:
- Undelete Recovery (erased files and folders)
- Damaged Partition Recovery (damaged and formatted partitions)
- Lost Partition Recovery (lost or erased HDD partition)
- Digital Media Recovery (flash drive, memory card, memory stick, iPod)
- CD/DVD Recovery (CD and DVD)
A preview window will show what files can be recovered once the program has finished scanning the media, the data recovery process can be paused and resumed, there are search and filtering capabilities to exclude results with memory cards being automatically detected. An annoying nagging screen asks you to upgrade to a business license everytime you start the software, the home edition is free for non-commercial use, unless you want to recover data off a RAID configured hard disk, which is not supported by the free version, there is little reason for you to upgrade.
How does data recovery work?
Data is stored inside sectors in a computer hard drive, HDD plates are made of a combination of metal, glass and ceramics with magnetizing coating, when you instruct your operating system to delete a file that sector will be marked as empty and will no longer be visible to the user, the sector will now be available to store data on it once again, until something is written on the sector the old data will still be recoverable as it has never actually been deleted only marked as available free space and made invisible to the user, data recovery software can unmark those available sectors making visible the data they contain to the user.
For damaged hard drives a commonly used data recovery methods is consistency checking, data recovery software checks the main directory of a hard drive and compares with its internal logical structure making sure it coincides, if it detects inconsistencies it lists them and they can be amended.
Data carving is another data recovery method, data carving checks for files that have no file system allocation information, i.e. corrupted or deleted files, after the user manually adjusts the block size (carve), the file can be recovered, this method is heavily used in computer forensics, it relies in a lot of trial an error work and it needs good technical knowledge.
Hard drive clicking noise explained “Click of Death”
If your hard drive does not start and you hear it clicking as it spins this probably means the drive has defective read and write heads. When a hard drive is first powered up it always checks that it has enough speed before placing the read/write heads over the magnetic drive plates, if the necessary speed isn’t reached the hard drive will restart the whole process again causing the clicking noise.
If you hear your damaged hard drive clicking and you run recovery software you will strain the drive heads with read/write (I/O) errors being written on the disk making data recovery more difficult for an expert were you to turn over that HDD to a technician later on.
Note: Do not attempt to recover data off a damaged hard drive by placing it inside the freezer (Internet myth), although it could be helpful solving internal HDD metal contraction problems, it will create condensation on the hard drive plates making data recovery troublesome.