Note: The following is a sponsored post. The makers of Handy Recovery have donated $10 towards our hosting fees, in return for an unbiased review of their product on our website. Please note that while the post has been sponsored, our opinions are not, and we will voice our true opinion about the product, whether it be positive, negative, or both.
Handy Recovery is a utility that allows you to recover deleted files from your hard drive. It was made by the same company as Backup Platinum, which I reviewed a couple months ago. I have seen many file recovery programs on the internet, but I have only personally tried this and two others.
In order to test Handy Recovery’s recovering abilities, I planted a test folder in my hard drive. In this folder were: 10 .jpg photos, 3 .mp3 music files, 3 .doc word documents, 1 .html file, 1 .exe application, 1 .zip archive, and a couple other office documents.
We performed three different tests to show the strengths and weaknesses of Handy Recovery in different situations.
1. We deleted the file by high-lighting it and hitting the Del key, which sent them to the recycling bin. We then emptied the recycling bin.
2. We used the Shift+Delete key combo to delete the file, bypassing the Recycling Bin.
3. We loaded the test files onto a USB stick, then deleted them. We then filled the USB stick full with other data, and tried to recover the test files.
Test #1: Emptying from Recycling Bin
After deleting the file, we went into Handy Recovery, and analyzed the hard drive for deleted files. We were surprised to find that the deleted files were not located in their original directory. Instead, they were located in the Recycling Bin. This does make sense, because when you delete a file you are effectively cut and pasting it to the recycling bin. However it was a bit confusing, and we had to navigate though a mess of oddly named folders such as $$folder_9391 and other cryptic names. While it wasn’t as easy as it could have been, we did recover the files, and none of them were corrupted.
Test #2: Bypassing the Recycling Bin
After using Shift + Delete to delete the test files, we opened Handy Recovery and Analyzed the Hard drive. This time, the Folder with all the deleted files was displayed in its previous location, which made the recovery process much easier and quicker. Again, all files were recovered uncorrupted.
Test #3: Writing over with other data
We loaded the test files onto our USB stick, deleted them, and then filled the USB stick with other files until it was absolutely full. We then opened Handy Recovery, and it was able to successfully recover over 90% of the files! We only got 1 corrupted image, with all the others turning out fine. Pretty good, considering they were pulled out of almost thin air.
After using Handy Recovery a couple times, and exploring its features, I found some notably positive features, as well as some things that I didn’t like so much.
Ability to recover files from deleted partitions – if you choose to merge partitions, you can still recover previous data.
Disk Images – you can save an image of your hard drive, so that you can recover deleted files at a later time.
Useful folder icons – show what files or folders have been deleted, versus existing files and folders when browsing in Handy Recovery.
Filter and find options – allow you to search through your entire hard drive for a deleted file, or filter to only show certain file types, only deleted, etc. Useful for people with large hard drives.
All test files were recovered uncorrupted – great reliability is very important, especially when it comes to recovering valuable information such as contact info or documents which you have invested much time in.
The interface is plain, and intimidating even to us. I cannot see a new-computer user being able to operate it without at least a couple minutes of familiarization.
If you want to recover files deleted from the Recycling bin, be prepared to go through a bunch of confusing folders before you get to your files. The only way to tell what is in folder “5345-5334545-345″ is to click on it. While this doesn’t always happen, it happened about half of the time during our tests.
If you deleted any file without bypassing the recycling bin, it will appear in the recycling bin instead of its original location, which makes it tedious to recover files, especially if you have a lot of stuff in your recycling bin.
Handy Recovery will recover your files uncorrupted, and it will do it well. However it may not be easy or visually pleasing on the way. If you are looking for a customizable recovery program with many cool features, Handy Recovery probably isn’t for you. However in our tests, Handy Recovery performed exceptionally well in terms of recovery reliability.
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