Ever had a hard drive crash on your Mac. Or accidentally formatted a drive or deleted a file? Hard drives are great devices but as proof against mishap, not so much, There’s not just mechanical problems that can develop but the human factor too — both combining to cause the occasional mishap (read that as nail biting, hair pulling anguish). I know this as well as any Mac user (or computer user in general, to be honest) and appreciate a solution that doesn’t require a massive learning curve or hours of intense focus.
Data Rescue 4 is about as simple as you could hope for, short of A.I. doing it all for you. And by coming on a USB drive, it can be booted up directly on a Mac via USB so as to access the hard drive that contains the operating system (something that is a real pain when it’s that drive that is having man-made or mechanical issues.
Let’s talk about that main drive first. Besides the fact that once your brain wakes up to what you’ve done and you move slowly away from the computer so as to not do something else to it, there’s the Bootwell drive Data Rescue 4 creates when booted from the USB. This basically avoids using the drive as a source for writing data so no changes are being made to the drive — this makes any type of recovery easier because the damage is not being increased through the drive enacting data actions. Then the program finds the files you needed and sends them over to another drive. This is the same basic procedure used when you’re running Data Rescue 4 from one drive and having it work on another (example: running DR4 from the main drive that has the OS on it and having it scan/fix a secondary drive).
Data Rescue 4 seems to have gotten a brain transplant from the earlier version I had — and I mean that in a good way. Before, the program had to scan one drive (the problematic one) and save data to another drive before it could tell you anything. Now it saves the data somewhere but I don’t know where — I only know it’s not to another drive. And once done, similar to the version I had before, you go through and check off the files it shows you and these then get saved to a different drive than the one being worked on. It also continues to have multiple scan options — one that is pretty fast but not very “deep”, and others which take more time but are much more thorough.
The program works with any Mac and OS X 7.4 and up. It just works, is what I can say and in my tests it took whatever I threw at it and threw it back recovered. Prosoft says it can “save” accidentally formatted disks and I believe them — I’m just too scared to try it out. But not too scared to not have this available in my “recovery” folder and the USB drive beneath the monitor should either be needed. $99 is way low for what this offers.