Lose No More

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Recover even when Windows doesn't recognize the drive
  • (5 more, see all...)

I came back from work yesterday evening and as I felt extremely tired (my girlfriend forced me into going shopping with her the other day), I wanted to spend some relaxing time in front of my computer. I couldn't even see the keyboard so I decided to listen to some music. I looked and searched for my favorite bands but I couldn't find them anywhere. Took a peek in the "trash can" (recycle bin), nothing.

I immediately suspected my girlfriend. With an innocent look she told me that she may have shift deleted some files from the computer, but she didn't know exactly what. I was actually relieved to hear that. I was glad that there was no hardware damage.

Fortunately, I was prepared for cases like this (I myself had accidentally deleted my girlfriend's dissertation paper from the computer). Last year, I bought GetDataBack for NTFS to repair my mistake and avoid getting her mad (and me on the brink of my extinction).

The software is a Runtime Software shareware product that costs $79. As the name says, the application is designed to recover lost data from your NTFS drive. There is also available the version for recovering data from a FAT file system drive that has a lower price ($69).

Installing the application is a piece of cake. The only thing that you must remember is not to install GetDataBack on the drive you want to recover. It is recommended that you perform the installation on another computer (problem-free) and attach the "sick" drive as a slave. If you do not have the possibility of attaching the drive to another computer (e.g. hard drive of a laptop) you can run GetDataBack from a WinPE boot CD-ROM or install it on the healthy drive.

A very important aspect in recovering your files with GetDataBack is not to write more files on the drive you are attempting to rescue. After you lose data, the OS sees the space previously occupied by your files as free and can overwrite the lost files.

The interface is user-friendly so you won't have to bother with deciphering the terminology. After installing the software, there are three easy steps you have to make (the hard work will be done by the software).

First of all you have to acknowledge you made a mistake. Just kidding. Here you have to specify the data loss scenario, i.e. Choose from the four options you have: Systematic file system damage (format or fdisk), Sustained file system damage (you have installed a new operating system), Recovering deleted files and the default settings (use this if you do not know what happened).

That was providing the software with the task it has to accomplish. Next, the application will scan the system for drives. After finding the drives, you have to select the drive you want to recover. If you are an expert and do not want to lose too much time with the software's scanning for the data on the selected drive, you can always select scanning only a part of the drive. But in this case you have to have some knowledge on sectors.

In the Options menu>Recovery you can make the settings for bad sector strategy (skip block or retry each sector), deleted file recovery (allow duplicate file names) and file system identification. I only mentioned the most important options. In the Environment menu (also in Options) you can define the path for the save directory and the temporary directory. This is useful after recovering the lost data.

After scanning the drive for files we proceed to step two, where GetDataBack will show you the file systems it has found (do not confuse this with the files on the drive). If there is more than one entry, choose the first one as it is by default the most accurate. I recommend checking Show recommended on the right bottom part of the window so that you won't be confused by the other entries.

Click Next for the third and final step. Now you can see all the files (including the recovered ones) GetDataBack has found on the drive. The screen is similar to Windows Explorer. In my case all the recovered files were at the bottom of the file tree.

The recovered files will be shown crossed by a line. That makes the difference between the files you have on the drive and those you have lost and are trying to recover. This way you'll spot the lost data easier.

The software comes equipped with a search tool in case you don't find the data you are looking for in the file tree. Recovering your deleted/lost files is easy: right-click on the directory you want to recover and click copy.

A little warning: do not copy the recovered data on the bad drive. Select another location to save them. And be sure the data is recoverable by testing some of the files. Try to open some small text files. If they open and show the expected content proceed to writing them on a healthy drive.

The Good

The software is really amazing. On my test it ran just fine and no problems occurred. The wizard-like interface guides you step by stepÂ… by step (three steps are all you need for recovering the data) through the process of recuperating lost files.

The software can also be used on computers in a network.

The Bad

With the shareware version you can only view the lost files. I had trouble with recovering the data for some friends of mine, but I am pretty sure that they did a lot of damage by the time I arrived.

The Truth

The software acted great at recovering the files on my computer. I tried only this option as I had no problems with my hard drive. If you have trouble recovering your data you can take a screenshot and send it to Runtime Software for advise on the matter.

The price may seem a little high, but compared with other similar softwares and according to what GetDataBack can do I think it is not too much.

Here are some snapshots of the application in action:


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user interface 5
features 5
ease of use 5
pricing / value 4


final rating 5
Editor's review
excellent
 
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