Review: Asoftech Photo Recovery works fine, but so do its free competitors

At a Glance
  • Generic Company Place Holder Asoftech Photo Recovery

    PCWorld Rating

    Asoftech Photo Recovery recovers photos, movies, and even documents, but there are free alternatives.

Asoftech Photo Recovery is an effective, but not perfect, program that recovers documents as well as photos and video from memory cards. It didn't recover some of the tougher items in my tests, but neither does most of the competition. The demo will find files, but not recover them (like most recovery programs). For that, you will need the full version, which costs $30.

I tested Asoftech Photo Recovery by trying to recover some files erased from an SDHC card. Photos--no problem, documents--no problem, video from my Canon 230SX--a problem. The program didn't find the separate, linked headers that this Canon camera writes to the card, that are required for the .mov files to play properly. Only one program I've tried recovered these headers--the free, command line-based PhotoRec (though they must still be reconstructed by hand with a hex/sector editor such as Hexedit).

Though it's bright purple and not particularly sophisticated, the Asoftech Photo Recovery interface is easy to use, and you can limit the types of files you're looking for, which speeds up the scan process. But with freebies such as PhotoRec and Recuva available that work as well or better, it's hard to recommend any pay program until you reach the level of more powerful (and complex) programs like R-Studio Data Recovery and its ilk.

Note: The Download button on the Product Information page will download the software to your system.

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At a Glance
  • PCWorld Rating

    Asoftech Photo Recovery recovers photos, movies, and even documents, but there are free alternatives.

    Pros

    • Recovers files from memory cards and hard drives
    • Easy to use
    • Plain interface

    Cons

    • Expensive
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