The Complete PC Recovery Toolkit

This is a list we have compiled that includes 20 utilities to help you recover lost data (files), fix a PC that doesn’t want to start up, copy files from a scratched CD/DVD, and much, much more.

Please note: This guide was initially published back in 2009 and some of the software it references has changed since then. With that said, most of it is still available and has been updated to work in the latest versions of Windows (7, 8 and 10).

Advanced PSD Repair

Advanced PSD Repair

2021 Update: still exists, but now costs $

(APSR) is a powerful and free tool to recover corrupt Photoshop image (PSD, PDD) files. It uses advanced technologies to scan the corrupt or damaged Photoshop image files and recover your data in them as much as possible, so to minimize the loss in file corruption.

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Auslogics System Information

2021 Update: this app no longer exists, but Auslogics does offer a lot of security and recovery software.

Auslogics System Information provides comprehensive and easy to understand information about your system configuration.

It will show hardware configuration, video-card information, OS details, list of running processes, and other information. This information can be saved as a file and sent to technical support.

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CD Recovery Toolbox Free

The CD Recovery Toolbox Free tool scans any CD and DVD disks and finds files and folders located there. The CD Recovery Toolbox Free tool not only has a complete set of data recovery features, but is also user-friendly and convenient. The program interface is designed as a step-by step wizard, where the user has to perform a single action on each page of the wizard. The wizard makes the use of the tool very simple and convenient even for a beginner.

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Dependency Walker

Dependency Walker is a free utility that scans any 32-bit or 64-bit Windows module (exe, dll, ocx, sys, etc.) and builds a hierarchical tree diagram of all dependent modules. For each module found, it lists all the functions that are exported by that module, and which of those functions are actually being called by other modules. Another view displays the minimum set of required files, along with detailed information about each file including a full path to the file, base address, version numbers, machine type, debug information, and more.

Dependency Walker is also very useful for troubleshooting system errors related to loading and executing modules. Dependency Walker detects many common application problems such as missing modules, invalid modules, import/export mismatches, circular dependency errors, mismatched machine types of modules, and module initialization failures.

Dependency Walker 2.2
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Desktop Hijack Fix

Desktop Hijack Fix can be used to fix most problems in which your normal background is not displayed. Usually in the backgrounds place there is another image or website which has hijacked the desktop. This form of hijacking involves reconfiguring your Active Desktop to display something other than your default configuration. This can be caused by a virus / malware or can be that your active desktop may have just encountered an error.

Digital Video Repair

Digital Video Repair is a small utility for repairing (fixing) AVI files. You can repair partly damaged or corrupted AVI file in these cases:

  • AVI file have not completely copied from CD, DVD or other source
  • AVI file have not completely downloaded from the Internet (eDonkey, BitTorrent, etc)
  • Video freezes when playing
  • Video can’t be seeked (fast forwarded)
  • Video can’t be played

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If you are playing avi files, you may have noticed one of the following things:

  • Suddenly the image froze but the sound kept playing.
  • Disoriented or equally coloured blocks of pixels distorted the image for a time.

Using DivXRepair, you can repair corrupt avi files and eliminate freezes. This program automatically detects and eliminates bad frames.

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Error Messages For Windows

Error Messages for Windows is a small utility that will allow you to look up MS Windows error code numbers and display a descriptive message explaining what the numeric code actually means. If you have software programs that produce numeric error codes now you can find out what they really mean.

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ERUNT allows you to:

  • Backup the Windows NT/2000/2003/XP registry to a folder of you choice
  • System and current user registries selectable
  • Command line switches for automated registry backup and restoration
  • Restore the registry in Windows 9x/Me/NT/2000/2003/XP and MS-DOS (all-in-one restore program) or the Windows Recovery Console

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Find and Mount

Partition Find & Mount implements a new concept of deleted or lost partition recovery. It works in the most convenient way possible — by locating and mounting partitions into the system, thus making those lost partitions available to you like any generic disk volume. Partition Find & Mount will also work in case any Boot Record (including the Master Boot Record) is missing, damaged or overwritten.

partition find and mount
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With MrbFix you can perform several Master Boot Record (MBR) tasks, like backing up, restoring, fixing the boot code in the MBR, etc. The utility should not be used for GUID Partition Table (GPT) disks. The utility now, by popular demand, also come in a x64-version running unde x64-editions of Windows and PE.


Ophcrack LiveCD allows you to recover a lost Windows password when other methods fail. We even have a tutorial that walks you through how to use it.

ophcrack live cd
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PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media’s file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.



Recuva allows you to:

  • Undelete files on your computer. Deleted a file by mistake? Recuva brings lost files on your computer, USB drive, camera or iPod.
  • Recovery from damaged or formatted disks. Even if you’ve formatted a drive so that it looks blank, Recuva can still find your files on it.
  • Recover deleted emails. Emptied your email trash and need it back? Recuva’s got you covered with full support for Microsoft Outlook Express, Mozilla Thunderbird, or Windows Live Mail.
  • Recover deleted iPod music. Deleted music from your iPod or MP3 player? No problem, Recuva will get this back for you along with any additional track data.
  • Restore unsaved Word documents. Did Microsoft Word crash or did you forget to save that important Word document. No problem with Recuva! As it can intelligently rebuild Word documents from their temporary files.
  • Quick-Start Wizard. If you need your files back right away without fiddling with options, Recuva’s Quick-Start Wizard is the answer.
  • Deep Scan. Recuva can find most files within a minute. Or, set the Deep Scan to look for more deeply-buried results.
  • Securely delete files you want to erase forever. Want to protect your deleted files? Recuva also allows you to permanently erase any traces of deleted files.
  • Portable version. Take Recuva with you wherever you go with the portable version.
  • Full Windows OS support and many languages. Recuva has support for every modern version of Windows and 37+ languages.

Note: we have a full tutorial on how to use Recuva to recover files.


Rescue Kit 9.0 Express

2021 Update: Rescue Kit 9.0 Express is now known as PARAGON Backup & Recovery Community Edition

Boot Corrector

Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier

Roadkil’s Unstoppable Copier recovers files from disks with physical damage. Allows you to copy files from disks with problems such as bad sectors, scratches or that just give errors when reading data. The program will attempt to recover every readable piece of a file and put the pieces together. Using this method most types of files can be made usable even if some parts of the file were not recoverable in the end.

Unstopable Copier

Task Manager Fix

Task Manager Fix is a freeware system utility to fix task manager disabled by spyware, trojans and displays error message: “Task Manager has been disabled by your administrator”, which blocks access to Windows Task Manager.


TestDisk is a powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy. TestDisk can:

  • Fix partition table, recover deleted partition
  • Recover FAT32 boot sector from its backup
  • Rebuild FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 boot sector
  • Fix FAT tables
  • Rebuild NTFS boot sector
  • Recover NTFS boot sector from its backup
  • Fix MFT using MFT mirror
  • Locate ext2/ext3 Backup SuperBlock
  • Undelete files from FAT, NTFS and ext2 filesystem
  • Copy files from deleted FAT, NTFS and ext2/ext3 partitions.

TestDisk has features for both novices and experts. For those who know little or nothing about data recovery techniques, TestDisk can be used to collect detailed information about a non-booting drive which can then be sent to a tech for further analysis. Those more familiar with such procedures should find TestDisk a handy tool in performing onsite recovery.


Ultimate Boot CD for Windows

The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows is “a bootable recovery CD that contains software used for repairing, restoring, or diagnosing almost any computer problem”.

Ultimate Boot CD for Windows
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