Have you ever deleted a file that you desperately needed? Found yourself gnawing your fingernails while frantically clicking through your Recycle Bin to see if there was anyway of getting it back?
GetData specialises in data recovery through a range of software applications such as RecoverMyFiles, RecoverMyEmail and RecoverMyPhotos. We tested RecoverMyPhotos, which is image recovery software that gets back photos you've mistakenly erased from your digital camera or PC.
RecoverMyPhotos recovers a range of multimedia file formats from fixed hard disks, removable drives and flash memory cards. Supported picture formats include JPEG, TIFF, BMP and RAW. It can also restore deleted AVI, MPEG and MOV video files.
GetData also bundles an add-on to Microsoft Windows Explorer called ExplorerView with the CD version, which lets you preview documents, images and multimedia files from within an Explorer window. It previews Office document formats, such as Excel, Word and Powerpoint, as well as PDF, HTML and TXT files. The most convenient -- and fastest-- aspect of ExplorerView is when it is used to preview images, such as JPG, BMP, GIF and PNG file fomats. Multimedia files including MP3, WAV, AVI and MPEG can be conveniently played through the add-on pane of ExplorerView.
Installation is very quick and the tiny application takes up only about 2.5MB. To test the software we deleted fifteen images from a 128MB CompactFlash card using Windows Explorer. We then inserted the CF card into a USB card reader and connected it to a PC.
Two mouse clicks is all it took to get RecoverMyPhotos scanning the card for lost pictures. However, it can take quite a long time for the application to exhaustively check a drive for all lost data. In our tests, with a 128MB card, it took 23 minutes.
RecoverMyPhotos then displays the list of rescued files and shows previews in an adjacent window. You can select the files you wish to recover but a registration key, which comes with the paid versions, is necessary to save files to disk.
RecoverMyPhotos found an impressive 210 deleted photos from our camera card, with photos dating back to mid-2004. Of these however, 33 could not be opened once they were restored and a further six were slightly distorted. It should be noted that the application successfully restored the most recent 15 deleted photos. The application also performed well during tests with MemoryStick and SD cards.
Overall we are very impressed with RecoverMyPhotos, but we can't help but think how people may illegitimately use this software to uncover erased data. While it's probably not as much of a privacy issue for digital cameras as it is for PCs, documented cases exist whereby credit card information has been recovered by data scavengers from second-hand hard drives. But as long as your photos aren't too private or incriminating, it's probably of little concern.
RecoverMyPhotos is an easy-to-use application, suitable for beginners with little or no experience in data recovery. In Australia, GetData distributes RecoverMyPhotos bundled with ExplorerView through Kodak Express stores for AU$69.95. RecoverMyPhotos can also be purchased on its own for US$27 through GetData's online store.