Data Rescue PC4 earned our Award for disk recovery because of its excellent performance in recovering data files of all types that were lost due to deletion or reformatting. This disk recovery program by Prosoft Engineering is highly customizable and suitable for advanced users, such as IT professionals.
You can use it with virtual RAID servers and JBODs as well as set ranges. However, the interface is one of the most complex of the programs we tested. If you are a novice and not comfortable with new programs, you may be more comfortable with one of the other products on our list.
This hard drive recovery system surpassed all the others we tested when it came to recovering deleted files. We tested two scenarios: files lost due to accidental deletion (including emptying the wastebasket) and files lost by reformatting a hard drive. We included documents, images, audio files and video – the files most commonly used in small businesses. We also tested multiple times in order to get an average. In each case, this hard drive recovery software showed exemplary performance.
In the first test – recovering simply deleted files – Data Rescue PC4 scored a perfect 100 percent for each file type. Even more, it achieved this with its Quick Scan function, so the process was fast as well as thorough.
For the second test, we used a reformatted disk. It recovered 99 percent of reformatted image files, 100 percent of document files, and 98 percent of reformatted video and audio files. Certain file formats were recovered as zip files, as opposed to the original file, but they opened fine using compatible applications.
Data Rescue PC4's interface is not as simple as many of the other hard drive recovery programs on our list. The style, for one, is older, and the processes are not as streamlined. It offers advanced tools, such as raw data recovery, that are probably beyond the needs of a novice user. It does not offer good explanations of the processes.
It provides a quick scan and a deep scan option. If quick scan does not work, then you need to manually direct it to conduct the deep scan. Some programs do this automatically. It also does not offer a pause function. Once you start scanning, you need to let it run or start again.
The recovery functions are more user friendly. You can pick files for recovery by checking boxes. You can preview files. If you don't see the file you need, you can search for it by name or extension. Some files, especially those that have been archived, may show up as zip files. Next, you set where you want to send the recovered files. Once the program has recovered all your deleted files, it generates a report of those it recovered.
Prosoft Engineering offers Enterprise and Professional versions of Data Rescue PC4. These include tools useful for businesses and commercial use. For example, you can install the program on multiple computers in order to do data recovery for others in the office or for a client. These versions require annual renewal.
It also offers a clone disk feature with these versions so you can protect the original disk and scan the clone for the lost files. It's compatible with advanced server configurations like RAID systems, including virtual RAID systems, making it useful for larger businesses.
If you deal with disks that are damaged and may not load, you can purchase the program on a storage device with up to 1TB of capacity. This lets you boot the system using the Data Rescue drive if your computer won't boot.
You can find the user guide, an extensive FAQs and other product information on the website. In addition, you can contact customer support via phone, email and live chat. The website does not have video tutorials, although it does provide illustrated instructions on processes such as creating a bootable drive.
Data Rescue PC4 is an excellent disk recovery software program. It recovered nearly all our lost and deleted files, and it offers some excellent features. The higher-tier versions have tools that make it a great choice for the IT professional in your office. It can handle damaged disks as well as reformatted ones. However, it's not the easiest of programs to use.
Contributing Reviewer: Karina Fabian
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