When you lose files on a Mac, either through accidental deletion or through a drive glitch, you’ll have to resort to data recovery software to get them back. Data Rescue 3 is designed to be easy to use and to hide most of the technical complexity involved.
The main menu, nicely displayed with funky 3D icons, offers six options, for quick and deep disk scans, a deleted file scan, a disk clone, disk analysis and FileIQ. Selecting one of the scan options sends the program off to search the drive and an animation shows the progress of the scan.
Data Rescue 3 identifies files by their contents. Most files have particular ‘signatures’, due to the way data is arranged in them. Data Rescue knows about 150 common types, ranging from word processing documents and spreadsheets to photos and videos, but you can add your own. Select FileIQ, point the program at examples of file types you want to identify, and let it examine them. Once it has looked at a few examples, it can attempt to recover others of the same type.
You’ll need another drive connected to your Mac on which to save any recovered files – an external hard drive is easiest – the program deliberately prevents you recovering files on to the drive it’s searching, in case you overwrite the very files you’re trying to recover.
On our test drive, a 120GB device, Data Rescue 3 took over three hours to complete a scan but found over 25,000 files. We tried out recovery of different file types and it succeeded with all the samples.
Company: Prosoft Engineering
- Successfully recovered all lost file samples in tests.
- Takes a long time to scan a large disk.
This is a very simple way to attempt recovery of lost files on a Mac. Despite its ease of use, though, it's thorough and can identify most common file types from the way the data is stored in them. It can also learn about other files, through its FileIQ system.