Time to get a bit more serious. We took a partition on
our test systems and deleted it with extreme prejudice. We then loaded
up Handy Recovery 2.0, hit the 'find partitions' button, indicated the correct disk
and let it attempt to discover the missing data. Our lost partition quickly showed
up, and we were easily
able to grab our files from the drive and restore them.
One nice feature we noticed is that you do
not have to wait for Handy Recovery to finish scanning for partitions or
analyzing a partition before getting to work. As soon as the program
detected the deleted partition, we were able to double click it and begin
analyzing it, and as soon as files showed up during that process we could
recover them without waiting for
the analysis to finish. This speeds up the recovery process greatly.
We now proceeded to build a new NTFS partition over the
one we had just deleted, quick formatting the drive. Handy Recovery
analyzed the new partition and found all the missing files, though this time they were marked as deleted. Full recovery was achieved
Beyond the Specs: Restoring data from a fully formatted
According to SoftLogica, Handy Recovery 2.0 cannot
recover data from partitions which have been fully formatted, so we were in
uncharted waters with this test. Taking the same partition,
we now fully (not quick) formatted it and attempted to recover our
data again. Handy Recovery came through once more, retrieving all the missing
data properly. Keep in mind though, that no new data was
written to the formatted partition before the recovery tests were
Based on what we've seen, Handy Recovery *should be* quite capable of more demanding
restoration work such as retrieving files from damaged drives. Of
course, the program itself is not going to perform miracles. If your data
is in damaged sectors or has been written over by new data, you're going to have
to resort to a paid data recovery service in most instances.
Using the Disk Imaging Feature
The Handy Recovery 2.0 software also features a basic disk cloning application which
can write a full copy of a partition to a file and then
do recovery operations on that file just like it was a
full partition. This feature could come in extremely handy when attempting to recover
data from a damaged or defective drive, as the longer
you access the physical drive, the worse the damage can get. By
copying the partitions off the drive, you reduce the
risk of total failure.
Note that this feature cannot clone whole physical
drives, just individual partitions.
We had some strange results when testing this feature
with some small 2 and 5GB partitions we created specially. The
copying process seemed to work fine, but then at the end it told us that
the 'operation was cancelled by the user.' When we checked the files
that were created on the disk (no form of compression is used, so the files are
the exact size of the original partitions) they seemed to be complete and we
could access all the data on them through Handy Recovery 2.0. Not a major
bug then, but an odd one.