PROS / The built-in hex editor greatly expands the software's recovery capabilities, provided you know how to use it.
CONS / The interface is challenging to navigate, and you have to poke around to find hidden pop-up menus to initiate the recovery side of the operation.
VERDICT / R-Studio offers tools for long-term strategies that include imaging and data destruction. However, its interface and advanced features make it best suited for users who are already quite knowledgeable about the data recovery process.
R-Studio is a data recovery tool designed for the advanced user. Its scanning engine is the best we’ve seen. However, we found that it struggled in recovering files from our reformatted device and hard drives without direct user intervention with the built-in hex editor. While these are useful features, the advanced nature of the tool makes it one that requires some know-how to use effectively; in fact, improper use of the tool could easily make files irretrievable.
For those that are comfortable with sophisticated data recovery tools, R-Studio’s recovery options are so much more than just scan and recovery. It maps your device as it scans, allowing you to directly access fragments found on the drive with the hex editor. This means that if you know what you're doing, you can perform a manual recovery that may yield better results than the software's automatic features.
Being able to scan a network connected drive or device is an advantage that not many other recovery products provide. It also features disk sanitization, which adds to its value by allowing you to wipe clean your old hard drives before you discard them.
We tested R-Studio's recovery capabilities on two different kinds of data loss: lost files and reformatted drives. Below are the results from our testing.
Lost File Recovery
R-Studio found our files lost on the solid-state drives (SSD) and hard disk drives (HDD), along with 62 percent of those same files lost on the microSD card. Of the microSD files, it found all of our video files, about three-quarters of our picture files, a little more than half of our music files, and none of our MS Office documents. While this doesn't place the software in the top rung of programs best suited for microSD file recovery, it is still above the average rate for microSD recovery in our tests.
Files Recovered from Reformatted Drive
While its recovery rate here was not the lowest, R-Studio fell well below average on recovering files from our reformatted devices. Regardless, there were some strengths. R-Studio was able to recover all of the MS Office files stored on the HDD along with most of our videos and almost two-thirds of our pictures. It performed similarly well in the same areas on the SSD, with the exception that it was not able to find our Office documents. These results became substantially worse when tested against a reformatted microSD. It did find most of our videos, but only 28 percent of our pictures and 13 percent of our MP3s. Plus, our Office files and MP4 formatted videos were completely gone.
While some of the brands we tested did perform better on the side of data recovery, the advanced tools available with R-Studio mean the right user can get better results with a manual recovery. However, the advanced tools require some level of expertise to employ. Other useful capabilities include remote scanning and a disk sanitation feature. However, the automated data recovery tools the software offers only did an average job at recovering data in our testing.