In this guide we are going to discuss how to recover deleted files using MiniTool Power Data Recovery. Please be forewarned that this is a comprehensive guide designed to be both: easy to follow and effective. It is not the shortest guide out there; however, if you follow it carefully there is a fairly good chance that you will be able to recover your deleted files successfully.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery
For those who don’t know, Minitool Power Data Recovery (which we will sometimes shorten to MiniTool PDR) is a file recovery program created by a company named, not surprisingly, Minitool. Other software created by the company include: Partition Wizard (for dealing with hard drive partitions), Drive Copy (for copying and cloning hard drives) and Drive Wipe (for permanently wiping hard drive data).
MiniTool Power Data Recovery Strengths
- MiniTool provides a free edition of PDR : MiniTool PDR is, at its core, a commercial product which you have to purchase in order to use; luckily, there is a full featured free version available for the average individual! The only caveat is that the free version is limited to 1 GB (gigabyte) of deleted file recovery.
- MiniTool PDR is easy to use: MiniTool PDR provides a graphical wizard which guides you through the process of recovering deleted files step-by-step.
- MiniTool PDR is extremely effective at recovering deleted files: MiniTool is generally regarded as one of the premier free data recovery programs because of its ability to recover a large percentage of lost and deleted files.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery Weaknesses
- The free version of MiniTool PDR has limitations: Although MiniTool offers a full featured free version of PDR, you are only able to recover 1 GB (gigabyte) of deleted files using it. Once you have recovered 1 GB of deleted files you will need to purchase the Personal License which costs $59 US. This will be an issue for individuals who need to recover thousands of deleted pictures or documents, but not for those who need to recover a scant few crucial files. We advise that, no matter what your situation is, you at least give MiniTool PDR a try!
A Few Warnings about Recovering Deleted Files
Before we describe the actual process of how to recover deleted files using MiniTool PDR we want to provide a few warnings. Please read these warnings carefully.
- Attempt to recover your files as soon as possible: The sooner you realize that files have been accidentally deleted, the greater the likelihood that you will be able to recover them!
- Don’t continue to use a device after accidentally deleting files from it: If you accidentally delete files from a device (local hard drive, SD card, USB, external hard drive, CD,DVD…) then stop using it immediately!
- Don’t install MiniTool PDR onto the device where the deleted files reside: Installing data recovery software onto a device where deleted files reside is a bad idea! As an example: if your deleted files are on a USB key then don’t install MiniTool PDR onto that USB key.
- Don’t recover deleted files to the same device: Recovering deleted files onto the same device they came from is a bad idea! As an example: if your deleted files are on a USB key then don’t recover these files onto the same USB key.
If you wish to know more about any of this information then please take a look through our article: Deleted File Recovery: Do’s and Don’ts. It discusses a number of important concepts which highlight the ways in which deleted files can be lost permanently (something no one wants).
For computer novices: Don’t worry excessively! As long as you follow along closely there is minimal chance anything will go wrong!
Where are your Deleted Files?
The first thing you have to do is decide where the deleted files you wish to recover are located as this will help determine which section of our guide you will follow. The most common locations for deleted files are:
- In your recycle bin
- On an SD card
- On a USB key
- On an external hard drive
- On a CD or DVD
- Somewhere else on your local hard drive (C:)
Choose the Appropriate Guide
Option 1: Read How to Recover Deleted Files from the Recycle Bin or Local Hard Drive if:
- Your deleted files are located in the recycle bin or on your local hard drive (C: drive).
- You want a guide which is safe (no chance of permanent file loss).
- Your deleted files are located on an SD card, USB key, external hard drive, CD or DVD.
- You want a guide which is safe (no chance of permanent file loss).
This particular guide assumes that you are attempting to recover a deleted file from the recycle bin or from somewhere on your local hard drive (C: drive). It is important to note that this guide is safe; your deleted files can not be permanently lost by following it! This is because you are going to be recovering from your local hard drive as if it was a USB key, making sure that no new files have a chance to permanently overwrite your deleted files.
What you will need:
- An appropriate hard drive to USB adapter
- Access to the computer where the deleted files do reside
- Access to any working computer where the deleted files do not reside
Table of Contents
1-1) Convert the local hard drive, where the deleted files do reside, into a USB and connect it to a working computer where the deleted files do not reside. In order to do so read our article: how to convert a hard drive to a USB.
2-1) Follow the sub-guide: How to Recover Deleted Files from an SD card, USB, External Hard Drive, or CD/DVD as if you were recovering deleted files from a normal USB (think of the local hard drive, which you converted to a USB in step 1, as a normal USB). Note that the first step of the sub-guide is redundant as you have likely already attached the local hard drive (now USB) to a working computer.
3-1) Put your local hard drive, which you converted to a USB in step 1, back into the computer from where it originally came.
This particular guide assumes that you are attempting to recover a deleted file from an SD card, USB key, external hard drive, or CD/DVD. It is important to note that this guide is safe; your deleted files can not be permanently lost by following it!
What you will need:
- Access to the device (SD card, USB, external hard drive, CD, DVD) where the deleted files do reside.
- Access to any working computer where the deleted files do not reside (we will call this PC-REC henceforth).
- A memory card reader only if you are attempting to recover deleted files from an SD card and your computer doesn’t come with a built in memory card reader.
