Data Recovery Freeware Shootout

If you’ve ever accidentally deleted a photo from your camera or had a memory card crap out, a data recovery program may save the day. I’ve tested 3 free ones – Recuva , MJM Photo Recovery and Zero Assumption Recovery – and here’s what I found.
Installation was quick and problem free on all three programs. Interfaces of MJM and Zero Assumption are quite similar and simple. Recuva’s interface is more refined and includes a wizard to walk you through the recovery process. I found the wizard useful. All three programs are easy to use – simply select which drive to scan, where to store recovered files and click ‘start’.
All three apps were tested for data recovery. Twenty five photos were loaded onto a brand new 4GB SD card and onto a well-used 64MB thumbdrive. In round one all 25 photos were deleted and then each program tried to recover them. In round two, the 25 photos were loaded onto the memory again, but the memory was formatted, to simulate a memory card crash. Recuva and MJM tied with 86% of the photos successfully recovered over all 4 tests. Zero Assumption recovered a dissappointing 63%.
Speed is the only other benchmark that matters. Recuva destroyed the competion by completing all 4 scans in under 5 minutes each. Zero Assumption scanned the 64MB thumbdrive in about 6 minutes, but scanning the 4GB SD card took over an hour. MJM scanned the 64MB thumbdrive in about 35 minutes, but scanning the 4GB SD card took well over an hour.
Based on my testing, Recuva is the obvious choice. It is the fastest program (by a wide margin), it tied for the best percentage of photos recovered and has the most refined interface.
Download Recuva HERE
Download MJM HERE
Download Zero Assumption HERE

1 Response to “Data Recovery Freeware Shootout”

  1. 1 sama86 July 1, 2010 at 1:22 pm

    You should also checkout Genie Timeline Free Edition. Recovering files, suck as photos, music files and video is very easy. It also provides multiple version control and it now supports iPhone, iPad, iPod and blackberry backups!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 714 other subscribers

%d bloggers like this: