Testdisk is a free console utility developed by Christophe Grenier. It is most often used for partition recovery, file table error correction, copying from one partition to another and data recovery proper.
- What's great about Testdisk
- Features of Testdisk
- Supported OS
- Where to download Testdisk for Windows
Why Testdisk is one of the best recovery programs
The program Testdisk supports most of the file systems in use. Just mention FAT/NTFS/exFAT - that covers most operating systems and devices, including usb sticks and phone memory sticks.
Testdisk is also well documented. The official cgsecurity.org website provides step-by-step tutorials, as well as an FAQ about its use. A forum is also available for questions. It seems to have a large community of users and a very good database of fixed problems.
Main features of Testdisk
List the main functions of this program.
The main TestDisk utility is intended to repair bad partitions, fix bootable disks.
Damaged sectors or deleting a Partition Table are very common problems. The cause may be a Windows system failure, hard disk misuse or virus attack.
Other features of TestDisk application:
- Recover deleted and corrupted data from supported file systems including (ex)FAT, NTFS and ext2. This is sufficient for desktop operating systems.
- Copying /files from one partition to another (or creating an exact copy of the partition): useful feature if you wish to transfer data to DOS when Windows is not working
- Restoring partition table partitioning
- Restoring boot sector from previously created backup (FAT/NTFS)
- Restoring master file table (MFT)
- Gathering diagnostic information which may be sent to the data recovery lab.
The current version of TestDisk 7.0 has been out for a long time - as well as PhotoRec, the other utility from Cgsecurity. By the way, there is a beta version of TestDisk 7.1 available at the developer's site, but we will review it after the final release.
If you want to recover /files via a GUI, try Cgsecurity PhotoRec. PhotoRec is essentially a GUI version of TestDisk: with an intuitive shell and settings.
The program doesn't need to be installed the traditional way, just unzip the archive containing Testdisk and Photorec. Accordingly, TestDisk works in portable mode and is available to run (via testdisk_win.exe).
Testdisk successfully runs on Windows platforms including the popular Windows 7 and 10. Generally speaking, it is compatible with Dos/Win9x due to its console interface. There is also a distribution for Linux and MacOS.
Testdisk is also present in several LiveCDs as one of the recovery tools. This is the best way to boot from a crashed OS and recover partitions or transfer /files from one partition to another.
Builds of Testdisk can be found on the CGSecurity website. Generally speaking, all versions of the program have been and remain free for non-commercial use. Through the site of the program you can make a donation by clicking on the Donate button. By doing this you support the development of the project.