Table of Contents
1-1) Attach the device where your deleted files do reside to PC-REC. Just as a reminder: PC-REC refers to any working computer where the deleted files do not reside.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from an SD card: Plug the SD card into PC-REC’s memory card reader. If PC-REC does not come with a memory card reader then plug the SD card into an external memory card reader and then plug the external memory card reader into PC-REC.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from a USB: Plug the USB into PC-REC.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from an external hard drive: Plug the external hard drive into PC-REC and make sure that its power is turned on.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from a CD or DVD: Insert the CD or DVD into PC-REC’s CD/DVD drive.
2-1) Log onto PC-REC and create a new folder on the desktop named Recovered Deleted Files Folder. Initially this folder will be empty; however, we will fill it with recovered files shortly.
3-1) Open up a web browser (Firefox, IE, Google Chrome …).
3-2) Head over to the MiniTool website and download MiniTool Power Data Recovery Free Edition. The download page for the free version of MiniTool PDR can be found here.
4-1) Double click on the executable file downloaded in step 3-2 and follow the installation instructions.
5-1) If MiniTool PDR is already open then you can skip this step! If it is not open then open it(you can generally find it by going Windows Button –> All Programs –> MiniTool Power Data Recovery x.x).
6-1) Click on the icon which corresponds with the device where your deleted files reside.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from an SD card: Click on the Undelete Recovery icon.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from a USB: Click on the Undelete Recovery icon.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from an external hard drive: Click on the Undelete Recovery icon.
- If you wish to recover deleted files from a CD or DVD: Click on the CD/DVD Recovery icon.
7-1) Select the device where the deleted files reside. If you are uncertain which device you should choose simply:
- Detach the device (where the deleted files reside) from PC-REC.
- Click on Refresh List and note which device disappeared from the MiniTool PDR window.
- Attach the device (where the deleted files reside) back to PC-REC.
- Click on Refresh List and note which device suddenly appeared in the MiniTool PDR window. This is the device you want to select!
7-2) Click on Recover.
8-1) Once the recovery scanning process is complete you will be shown a list of files which MiniTool PDR was able to find.
If you are using the free version of MiniTool PDR with the 1 GB limit: Search for the deleted files you would like to recover via the file pane or the Find file button. Once you have found the deleted files you would like to recover simply check the boxes next to their names. If you are unable to find the files you are looking for then select all of the files by clicking the check-box under the heading “Recovered Files” – this will work as long as you have selected 1 GB or less of data.
If you have purchased the full version of MiniTool PDR and have no recovery limit: Select all of the files by clicking the check-box under the heading “Recovered Files”
8-2) Click on Save Files.
This is an extremely important step – Please follow along carefully! At this stage we want to make sure that the recovered files will be saved to PC-REC (we do not want the recovered files saved to the device where the deleted files do reside).
9-1) Click on Browse.
9-2) Click on the Desktop icon and then click on the Recovered Deleted Files Folder (which we created back in step 2-1).
9-3) Only when you are sure that Recovered Deleted Files Folder is selected should you proceed by clicking OK.
9-4) Click OK on the Save Files window to start the recovery process.
9-5) Wait as MiniTool PDR attempts to recover your deleted files. This may take a while!
10-1) Once the recovery process is complete go back into the Windows environment and open up the folder named Recovered Deleted Files Folder which should be located on your desktop.
10-2) Search for your deleted files. If file names have been preserved (recovered file names correspond with their original file names) then simply look for accidentally deleted files by name. If, on the other hand, file names have not been preserved then you are going to need to do a bit of digging. There are 2 ways to make your search a little easier:
- Organize and search through the files by type. For example, if you are looking for a JPEG image then only look at the files labeled JPEG. If you are looking for a Microsoft Word Document then only look at the files labeled DOC/DOCX.
- Organize and search through the files by date modified. If you know that the file you accidentally deleted was created and modified today, then only look at files where “date modified” has today’s date.
If you were able to recover your deleted files then GREAT, you are done!
If you were unable to recover your deleted files then you have several choices:
- Try to recover your deleted files with a different data recovery program (other than MiniTool Power Data Recovery).
- Take your computer to a compute repair technician and let them have a look.
- Take your computer to a data recovery specialist; these individuals have specialized data recovery facilities and can oftentimes recover hard to find deleted files (for a sometimes hefty price).
- Move on and forget about recovering your deleted files.
By now you have either recovered your deleted files using MiniTool PDR or you were unsuccessful doing so.
If MiniTool PDR was able to recover your deleted files then you are done. The only thing we can recommend is that, in the future, you always make sure to back up your files whether they are on an SD card, USB key, external hard drive, CD, DVD, or local hard drive. Having files in a number of locations is extremely wise and will prevent the need for worrisome data recovery.
If MiniTool PDR was unable to recover your deleted files then you have a number of options which we touched upon above. As a quick refresher, you can either:
- Attempt to recover your deleted files using a different program: we recommend that you look at Recuva, PhotoRec, and R-Undelete
- Take your computer to a computer repair technician. Computer repair technicians can sometimes find alternative methods to retrieve your deleted files, although often they will use the types of programs we are talking about here.
- Take your computer to a data recovery specialist. Data recovery specialists focus on 1 task: data recovery. They generally have advanced recovery facilities and are able to recover files which others, computer users and repair people, can not. The one issues with data recovery specialists is that they can be a tad expensive.
- Move on and forget about your deleted files. If you are only losing a few hours of work then you should ask yourself: is it really worth all of this time and effort? If, on the other hand, you are losing weeks or months of work then it is likely well worth your time and effort – in such a situation go with one of the alternatives listed above!
Hopefully this comprehensive article, detailing how to recover deleted files using MiniTool Power Data Recovery, has been useful. If you have any questions then feel free to email us – Seymour Computer Repair – or leave a comment. Furthermore, if you need to recover deleted files, we just might be able to help!