EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard [Review]
We're constantly reminded of the importance of backing up data. "Do it now, or you'll regret it later", and phrases of that ilk, are frequently bandied around, but many of us are guilty of ignoring the advice and flying by the seat of our pants. Which is all well and good until something goes wrong. A hard drive fails, documents get corrupted, someone else deletes things from your computer: that's when you may -- after you've finished crying -- turn to data recovery software.
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is an example of such a tool, and it's available in free and paid-for versions. Depending on how much data you have to retrieve, you may well find that the free version is all that you need, but there is a Pro version available if your requirements are greater.
To start with, let's focus on the free version. Even when disaster strikes, most of us would still prefer to get the problem sorted for free if possible, after all. Of course, being a free version means there are limitations, so let's get those out of the way. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Free will let you recover up to 2GB of data. This might be more than enough if you've just had an incident involving a few files or folders, but if you're looking to recover and entire hard drive, you're going to have to cough up.
All versions of the software function in precisely the same way, so while we're looking at the Professional edition, there are no aesthetic differences. When you launch the application you can opt to scan a particular drive or partition, or scour a folder for recoverable data. There's something interesting about the scanning process in that EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard performs both a Quick and an Advanced scan simultaneously -- so you can jump on a file you need if it shows up quickly, or wait for the more thorough examination to complete. Be warned: a complete scan can take a long time.
It's disappointing that while you are able to preview some files types -- notably images -- there is no system in place for grading the quality or recoverability of files that are found. Clearly this is not a deal-breaker, and while being told the chances of a successful recovery doesn't in anyway change the effectiveness of a recovery tool, it's fairly common practice to include this information. The closest you get to seeing what the program is doing for you in the background is if you preview an image that appears corrupt and see that it has been able to repair it.
If you get a lot of results at the end of a scan, there's no need to manually scroll through to find what you are looking for. Instead, you can search for files that you know the name of, or using the filtering system to home in on files that match various criteria.
What's particularly pleasing about EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is the fact that there is no configuration required. There are no settings to get lost in or forget about -- the program essentially boils down to choose location, scan, recover. And when you're panicking about having potentially lost files, it's helpful if things are kept as simple as possible, giving you one less thing to worry about.
The ability to recover an unlimited amount of data is what parting with $69.95 to upgrade to EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard Pro gets you, as well as remote support should you need it. These are the only differences between the two versions, so for many people the free version will be enough. There's also a Pro + Bootable Media version available for $99 which lets you boot your computer with WinPE if your system won't start.
There are a few disappointing elements with the software, however. While most people would know not to install recovery software to the same drive from which data is to be recovered, it still would have been good to have a warning displayed as a reminder. It's also a shame that the option of creating bootable media -- or using EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard as a portable app -- is only an option that's available in the most expensive version of the program. It's understandable that this option might not be included in the free version, but to have to shell out nearly $100 for this privilege seems a little steep.
But on the whole, and providing you are sensible about how you use it, EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard comes highly recommended -- and you have nothing to lose in trying out the free version to see if it works for you.
You can download it here and view details of the Professional editions here.