PROS / In our tests, it recovered every JPG and almost every raster file.
CONS / It failed to recover any vector files.
VERDICT / Disk Doctors Photo Recovery is one of the best because it balances ease of use with strong performance and fast scans.
Disk Doctors Photo Recovery received excellent grades for the ease of its installation, scan and recovery stages, and it's one of the fastest-scanning photo recovery software products in our review. When you combine this with its excellent recovery rates, you have one of the best chances you'll get at rescuing your lost photos. There's very little learning curve, even for novice users. For these reasons, Disk Doctors Photo Recovery has earned the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award for best photo recovery software.
Lost File Recovery
When it comes to picture recovery software, you want to look at how well the product recovers JPG images, because this is the most common image format by far. If you've lost photos, it's likely that the photos are JPGs. Disk Doctors was flawless when it came to recovering these critical photos during our lost file test. In addition, this image recovery software recovered the other raster images (GIF, TIG, PNG and BMP) with a 99 percent success rate. This is impressive because the average recovery rate for the other raster images in this test was only 70 percent.
In the lost file test, Disk Doctors Photo Recovery restored 63 percent of the production files. These are a collection of layered image files used in Adobe and Corel creative suites of photo editing software. Disk Doctors has the second-best recovery rate for production files, which makes it good for graphic artists. In addition, it recovered 62 percent of the camera raw images, which was also the second-highest rate for these proprietary formats, making it a great option for serious photographers.
The one downside to the recovery rate is the vector image recovery rate, which was zero. It didn't recover a single vector image. This is a relatively minor flaw. Vector images are logos, fonts and PDFs. You don't usually need to recover vector images unless you're a logo designer or own a small business.
Reformatted Drive Recovery
The results for the reformatted drive tests weren't much different from the results of the lost file test. For this test, we simulated data loss from reformatting a drive, which we did on multiple drive types. Again, Disk Doctors excelled with a 100 percent recovery rate for the JPGs. The recovery rate for the other raster images dipped to 97 percent, which is still exceptionally high when you consider that the average in our tests was 57 percent. The dip isn't surprising, as most software we tested struggled a bit with recovering photos from a reformatted drive.
The recovery rate for the production files didn't dip, though, remaining at 63 percent. Only one other product recovered more production files than Disk Doctors. Its recovery rate for the camera raw images was 61 percent, which was the highest recovery rate for camera raw images in the reformatted drive test. Again, it failed to recover any of the vector images, which is a minor setback to an otherwise excellent performance.
Ease of Use
You'll be hard-pressed to find picture recovery software that's easier to use than this. The installation process received an A. Our tester had it installed, registered and ready to scan in a minute. It doesn't get much easier than that. The scan grade was also an A. The software has very few steps to the process of picking a drive and initiating a scan, which means there's little chance for error. The recover stage received a B+, which is still an above-average grade. There were only a few minor hiccups – there wasn't a clearly labeled recover button and the estimated time was inconsistent, but otherwise there was very little learning curve.
At 293GB per hour on average, the scan speed was the fastest in our review. For reference, the average scan speed was 87.9GB per hour. If the average picture recovery software takes just over 11 hours to scan a 1TB hard drive, Disk Doctors Photo Recovery takes less than three and a half hours to scan the same drive. However, the recover speed was just 48GB per hour, which is 23GB per hour slower than average. This almost nullifies the speed of the scan. For comparison, it would take just over 24 hours to scan and recover images from a 1TB hard drive, but the average software would take just over 25.4 hours.
Digital Camera Recovery
In every test we performed, we had a data set of camera raw images, which are proprietary images used by digital camera brands. Since these camera raw formats are unique to the camera, they are the most complicated and difficult image formats to recognize, much less recover. Not only did Disk Doctors record the highest recovery rates, it also recognized all of the camera raw formats, save Epson's ERF and Samsung's SRW. The highest recovery rates were of formats from Nikon and Canon, which are the most popular DSLR camera brands available.
Help & Support
Disk Doctors provides exceptional support for its photo recovery software. It's one of the few products in our review with a PDF version of the manual available online. This is important because a PDF manual is easily accessible, searchable and viewable offline. HTML manuals can be difficult to follow and are only available if you have a reliable internet connection. You can contact support through phone, email and live chat. In addition, the site provides articles and tutorials that can minimize any learning curve or problems you encounter.
Disk Doctors Photo Recovery is one of the best photo recovery software apps in our review because it balances high performance with ease of use. It performs where it matters most, having recovered all of the JPGs in every test we ran. It also recorded impressive recovery rates for the raster, production and camera raw formats. The only image format that it failed to recover was vector images. The scan is exceptionally fast, but the below-average recover speed nearly nullifies it.