01-08-2012, 12:17 PM
due the absence of reviews of this data recovery program, I though I'd share my very recent (over the last 7 days) experience using this program to try to recover data from an accidentally re-partitioned external drive.
The situation arose when I dropped an external drive on my other iMac. It was physically damaged and while trying to see if I could access any data on it (using terminal commands from my other iMac), I inadvertently re-partitioned the external drive on my other iMac -- it contained my iTunes, iPhoto, and document files in three separate partitions. So, of course, I freaked.
I started researching data recovery on the 'net, having no prior experience with this. I'm pretty tech savvy (despite accidentally repartitioning the drive), but have no experience with data recovery. The first thing of major importance is to make sure you write nothing to the damaged drive before starting any recovery process.
Remo offers a free download of their software to do a scan to let you know what is recoverable, then you have to buy the software to actually recover. Remo comes up a lot when searching data recovery, so I ultimately thought what's the harm in letting their free version tell me what could be saved.
As an aside, I asked the IT guys at my work what they would recommend, and they suggested an outside data recovery company. I contacted them and they quoted $600 to $1,800 to do a "standard" recovery. Um, sure.
So I ran Remo. First off, it took literally the better part of 3 days to do the scan (the drive is a 1tb drive).
It found everything, but did not present the results in any organized fashion by partition. I ultimately hit up their tech support, who was good and used a IM feature to walk through the process. I had selected the wrong type of scan initially, but this was not clear from the user guide.
After about an hour with tech support, I rescanned the drive (it took 10 hours) and it found my iPhoto partition and document partition, but not the iTunes partition. So I could easily recover the iPhoto and document files.
The iTunes files were recovered in the first, very long scan, but were not organized at all. Ultimately, I just created a new iTunes library on a new external drive and had it import all media files from the recovered list. This was crazy long but worked.
Overall, Remo worked pretty much as advertised. It did recover all the files but didn't really get the partitions back completely. The Pro version, which is pretty much what you have to buy to do the job (the 2 lower versions won't find everything) costs $180, but there are discount coupons if you google (I got it for about $40 less than that). It takes a very long time to scan, so be in a position to let it run several days. I suppose compared to the data recovery companies, it's relatively inexpensive.
So, would I buy this again? I suppose so in the absence of trusted advice about competing products -- there just are not many reviews out there. I was at risk of losing 600+gb of iTunes media (a bunch of which was my initial burn of my cd collection which could not be recovered without manually re-burning hundreds of cds), 50+gb of photos, and most importantly all the documents we've accumulated over the years. So I needed to move quickly, and Remo has done a good job of making themselves highly visible on the web.