Finding lost files just got easier

Search and Recover 3

Performance: A

Ease of use: B

Features: A

Value: B+

Price: $39.95

Reviewer's comments: Even more features, plus better recovery of lost files, makes this utility an improvement over the previous version.

Contact: Search and Recover 3 Iolo Technologies LLC. Los Angeles, (877) 239-4656, www.iolo.com

Data recovery software has always been like insurance: If nothing ever goes wrong, you don't need it. But as careful as users try to be, something always goes awry, whether it's a minor inconvenience (an inadvertent file deletion) or a major disaster (a corrupted hard drive).

Search and Recover 3 from Iolo Technologies provides an insurance policy against these calamities. When we installed the software on our test system, the first thing we did was run a search for deleted files. We found several, including a few that had been tossed in 2002. Then, after deleting various current files and emptying the recycle bin, we ran the scan again. Sure enough, S&R3 found every file and restored them without error.

So we moved on to harder tasks. We hooked up an additional hard drive to the test system and reformatted it. Then we opened S&R3 and started the File Recovery Wizard, using StrongScan to perform a low-level search. It took longer than a normal scan but managed to find every file that had been on the drive before reformatting.

We then repartitioned the drive and started S&R3's File Recovery Wizard again. This time we clicked 'Locate lost or damaged partitions,' and eventually turned up the old partition.

If a file critical to running your operating system gets zapped, S&R3 can run from the installation CD. And it even found files on CDs and DVDs as easily as on the hard drive.

Lest Iolo's powerful recovery tools lead you to believe no file is ever gone (which can be unsettling in certain circumstances), there's also a secure deletion tool that will completely eliminate sensitive files.

For this kind of control over mission-critical data'namely, yours'$39.95 is a reasonable price. If you're missing data, Search and Recover 3 should be able to find it.

About the Author

Greg Crowe is a former GCN staff writer who covered mobile technology.

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