Pandora Recovery is a powerful freeware tool that can help you retrieve files and folders that have been lost or deleted from your computer. And that does not mean restoration of a file from Recycle Bin. The software recovers files removed from Recycle Bin, deleted using Shift + Delete keys by passing Recycle Bin and files deleted from DOS prompt. Pandora Recovery will scan your hard drive and build an index of existing and deleted files and directories (folders) on any logical drive of your computer with supported file format. Once the scanning is complete you have full control over which files to recover and what destination to recover them to. On top of that, Pandora Recovery allows you to preview deleted files of certain type (images and text files) without performing recovery. This feature becomes really important if you are forced to recover deleted files to the same drive.
Pandora Recovery could recover files only from NTFS and FAT volumes, supporting hard drives, flash drives and memory cards. It successfully handles archived, hidden, encrypted and compressed files and recovers Alternate Data Streams (ADS).
Install Pandora Recovery
Pandora Recovery is a freeware and can be downloaded from this page. I recommend you to download the program from local server, not Download.com. Take note that during installation, Pandora Recovery tries to install ASK.com toolbar, make sure to deselect the options if you don’t want the toolbar (most of us won’t want it nor do you need it to use Pandora Recovery).
It is VERY IMPORTANT you do not create, modify, or edit data on the drive that your lost data resides on. This includes, but is not limited to, installing new software (such as Pandora Recovery) to the drive, running software on the drive (including your operating system), or creating new files. This file activity may cause partial or even permanent loss of your deleted data. It’s always best to run data-recovery operations from a separate, healthy disk.
If your lost data resides on your C: it is STRONGLY RECOMMENDED you perform your file recovery by physically removing the C: drive from your computer and attaching it as a slave on another computer and then performing the file recovery using that other computer. Please consult your computer manufacturer for assistance configuring hard drives in this manner. If you are not able to remove the C: drive, you can also use the portable version of the program (paid tool distributed together with a 1GB USB jump drive ) that requires no installation to recover your data.
The Recovery Process
An easy way to get started recovering your deleted file(s) is by using the “Pandora Recovery Wizard”. The wizard explains each step to find and recover your lost or deleted files. By default the Wizard will open automatically when you start Pandora Recovery. You can also access the Wizard by clicking on the wizard icon in the program toolbar.
Follow the recovery wizard and after choosing a drive you’ll be asked to choose a recovery method: Browse, Search, or Deep (Surface) Scan. You can BROWSE the hierarchy of existing and deleted files, or you can use SEARCH functionality to find a deleted file by name, size, creation date or last accessed date. The last mode, “Deep Scan”, is much slower than the method use in Browse and Search but it is thorough. Use this method to recover files from drives with corrupted file tables, recently formatted drives or removable drives, of if you want to recover a particular type of file, such as images, archives, MS Office documents and audio files. However, files located during a surface scan do not possess file details such as the original folder location, original file name, or NTFS EPS data.
Once you have scanned your hard drive using one of the three scan methods – Browse, Search, or Surface Scan and have found a deleted file, simply right click that file and choose Recover to… from the menu to begin the recovery process.
In my testing, Pandora Recovery works fine with Hard Drive (NTFS) & USB drives but hung repeatedly trying to scan my Android SD card for lost data by using the “Browse” method (Search Method and Surface Scan method worked fine).
All in all, Pandora Recovery does what it’s supposed to do with minimal fuss and all for free. It takes time to scan especially if you have tons of file to retrieve, but its worth the wait. I recommend it to all users. And if you have any thoughts on this or other data recovery tools, please be sure to tell us (comment below, thanks).