DIY Software - Which One to Go For?

By: James Walsh

In other words, data recovery could not remain a matter that only elite users could afford. This marked the entry of the DIY software, using which any end user would be able to recover his or her personal data from a laptop or desk top. The uses of DIY software have now expanded, and it can be applied to recover lost information from mobile phones, digital cameras, CD, DVD, USB drives, iPods - basically all things digital.

How Do I Know Who to Rely on?

Choosing a good company is the first duty while trying to locate good recovery software. If you do not choose a good company, you may stand to lose all your data at one go. Let us clarify this matter with a few examples.

  • Reliability of the company is the first factor to be borne in mind. There are some companies that are 'traditional' data recovery companies and well-established as market leaders. This includes names like Kroll Ontrack, Linux, and Fields Data Recovery. Seagate, the hard disk manufacturer, is about to launch its own recovery software soon. These names can be trusted since they have all been around for decades now. Experience is wanted here, and you cannot experiment with it if you value your lost data.

  • If the company is a large one, they already have an established market in the same sector. This means that they just cannot afford to have one enraged customer blogging them to death by voicing dissatisfaction over a minor product. You are safe, because making a mistake with your data would cost them more than it is costing you.

  • Check whether the company also has a valid address and phone number. These are important factors in case you need help with the software after buying it. It is also not a good idea to trust someone who happens to be only a net entity.

  • You should also find out whether they receive calls at all times, and whether they have a friendly customer support person in place. This can be the greatest daunting factor at times of need.

  • If the company has other areas of work that are related to data recovery, such as computer forensics, software or hardware production, software development, antivirus software etc, they will probably be a better choice.

  • Check their testimonials. All good companies would happily provide references.

  • Ask your friends or colleagues, as personal recommendation can be really helpful. However, do not trust anyone blindly, as people may be biased or misinformed. Always check up on the information yourself before buying a product.

Properties of a Good DIY Software

A good DIY package would have certain features that you need to check out before entrusting them.

  • It should have a fully playing demo version that you can check out before buying.

  • You need to handle it yourself. Is the software equipped with good visual-based interface? Are the instructions user-friendly?

  • Do not trust free downloads. But you need not spend a fortune on it either. Compare several companies before finalising your choice.

  • Is it downloadable software or will they mail a CD? In case it is the latter, be sure to check the CD before running it. If it is downloadable, try to burn it into a CD rather than dumping it directly on to the affected disk. With the risk of sounding like an alarmist, we need to inform you that there are software in the market right now that are actually virus masquerading as helpful rescue software.

  • If you are unsure about how to follow the instructions, just do not do it yourself, but ask a computer-savvy friend or family member to help you out. You may delete your data permanently if you run it wrong.

  • Does the software open readily? If it takes too long or is not opening properly, once again, it is better not to trust it.

  • Does the software work for all file types that you want to rescue? It would be a classic mistake if you have downloaded a recovery software for Windows and you need to recover data from a system running on Linux!

  • For any audio visual file type recovery, check the demo version and the preview. Do not buy if the software does not have a preview facility.

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