A OS X software program that I have used for years to recover erased files is Data Rescue II that I originally bought in 2007. Even though I can still run Data Rescue II under El Capitan 10.11, the fact that many ‘vintage’ programs no longer work motivated me to evaluate my options with regard to the developer’s latest release called Data Rescue One.
While Data Rescue II is activated in a conventional manner by running the program from the startup drive’s Applications folder, Data Rescue One takes a different approach by integrating the recovery software onto a bootable 16GB USB stick or external (500GB or 1TB) hard drive. The latter approach eliminates the old requirement under Data Rescue II to set aside free disk space on the boot or external drive before initiating the data recovery process.
When I was researching Data Rescue One, I came up with a short list of questions to assist me in the decision-making process:
1. What is the likelihood that the Data Rescue II software that I currently use won’t be supported in an upcoming release of Mac OS X?
2. Is the software mission-critical for my home or business?
3. Do I have access to an alternative program if Data Rescue II stops working?
4. If I choose to upgrade, which Data Rescue One should I order?
If you’re running Mac software that was developed nearly a decade ago, my thought is that you’re playing a non-lethal form of Russian roulette with regard to its long-term viability. It may continue to run with each new operating system that Apple releases, but there’s certainly no guarantee. For instance, consider the iPhone: If you’re using an iPhone 4 (which is only 5 years old), you’re stuck running iOS 7, rather than iOS 8 or 9.
I have a massive collection of irreplaceable photos, videos, and audio files that require more than 450 gigabytes of storage space. While I’ve tested numerous data recovery programs, none are as robust or reliable as Data Rescue and most are designed to run under Windows.
Given the amount of data that I manage personally, I didn’t order the USB stick, which would be a useful device to take on field assignments. In making my selection, I wanted a recovery system that would suffice as my storage needs increase over time, so I opted for the standard 1TB model which costs only $30 more ($179) than the 500GB system. As a rule, I refer data recovery jobs that I get from clients to other computer consultants, so I decided to save $240 by passing on the Pro model, which has no limit as to the amount of data that can be recovered.
Data Rescue One can be purchased from the product manufacturer, Prosoft Engineering, or from resellers like Amazon. The recovery system recognizes both Mac (HFS+) and Windows (FAT/NTFS) drives and requires Mac OS X 10.7.5 or higher to operate.
Models / Retail Price
16GB USB 3.0 Drive $59
500GB Hard Drive $149
1TB Hard Drive $179
1TB Pro Hard Drive $419 (Free upgrades for a year)