Smart PC Solutions has announced the release of Smart Data Recovery (SDR), a freeware utility to restore deleted MS Office documents, photos, music and many other types of files. The company states 'This will put an end to missing documents or users having to replace files deleted by mistake.'

The product scans hard drives and/or any PC-connectable flash memory storage media looking for deleted files. When found these can be 'restored' into a folder making them visible, once again, to Windows.

The idea is to provide a second chance, after the Windows recycle bin has been emptied, to recover erased files. Obviously though, if an erased file's space has been over-written then nothing will remain of its data. In effect only the free space can contain recoverable files - in theory only - as my blog points out.

The product can also be used by unscrupulous people to look at any stolen storage media and see what files they can find. A Smart PC Solutions spokesperson admitted that, "Yes, that's the theory."

SDR can be used to more effectively wipe out deleted files. The company states: "Users need to just click the "Wipe" button and no one can restore their deleted files and folders, no matter how advanced their data recovery tool is."

The SDR utility supports different file systems, such as FAT, FAT16, FAT32, NTFS and is fully compatible with Microsoft Windows NT/ 2000/ XP/ 2003. It can be downloaded at no charge.