Recover My Files is a Windows-compatible software application that provides the ability to easily recover files that have been deleted or emptied from the Windows Recycle Bin. This software attempts to recover files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin, from a formatted hard drive, and even those that have been lost due to power failures and virus attacks. With Recover My Files, the user has the ability to search and recover over 300 different types of files without altering the current contents of the drive being searched. Recover My Files also provides the ability to find corrupted computer drives, drives unrecognizable by Windows, formatted drives, and even drives that have been formatted and a new operating system installed.
Installing Recover My Files was very simple, requiring all of about five minutes. Over a high speed connection, I was able to download the software in about three minutes. Once the download was complete, the installation process was a simple as running an executable file. Once installed, the user can customize the application’s settings, including whether or not to show the Tips of the Day at startup, to show the Wizard at startup, and to start the application in a folder view by making selections from the Options menu. [Image 6, Manually Set Options]
The user interface is very simple and offers four main functions: Fast File Search, Complete File Search, Fast Format Recover, and Complete Format Recover. All of these options are presented in a simple wizard format. [Image 1, Recover My Files Wizard] Making the appropriate selection to fit the user’s needs is very simple as well, because the application provides a brief description of each option on the Start Search main screen. When beginning a search or recovery, it is best to do a fast search to try and locate the file in “recently deleted” first. [Image 2, Fast File Search] Depending on the size of the hard drive and the computer’s speed, this option may still take up to two hours to retrieve the data. Another option is the Complete File Search, which will locate files that are no longer identified in the Windows operating system. [Image 3, Complete File Search] Any returned files are assigned generic names and require the user to open a file to see exactly what it is. For situations where a drive is not recognized, the tool offers the Fast Format Recover feature. [Image 4, Fast Format Recover] The search will return all files in the missing drive partition with the full file and folder names. For the gravest of situations, there is a Complete Format Recover. [Image 5, Complete Format Recover] This feature is best used when Windows has been reinstalled; it completes a search for files with specific file extensions.
The version of Recover My Files that is downloaded from the manufacturer’s website is fully functional, allowing the user to preview the contents of the files that it has recovered. However, in order to save any of the recovered files, the user must purchase a product activation key. Recovered files cannot be saved directly to the computer’s hard drive and must be saved to an alternate storage media such as a second hard drive, a floppy disc, USB drive, computer network, or CD or DVD. Overall, Recover My Files offers one of the most encompassing feature sets available. With the ability to recover over 300 file types, the application allows the user to find anything from an encrypted or compressed file, to videos, photos, and deleted emails. [Image 7, File Types] The user can also apply a filter to further narrow the search parameters by details such as filename/extension, range of file size, date created/modified/accessed, and keyword. [Image 11, Search Filter] Data recovery is not limited to the computer’s hard drive, either. Files can also be recovered from such external media sources as camera cards, USB drives, Zip drives, floppy discs, and even iPods. During an active search, the user can see the application’s progress. [Image 10, Search Progress] The Progress meter provides details regarding the number of files found, time elapsed, and portion complete.
One of the application’s most impressive features is its help and support. The available options include an embedded help menu, online video tutorials, direct links to an online support knowledge base, step-by-step installation instructions, step-by-step search instructions, and email support. [Image 8, Help] The Tip of the Day is also available and can be shown at startup. [Image 9, Tips of the Day] These tips offer the user interesting and important information designed to improve the their comfort with the application.
Installation & Setup (5 out of 5)
The overall installation process was very simple. The application download took about three minutes over a high speed connection. Installing the application was completed by simply running an executable file. I did not have any issues with the installation process, but if issues do occur, www.Getdata.com provides complete installation instructions.
The only concern I had with installation, and it is a small one, is regarding the default setting to show Tips of the Day at startup. While this only requires a simple settings change, it can be annoying.
Price to Value (3 out of 5)
The full version of the application runs about $70. With this version, the user has the ability to save any recovered files. In the event of a computer disaster, the price is worth it to recover critical files.
There are several competitors in the marketplace that run about $20 cheaper than Recover My Files. Depending on the size of an user’s budget, this may make the competition a more likely purchase.
User Interface (5 out of 5)
The overall design of the user interface is very simple. Additionally, the user has the ability to customize some of the default settings, such as having Tips of the Day displayed at startup.
A wizard format with Next and Back buttons helps the user through the recovery process, minimizing much of the learning curve. One nice component of the user interface is the availability of help options as well as information outlining the usage of each of the available types of searches.
The event log and the technical jargon available after a search has been completed could be confusing to a non-technical user.
Performance (3 out of 5)
I didn’t notice a significant strain on my computer’s performance while running a file recovery search. The entire search required about 23 minutes to complete, finding 16,732 files.
While the search was running, I continued to be able to work in any open applications while the search ran in the background.
Although the search didn’t slow down the responsiveness within an application, it did slow down the process of switching between applications. When switching between applications, it often took five or more seconds for the selected application to come up. Opening a new application took even longer.
Product Features (4 out of 5)
The application provides a very encompassing set of features and seems to cover all of the bases by providing the user with a number of options for getting data back from a variety of hard drive failures. There are about 300 different file types that may be recovered, making the application one of the most extensive.
The features are broken down into two main categories: File Search and Format Recover. Within each of these categories, there are fast and complete options.
Although the user can search by keyword, they cannot complete a search based on a specific file name. Additionally, any recovered files can only be saved if the user has purchased the full version of the application. The trial version will not allow the user to save recovered files. Finally, recovered files must be saved to an external storage device rather than to a folder on the computer’s hard drive.
Help & Support (5 out of 5)
Recover My Files’ help and support functionality is very robust. Its embedded help menu provides a direct link to information on the file recovery process. Tips of the Day can be displayed at startup and offer information regarding specific aspects of the tool.
Additionally, there is support for recovering specific file types, including ZIP, PDF, AutoCad, Photoshop, and Tax, as well as iPod recovery and Windows undeleted software.
The manufacturer’s website, www.getdata.com, offers two online video tutorials available that are also very useful for learning the ins and outs of the program.
This application’s help and support is honestly one of the most encompassing I have seen in any type of application. The only negative comment I have in this category is that there is not an option for live phone support.
Some suggestions for future product features include:
- The ability to save the recovered files to a designated folder on the computer’s hard drive.
- Technical phone support capabilities.
- File recovery capabilities over a computer network.
- File recovery support for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Disks (RAID).
Recover My Files is a simple way to gain peace of mind regarding the loss of key computer files. From the ease of installation and setup to its simple user interface and the ability to recover over 300 file types, the application really comes through. Given the extent of its capabilities, Recover My File’s price is also easy to absorb. The application’s simple, wizard-based step-by-step process makes it a snap for a user of any level to recover lost files on a hard drive, from their Recycle Bin, or on a partition that has been accidentally formatted. But if you do need help, there are a number of help options available, including embedded help, online support, and email support. Consider Recover My Files as a standard component of your repertoire of software applications.
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