Runtime Software has released their latest offering GetDataBack Simple Data Recovery. Aimed more at the consumer market than the professional data recovery experts, this software lives up to it’s name “simple”. If you’re looking for a full featured data recovery suite that can do anything you want it to, you’d probably be better off looking into their classic GetDataBack for FAT or NTFS software. However if you needs are more ordinary, this may be the program for you. So here goes the GetDataBack Simple Data Recovery Review.
Features Review of GetDataBack Simple Data Recovery
The first thing you’ll notice is that the interface is simple, very simple. In fact I’d dare to say it’s just plain boring to look at, even ugly. However it could be that my hatred of Windows 8 is causing my opinion to be a bit biased. It definitely takes on the Windows 8 start menu touchscreen friendly look. But, let’s face it, you’re not buying data recovery software to look at it, you care about what’s under the hood. And this is where Runtime Software has always over delivered.
On the first window you’re simply prompted to select which drive (in this case there’s only the one there). It provides capacity as well as model number of each drive clearly visible. However if you need more info you can right click on the drive and an info button will appear where you can get a lot more information about the drive including partition layout, cluster size, and LBA. Unfortunately the drive serial number isn’t one of the items it lists even in the further information box, but in most cases you’ll have no problem identifying which drive you’re working with.
After you select the physical device you’ll be shown a list of found filesystems on the left hand side and prompted to select one to work with. Unlike it’s big brothers GetDataBack for FAT and NTFS, GetDataBack Simple is cross platform and can work with NTFS, FAT12, FAT16, and FAT32 filesystems. No support for any of the Apple or Linux variants yet, but who knows what the future might bring as they continue to update the software.
After you select which filesystem (usually the biggest one is what you want) it goes to work doing a quick scan for files. One interesting thing they’ve added is a small thumbnail of some image files it finds while scanning the filesystem. I suppose this could be handy to be sure it’s the correct filesystem in some cases. Though I think it’s more just a visualization to keep you from getting bored and cancelling it before it finishes this important stage of the scan.
Above the thumbnails is the familiar fast moving text box showing the results of the MFT scan for those who are able to read as fast as the robot from the movie Short Circuit. For the rest of us, it just let’s us know that it’s still working and hasn’t just hung (as we know data recovery software can be prone to).
After it completes you’re greeted with the familiar file/folder tree we see in most data recovery programs. If you’re looking for deleted files, this might be a good time to click the hot pink Sophistication button which offers the ability to RAW scan the drive for lost files. I didn’t get a chance to test this feature extensively yet, but I’d assume it’s equipped to find your typical image and document files just like their classic software does. Unfortunately I don’t see any features such as are found in R-Studio where you can add new file types to search for, or write custom algorithms. But, then if they did that this wouldn’t be the simple version anymore I suppose.
When you find the file(s) you’re looking for, then all you have to do is right click on it or on it’s folder and you’re given different options on the bottom of the console window such as info, view, open, copy. Though some will be greyed out if you don’t have a license key installed yet. The preview window is pretty basic and opens images, as well as a few document types. However it’s very basic, not even able to preview a simple PDF file.
It also includes a featureless Hex viewer for those other file types it can’t preview. There’s no search, edit, or other features to mention but it does show the file in HEX which may be handy if you actually understand file signatures and know how to manually verify that the file is intact. Otherwise it’s pretty much a useless extra feature that they included.
So to sum up it’s features, the interface itself and it’s extra features is well…..simple. And that’s the way it’s intended to be. I think that just about anyone could learn how to use it in just a few minutes. As for power, I tend to assume that the under the hood engine to find and understand lost data is pretty much the same as the classic software just without all the extra options available to clutter things up and make simple people scratch their heads.
Should I Buy GetDataBack Simple Data Recovery?
Absolutely! And here’s the biggest reason why. When you buy this simple version of their software, you also get a free license of both of their classic programs GetDataBack for NTFS and FAT. These are actually two of the best data recovery programs available for those file systems. In fact even with professional tools and software we still often use GetDataBack for FAT to rebuild damaged FAT filesystems. That’s how good it is. Those two programs alone are well worth the $79 price tag. So if you find that this program is “too simple” for you, you’ve got some more powerful tools at your disposal as well included with it.
If you already own those programs like I do, then you’re in for a real surprise. You already own this software! I was quite surprised to find that when I installed the program, it showed as already being registered to me. That’s right, your existing lifetime update license covers this new all-in-one version of GetDataBack. If you’re not sure, download it and give the trial a run to see if you aren’t impressed.