Recover My Files is a Windows-compatible software application that provides the ability to easily recover files that have been deleted or emptied from the Windows Recycle Bin. This software attempts to recover files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin, from a formatted hard drive, and even those that have been lost due to power failures and virus attacks. With Recover My Files, the user has the ability to search and recover over 300 different types of files without altering the current contents of the drive being searched. Recover My Files also provides the ability to find corrupted computer drives, drives unrecognizable by Windows, formatted drives, and even drives that have been formatted and a new operating system installed.
Installing Recover My Files was very simple, requiring all of about five minutes. Over a high speed connection, I was able to download the software in about three minutes. Once the download was complete, the installation process was a simple as running an executable file. Once installed, the user can customize the application’s settings, including whether or not to show the Tips of the Day at startup, to show the Wizard at startup, and to start the application in a folder view by making selections from the Options menu. [Image 6, Manually Set Options]
The user interface is very simple and offers four main functions: Fast File Search, Complete File Search, Fast Format Recover, and Complete Format Recover. All of these options are presented in a simple wizard format. [Image 1, Recover My Files Wizard] Making the appropriate selection to fit the user’s needs is very simple as well, because the application provides a brief description of each option on the Start Search main screen. When beginning a search or recovery, it is best to do a fast search to try and locate the file in "recently deleted" first. [Image 2, Fast File Search] Depending on the size of the hard drive and the computer's speed, this option may still take up to two hours to retrieve the data. Another option is the Complete File Search, which will locate files that are no longer identified in the Windows operating system. [Image 3, Complete File Search] Any returned files are assigned generic names and require the user to open a file to see exactly what it is. For situations where a drive is not recognized, the tool offers the Fast Format Recover feature. [Image 4, Fast Format Recover] The search will return all files in the missing drive partition with the full file and folder names. For the gravest of situations, there is a Complete Format Recover. [Image 5, Complete Format Recover] This feature is best used when Windows has been reinstalled; it completes a search for files with specific file extensions.
The version of Recover My Files that is downloaded from the manufacturer’s website is fully functional, allowing the user to preview the contents of the files that it has recovered. However, in order to save any of the recovered files, the user must purchase a product activation key. Recovered files cannot be saved directly to the computer’s hard drive and must be saved to an alternate storage media such as a second hard drive, a floppy disc, USB drive, computer network, or CD or DVD. Overall, Recover My Files offers one of the most encompassing feature sets available. With the ability to recover over 300 file types, the application allows the user to find anything from an encrypted or compressed file, to videos, photos, and deleted emails. [Image 7, File Types] The user can also apply a filter to further narrow the search parameters by details such as filename/extension, range of file size, date created/modified/accessed, and keyword. [Image 11, Search Filter] Data recovery is not limited to the computer’s hard drive, either. Files can also be recovered from such external media sources as camera cards, USB drives, Zip drives, floppy discs, and even iPods. During an active search, the user can see the application’s progress. [Image 10, Search Progress] The Progress meter provides details regarding the number of files found, time elapsed, and portion complete.
One of the application’s most impressive features is its help and support. The available options include an embedded help menu, online video tutorials, direct links to an online support knowledge base, step-by-step installation instructions, step-by-step search instructions, and email support. [Image 8, Help] The Tip of the Day is also available and can be shown at startup. [Image 9, Tips of the Day] These tips offer the user interesting and important information designed to improve the their comfort with the application.