In the data recovery software and system maintenance utilities "field" the
Iolo products stand out. We all know system mechanic a great tool, in fact its
like the Swiss Knife in utilities software. It has it all, great for day to day
use, but when you really need to dig deeper you have to go elsewhere. Luckily
that's not often the case, and if it is I personally prefer the command line
tools supplied by Microsoft itself.
Search and Recover 4.0 is the same story. It stands out in user friendliness and
has most features you will need in case of an emergency.
Before we go into the detail of this package, lets talk about a general rule we
need to adhere to in case of unexpected, or accidental data loss. Make sure that
you terminate all write activities to the disk involved. In most cases the data
itself is unaffected, the problem we have is that the file pointing system or
allocation table doesn't have the right pointers to your file in place.
This means that the disk space where the lost files reside is now writable
again, and all disk activity can really destroy your data. Therefore it is vital
that you have a bootable disk image to boot your computer in case of an
emergency. Search and Recover will invite you to make such an image.
The software itself checks on updates and has a very friendly user interface. As
we are used with Iolo a lot if not most of the work can be done through wizards.
The program offers support for with external drives, as long as they use the FAT
12, FAT16, FAT 32 or NTFS file format.
Search and Recover has the ability of presenting you with an example image, so
you can decide if you want to recover a multi media file or just leave it as it
is. The wizard will ask you what sort of file you want to recover. For example
"Songs and Sounds", or "Pictures and Movies".
The thing that really made me feel comfortable was the special section to
recover lost email. If there is one thing I hate is the loss of those emails
containing serial numbers and user names of software I bought online.
A funny item in a data recovery program is the "File Terminator" a functionality
to actually safely and unrecoverable delete a file. I did not expect to find
that in a data recovery package. But its an essential part of your overall
storage security that's for sure.
Restore Lost Files
The feature to make a virtual disk to temporarily store recovered files is great
as well as the possibility to make an image of the entire disk, including the
MBR or boot sectors.
In case of data loss, you always start your recovery program by preventing new
disk writes. Therefore you don't want to boot from the disk you are trying to
recover and a bootable image is a life saver.
If you need to recover data on a disk where search and recover is not yet active
you have the option to use a special wizard. Search and recover is standard
licensed for three computers usually best to make a backup immediately and
if we are talking about really valuable data contact a special recovery company.