How to Recover Lost Images and Other Files

Have you ever been at a party and had someone pick up your camera and unintentionally delete your priceless party memories? Or maybe you accidentally deleted those important documents on your thumb drive. Assuming you didn’t continue using your storage device, there’s still hope of retrieving your lost images and files. We tested three of the biggest names in image recovery software to search for the best way to recover lost images and other files.

We only tested software available for both Macintosh and Windows-based PCs. For our test, we used JPEG images shot with a digital camera, though all three programs we tested can recovery other file types as well. Each program was tested using three series of five images shot with a Casio EX-Z1050 and Lexar Professional SD card. All three programs, DataRescue’s PhotoRescue 3.0, Lexar’s Image Rescue 3 and SanDisk’s RescuePro 3.2, were tested in both Macintosh and Windows-based computing environments and offered similar results though additional features and graphical user interfaces varied from program to program.

Personally, I’ve only used O&O Undelete and FormatRecovery to get files back. In that particular case it was an entire hard drive of RAW (CR2) files from a Canon Digital Rebel. It worked exceptionally well, but is certainly more effort than going after a single lost file. O&O also has a MediaRecovery tool designed specifically for this circumstance, but again, I haven’t used that one.

Considering the reality that losing pictures from a memory card is just as bad as losing them from a hard drive, everyone needs to have some recovery tools at their disposal.

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