Data Rescue Kit from Nero

excellent
key review info
application features
  • Recover corrupted files
  • (3 more, see all...)

In case of accidental deletion, there are sufficient choices on the market that can give you a hand with recovering data. The rule of thumb is to refrain from storing any sort of data on the partition you are going to recover files from. If you manage to do this, there is even free software that can be used for the job. Piriform's Recuva is an excellent choice for this type of job.

However, in case of corrupted data on media discs or even hard disks, the range of possibilities to pull you out of the jam are quite limited. The latest Nero suite, just like the previous version, comes with Rescue Agent application, specially designed for this sort of trouble. It has been developed to recover data from scratched discs or files that cannot be read correctly due to storage media's ageing.

But RescueAgent is also useful for recovering deleted information off storage devices such as memory sticks, or hard disks. The rule of thumb expressed at the beginning of the article is essential for getting back the lost files.

Compared to the last edition, Nero RescueAgent's looks have undergone some changes, although the same ease of use and wizard-like interface have been preserved. The latest release features two types of scan, fast and deep, the former for FAT formatted storage devices, the latter for NTFS.

From the drop-down menu available from the main screen of the application, you can choose the drive you want to be checked for data. Nero RescueAgent works with the following storage media: CD, DVD, hard drives, USB sticks, memory cards and floppy discs.

Completing the restoration procedure requires minimum effort and a few steps to go through. The application will do all the hard work, leaving to you only the selection of the files to be recovered and their storage path.

Although a fast scan will search only the FAT file system, we tried it on an NTFS drive with the same success. Deep scan also seems to work both ways and is designed to find individual meta-file entries, corrupted files, unreadable sectors or data that is not visible in FAT file system. Going for a deep scan will require some time for completion. But the application does not leave you with an estimation for finishing the procedure, and displays both the ETA, as well as the amount of time elapsed. You can also pause the scan in order to restart it later or skip the rest of it and move to displaying the detected items.

Listing all data encountered on the scanned storage device is done in a jiffy and details for each item are also displayed. The tree view provides an easy way to navigate through the files and learn the issues with each of them, as well as the recoverability potential. Nero RescueAgent shows the size for every file listed, plus the modification date and time.

Finding a specific file or a bunch of data sharing the same attributes is easy, because the application allows you to select the data that should be displayed. Thus, you can instruct it to show normal files, only deleted or corrupted data, files with an invalid name, recoverable/unrecoverable information or a combination of all these. Searching by file name (all of it or just part of it) is also a possibility. The same options are present for multiple selection of files having in common the same properties.

One neat trick Nero RescueAgent can do is automatic calculation of the free space in the recovery location and letting you know if there are sufficient bytes available. This way, you'll be able to change the restore place should it turn out insufficient for the data you select to save and eliminate errors caused by insufficient free space.

Immediately after recovery, a brief report lets you know how the operation went, showing the number of files retrieved, of those partially recovered and failed/skipped data. For a more detailed sheet, you can save the log file of the process, which provides file by file events.

It may not look like it, but Nero RescueAgent behaves just like the regular data recovery freebie, in that once formatted the drive, you won't be able to recover data off it anymore. Also, adding information on the drive you want to retrieve files from will decrease the chances of a successful rescue operation.

Sometimes the application fails to offer accurate information about the recoverability of the data detected after scanning the drive. Also, there is no clear difference among files that have been deleted and those still available to the user, except for the issue information displayed for each item with problems. However, this downside may very elegantly be tackled by using the Show or Select menu.


The Good

Being part of the Nero 9 Reloaded suite (which is $79.99) makes RescueAgent seem like a bonus. Its wizard-like interface makes handling a cinch, while specific file selection and viewing are simplified through Select and Show panels.

The application does a great job at recovering deleted data off various storage devices such as CD, DVD, hard drives, USB sticks, memory cards and floppy discs, as long as they have not been formatted or filled with new information.

During the scan of the selected device, you are offered a time estimate for job completion together with elapsed time. If the drive hasn't been formatted, deep scans will reveal more elements than a fast one.

The Bad

There is no Cancel button to stop the scan procedure and from what we've seen, the only way to achieve this is by going one step back. You can, however, suspend the task for a while.

In some cases, quite rare though, Nero RescueAgent fails to offer an accurate recoverability status.

The Truth

Nero RescueAgent does a very good job at rescuing deleted data, especially if you pull a deep scan instead of a fast one. The ground rule is not to format the drive before file restoration. All its menus are easy to navigate and the few options packed in come in really handy when showing or selecting specific files automatically.

Check out 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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