Pros / It can restore file names along with directory structure, for added organization.

Cons / The interface has a cluttered and outdated feel.

 Verdict / GetDataBack Simple has decent successful recovery rates for all file types, but it's not overly intuitive software.

GetDataBack Simple from Runtime Software offers a comprehensive approach to data recovery. It lists your physical devices by size before scanning the selected drive for partition tables and files. The downside to this is that you need to know the size of your devices to avoid selecting the wrong one, which could be particularly problematic if you have several similarly sized disks, such as a RAID configuration. If RAID recovery happens to be your issue, Runtime does have RAID Recovery for Windows available as an add-on.

The deep scan option allows the software to look beyond simply lost data to find other partitions that may have been lost. The interface allows you to drill down through partitions to folders and individual files so you can perform granular recoveries on only the specific data you need to recover. The program's capabilities also allow it to recover directory structure to help keep your files organized post-recovery just how they were before they became lost. However, its scan and recovery speeds were the slowest of any file recovery software we tested. Though we didn't find any correlation between speed and efficacy, it may not be the best software choice for those in a hurry to get their data back.

In our own testing, the recovery software had to find and recover data from two primary types of data loss on an HDD and an SSD. In our lost file recovery tests, GetDataBack Simple was able to find 94 percent of photos, 98 percent of documents and 99 percent of media files. In our reformatted drive tests, it successfully recovered 91 percent of photos, 85 percent of documents and 82 percent of media files, all middling numbers in our comparison of the best data recovery software.

The software was easy to install, though it required a few more advanced steps than the best data recovery software did. It's moderately easy to use and was designed to have a generally intuitive layout. However, the interface has an outdated, cluttered and unnecessarily complicated feel, which could reduce the ease of use for novice users. Additionally, it was a hassle to get files recovered and restored, thanks in part to the cluttered interface.

You can call, email or chat directly with Runtime's customer service representatives, or browse the informational how-to guides on the company's website. The software is compatible with all recent Windows versions, Linux and Windows Server 2003, 2008 and 2012.

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GetDataBack Simple had fairly high success rates for recovering lost photos, documents, videos and music files as well as those from a reformatted drive from both a hard disk drive and a solid-state drive. Though it is neither the fastest nor the most intuitive, it is solid software overall and is compatible with a wide variety of file types and system configurations.

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