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Customer Review

VINE VOICEon 9 October 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
On the surface of things "Search & Recover" appears to be the ideal software to "rescue accidentally deleted files, photos, MP3s & more." Not only is it advertised as the number one bestselling data recovery software but it supports the ability to recover from all types of digital media such as memory cards, flash drives as well as internal and external hard drives. You can recover from drives and devices that have become damaged, corrupted, or formatted, which you can recover to CD or DVD, it can permanently wipe sensitive data making it unrecoverable, and you can also...well to tell you the truth I'll stop there - why?

As I said that's on the surface of things but unfortunately "Search & Recover" fails to do pretty much every single thing that it claims to do, so it would be a waste of both my time writing about and your time reading about what features and ability this software apparently does. I would advise you to stop reading here and find different data recovery software, but if you want to know why "Search & Recover" fails to fill it's developed purpose to recover data and what it does to earn a one star status then read on.

Installation was nightmarish requiring four attempts and restarts, and for some reason Internet Explorer kept opening during the set-up process are freezing resulting is a "End Program" window that in turn ended everything else.

The user interface leaves some to be desired with a strange and often counter productive layout that makes a simple task more difficult. For example there is an option to "recover pictures and movies" but you can't specify just to recover one or the other. Worse still you can scan for a specific file that you have deleted instead you have to waste your time scanning the entire device. I tried using the Smart Scan option but it resulted in a bunch of obscure temporary files and things that I couldn't even identify.

More to the point however is that "Search & Recover" fails to recover anything of value. The quick scan is quite quick but failed to find anything on my hard drive, it did however find nine photos on my SD memory card but for some reason they were unrecoverable giving only semi-complete thumbnails. A Deep Scan took just under two hours to complete (the hard drive was active the entire time) and while it found several thousand files none of which were of use being either junk or unusable. Again going back to the user interface and the facts mentioned in my previous paragraph you only option resulting from a deep scan seems to be wasting a lot of time browsing through hundreds and hundred of thumbnails trying to find if and where your desired file (or files) are.

The software freezes with such frequency that on a global scale it would restore the polar ice-caps. It freezes on start up, scanning, processing files, and even when you try to close the program down. I've never came a program that crashes so much before.

The software comes with a one year licence but it continues to remind you how long you have left and at the same time offers a discount on your next iolo purchase. If I've just bought some software I want to use it, and not have to content with licence reminders and special offers. On a further note I don't agree with the one year licence as I've read that the software stops working after that time unless you buy it again. I imagine that for the vast bulk of users this isn't the type of software that you are going to need every day or so, but instead a package that when installed can be used when needed to recover files (that is if it worked).

Search & Recover does include a file shredder that is a useful tool to destroy sensitive data, but there are plenty of other programs out there that include the same tool as well as some freeware software.

At the end of the day you would be doing your computer an injustice by installing "Search & Recover" you should stay clear and instead just make sure that you don't accidentally delete anything you actually need.
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