For those unfamiliar with the technology, it can be easy to confuse the two very different tasks of “file recovery” and “file repair”. While these two terms sound similar, the objective and mechanism of these operations are as incomparable as “buying a house” vs. “building a house”. Understanding the difference between file recovery and file repair is an important part of selecting the right software for your needs.

To put it in the simplest of terms, two things can happen to your files when your disk or partition is damaged, deleted, reformatted, repartitioned or affected by a virus, power failure or system crash. When one of these events occurs, the file may be (a) “lost” (b) damaged or both. Oftentimes, when a file is deleted or a drive is repartitioned or reformatted, the file is mostly or completely intact. The only issue is that the system no longer knows where the data is located. In these cases, a file recovery or data recovery tool, such as EaseUS or R-Undelete is needed. These tools use advanced file recovery technology and algorithms to scan the disk for lost or deleted files.

Depending on your circumstances, this may be the first step of the process or the last step. If the file is relatively small, unfragmented and the disk has not been overwritten, you can usually open the recovered file immediately. But in other cases, part of the file may be damaged, overwritten or missing. This is an issue because most applications cannot open files unless all of the necessary parts are present. If you have recovered a file, but an application is telling you that the file is corrupt, unrecognizable or damaged, then you have a file that needs to be rebuilt or reconstructed before it is opened or read. This is the job of file repair software.

While file recovery works for virtually all file types, file repair requires more specialized technology. Currently, we offer file rebuild tools for four of the most popular Microsoft applications: Outlook, Outlook Express, Word and Excel. These tools will allow you to repair a damaged or corrupted Word document, mail item or spreadsheet so you can open it and salvage what data remains.

Here are a few examples to help illustrate how file recovery and file repair work:

1. You have a file called MyLetter.doc in your Documents folder. The file is visible in windows Explorer, but when you attempt to open it, Word gives you an error message telling you that the file is damaged. You can use R-Word to repair the file so it can be opened by Word. In this case, you would not need to use a data recovery tool.

2. You accidentally deleted MyLetter.doc and emptied it from the Trash Bin. The file is no longer visible on your computer. You can use EaseUS to recover the file. As long as this operation is done relatively soon after deletion, you will not need to use a file repair tool.

3. You deleted MyLetter.doc and emptied it from the Trash Bin as above. Days or weeks went by before attempting a file recovery, and by the time the file was unerased, it had been partially overwritten. In this case, Word will not be able to open it until the file is repaired. For this task, you’ll need both a file recovery and file repair tool.

While often successful, file recovery and file repair can be somewhat uncertain. That’s why we provide a demo mode of our file recovery utilities for free. In demo mode, you can find your deleted files and estimate the chances of a successful recovery before your purchase the appropriate data recovery or file repair utilities. Demo mode lets you preview the file and see how the rebuilt file will look before you register. If the file is to your satisfaction, you can purchase a license and recover it on the fly.