PROS / It has the highest recovery success rates for all the tested file types of any product in our comparison.
CONS / The average scan and recovery speeds were some of the slowest of the software we tested.
VERDICT / Data Rescue PC3 performed well in all of our tests, and is full of many additional features and functionality.
Data Rescue PC3 is the Top Ten Reviews Gold Award winner for best disk recovery software. It performed exceptionally well in our testing, with better than average recovery rates across the board. In fact, among the software we tested, Data Rescue PC3 was the best at recovering lost files from both hard disk drives (HDDs) and solid-state drives (SSDs), and it was even remarkably adept at recovering reformatted files from the same drives.
This disk recovery software is well suited to handle most – if not, all – data recovery needs. Despite its simple appearance, the program is incredibly thorough. This is file recovery software that can help you recover boot records, partition tables and even complex RAID configurations.
We tested Data Rescue PC3 on two specific kinds of data loss – lost files and reformatted drives – to assess its disk recovery capabilities. The data recovery program found and retrieved all of the lost pictures, documents, videos and music files on our tests. Across all the devices we tested, it found all of our lost Microsoft Office and MP4 files. It also recovered all of the MP3 files from a hard disk drive; however, the program was unable to recover a chunk of those same files on a solid-state drive.
Data Rescue PC3 also proved especially adept in recovering files from reformatted drives, where it recovered no less than 96 percent of files in each test scenario. Though the software missed some video and music files, as well as a few photos and documents, it found all of our MP3 files and Microsoft Office documents, of all varieties. When scanning for files on reformatted hard drives, Data Rescue PC3 found all of the video and Microsoft Office files on a solid-state drive along with a large quantity of our photos.
One minor downside to Data Rescue PC3 is its scan and recovery speeds. We recorded an average scan speed of 12.5GB per hour on an HDD and 18GB per hour on an SSD. Slower speeds mean that it’ll take you longer to retrieve your data with this software than with most other programs. However, the high recovery rates make the slow speed bearable, especially when considering the fact that speed does not correlate with efficacy when dealing with this type of software.
Data Rescue PC3 is one of the few programs we reviewed that allows for network recovery that includes scanning network-connected drives. The software is Linux-based, meaning it works independent from the Windows operating system. You will not need to remove a failing hard drive from another computer on your home network just to scan it.
Music & Video Recovery
The one drawback to recovery software that operates independent from the Windows OS is that it may not recognize your connected drives and devices in the same order as Windows Explorer does. It lists your physical drives by name, then your logical drives and their directories. This means you must be very careful to confirm the drives you are working with. The individual partitions listed as logical drives can be confirmed in the physical drive’s pull-down menu.
Among the many features we appreciate in Data Rescue PC3 is its powerful boot utility feature. This is where you need to go for disk imaging, and it lets you map network drives from a pre-OS state, which is a significant feature for home users that may need to scan a computer upon which Data Rescue has not yet been installed. It also allows you to scan your computer and save the results to a network-connected or USB-attached drive. This is a strategy that helps keep your hardware intact and reduce the likelihood of having to send your drive to a professional in-lab recovery service.
Help & Support
The software’s developer, Prosoft Engineering, has provided a rich support environment on its website from which you can learn more about Data Rescue PC3, as well as gain support for common user issues. The site offers good information – such as video tutorials, a company blog, and a FAQs section – to educate you on the types of data loss and best practices to help you make a successful logical data recovery on your own. If you have a question or issue with the software, you can even contact the company’s customer support representatives directly via live chat, phone or email.
You can easily use the software on both Windows and Mac OS X. Additionally, the program supports recovering files from NTFS, HFS, HFS+, and FAT (FAT12, FAT16, FAT32) file systems. If you’re using a different file system than one listed here, you can still run the deep scan feature and opt to search for certain files and file patterns.
Even though Data Rescue PC3 was originally made for just HDD recovery, it still outperformed much of the competition, providing above-average results when tested on SSD devices. Its searches were amongst the most comprehensive in our testing and provided the strongest success rates in recovering from logical data loss. The added benefit of built-in disk imaging capabilities and available lab services only adds value to an already powerful product.