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How These Little-Known Data Recovery Solutions Can Help You Some of these solutions may be lacking in brand recognition, but they make up for it through standard functionality and specialty features

By J.R. Jonivan

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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Despite recent advancements in computer hardware efficiency, resiliency, and life expectancy, data recovery software is still a crucial component of any IT expert's toolbox. From specialized solutions that are focused on recovering digital images, videos, or music files, to general software suites and packages that cater to as many different users as possible, data recovery is an art form in and of itself.

While there are some OS-native features that can help with the process of data recovery, including built-in solutions for Windows, Mac, and Linux, these utilities are rarely enough. In most cases, data recovery requires the use of third-party software to identify corrupt hard drives or lost partitions and to completely restore the contents.

Although some data recovery solutions are better than others, all of the software options featured in this review have been tested, proven, and scored by independent, third-party experts. Not only that, but they're also useful in a myriad of different data recovery scenarios.


There is a reason why R-STUDIO makes it to the top of our list – because they really are that good at data recovery.

Billed as a disk and hard drive recovery tool, R-STUDIO is developed by the expert team at R-Tools Technology and, although they have other utilities available, R-STUDIO is their flagship product. As such, it's always receiving new updates, upgrades, and technical support.

R-STUDIO supports a myriad of file systems, including NTFS, NTFS5, ReFS, FAT, exFAT, HFS / HFS+, APFS, UFS, and Ext FS. With such comprehensive support, it's compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux operating systems.

It also supports raw file recovery, which is useful when trying to recover data from damaged disks or lost partitions, and it is usable on both local and network disks. Combine this with highly flexible options and parameters, and you'll have full control over any data recovery operation.

A demo version is also available, although it's limited to recovering files that are less than 256KB in size. For even more information on R-STUDIO, check out this R-Studio review by


Generally meant for commercial use amongst enterprises, corporations, and institutions, WinHex also offers a home version for personal computers. As the name suggests, WinHex is focused on hexadecimal editing and data recovery – but its full list of features is dependent on your specific software license.

Some of the most popular features include a disk editor that supports traditional hard disk drives, floppy disks, CD-ROM / DVD media, flash memory, ZIP archives, and more. It provides native support for numerous file systems, although not quite as many as R-STUDIO, and it provides several different avenues for data recovery.

What really makes WinHex stand out from the competition is its built-in RAM editor, which provides access to the system's RAM and virtual memory. Although this is a powerful feature, it's not meant to be used by novices. With that in mind, WinHex isn't quite as user-friendly as R-STUDIO.


DMDE provides a streamlined, no-frills approach to data recovery. It offers both free and paid versions, making it great for any budget, but the features included in the free version are somewhat lacking.

The most useful features in DMDE include data searching and recovery, directory structure recovery, disk editing, partition management and undelete, disk imaging and cloning, RAID construction, and more. It also supports several different file systems, including NTFS, FAT, exFAT, Ext, HFS+, HSFX, ReFS, APFS, and more.

It's also a highly portable solution. Downloadable in a handy archive, DMDE's files are quickly extracted to nearly any system. Moreover, DMDE is ready to go immediately after extraction – there's no lengthy installation process to follow.

While native support for multiple file systems is nice, DMDE still doesn't match the compatibility of R-STUDIO. Some of its features also struggle to keep up with that of R-STUDIO.

Stellar Windows Data Recovery

For those who want to take the data recovery process into their own hands, Stellar Windows Data Recovery offers a DIY approach without holding your hand. Although it's great for recovering files from Windows environments, it doesn't support Mac or Linux operating systems whatsoever.

Stellar Windows Data Recovery still scores rather high in many ratings and reviews. This is primarily due to its compatibility with any device that works with Windows and the fact that it supports such a broad range of file types. It even supports the newest 4k drives, which has yet to be offered by many of their competitions.

Although its general functionality is sufficient, it lacks the versatility of a solution like R-STUDIO. Stellar Windows Data Recovery is currently available at three different pricing points to meet your needs.

In Closing

You don't always need name recognition or fancy logos to make a great product. As these software solutions prove, all it takes is industry dedication, a strong set of core features, and consistent software upgrades. If your chosen software solution checks these three boxes, you're already well on your way to recovering your lost data.


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