PROS / It provides a disk-imaging feature that lets you make a byte-by-byte copy of your disk in the early stages of mechanical failure.
CONS / The scan and recovery speeds aren’t as fast as other products.
VERDICT / Data Rescue PC3 is Prosoft Engineering’s comprehensive recovery software you can use yourself. It works well to recover data and offers professional support through the company’s data recovery lab.
Editor's Note: Data Rescue PC4 is now available. Clicking the Buy button will take you to this version for purchase. The manufacturer lists the new version as offering the following features: an improved user interface; advanced RAID support; and LiveUSB to boot crashed systems. We will evaluate, rank and review PC4 when we next update the data recovery software reviews. Meanwhile, enjoy our review below about Data Rescue PC3.
Data Rescue PC3 set itself apart in our testing as the best data recovery software for logical data loss, whether your files are damaged, lost, accidentally deleted or sitting on a reformatted hard drive. The software is backed by the experience of the Data Recovery Center in Livermore, California, where it gets used in a professional data recovery environment every day. It is made for more than just recovering individual files. It can also help you recover boot records, partition tables and complex RAID configurations.
The developer is an established leader in the data recovery industry. Data Rescue 3 – also called DR3 – is designed to recover any mechanically sound device or drive. In our own hard disk drive (HDD) testing, DR3 recovered all of our lost files. It did slightly less well on the solid-state drive (SSD) testing, but well enough for us to rank DR3 as the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for best data recovery software.
This disk recovery software is incredibly powerful despite its simple appearance. Our testing covered two kinds of data loss – lost files and a reformatted drive – to assess the software’s recovery capabilities. DR3 can find a variety of file types – such as JPEG, MP3, PDF, Zip, RAR, PNG, RAW, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, AIFF, WAV and more – even when your computer’s system is corrupted or otherwise failing.
In our tests, we were able to recover all of the lost files – whether they were photos, documents or media files – from our HDD with DR3, and the software also recovered all of those same files on our SSD. DR3 recovered an average of 98 percent of the files on our reformatted HDD and SSD. It found most of our pictures along with all of the MS Office and video files. It found the majority of the music files on both drives. The Quick Scan is the fastest scan option and lets you choose a specific volume to work with. Data Rescue PC3 also gives you the option to use the Deleted Files Scan or Deep Scan options.
In an effort to help you prevent future mishaps, DR3 also has a disk imaging feature that can let you make a copy of your entire system or just of a few bytes of data that you can reinstall if you lose data or even if your computer crashes. Creating a disk image – and, of course, updating it regularly – is a great safeguard for your cherished photos, important documents and favorite videos and songs. You can store your disk image data easily on an external device or on an optical disk.
Data Rescue PC3 earns top marks across the board for installation, scanning and recovery. It has the most intuitive and easily-navigable interface of any software we tested. It only took a few minutes to get it installed thanks to the handy wizard. It was ready to start a scan immediately, and with its clean organization and clearly labeled buttons, we found it easy to get started.
The user-friendly interface has all of its information smartly organized, leaving no guesswork as to where the scan and recover buttons are. Overall, the software is powerful and solid, and its only downside would be its scan and recover speeds, which were slower than most others we reviewed. Though we didn’t find there to be a correlation between these speeds and the quality of the software’s output and efficacy, you may have to wait a bit longer for your recovered files with this program.
Help & Support
Prosoft Engineering offers some of the best support we’ve seen. The website houses great resources for you to learn more about how DR3 can be best used in your data recovery situation. It’s loaded with information on types of data loss along with advice on how to avoid it in the future. You can browse through various video tutorials and the FAQs section. There is even a company blog where you can read a variety of articles and stay up to date with new products or software updates. In our discussions with their staff, we found them to be both helpful and informative. If you want to reach out to a technical customer support representative, you can do so via phone, live chat or email.
By their own admission, Data Rescue 3 is built for hard disk drive recovery, but it still outperformed much of the competition when tested on solid-state devices, as well. Among all the recovery software we tested, we experienced some of our most comprehensive results with DR3, which makes it a solid solution for logical data loss recovery. It’s built-in disk imaging feature, along with lab recovery options, information and excellent support, adds value to an already exceptional product.