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Of all of the files stored on computers and external drives of all kinds, media files are among our most cherished. Losing them can be horrifying, so after you've accidentally hit delete or someone has formatted over a USB drive containing all of your travel pictures, a data recovery program can be a simple way to head off a full-blown panic attack. Disk Doctors Photo Recovery Software ($50, free demo) is designed to help recover just those important media files.
Disk Doctors Photo Recovery simply and quickly retrieves a wide range of graphic, video, and music files that have been deleted, formatted over, or corrupted. The software scans your system and lists the drives it finds, then you tell it which drive to search through and attempt to retrieve from. It works with a variety of storage types, such as memory cards, zip disks, USB drives, and hard drives. I used a USB drive and told the software to scan the drive and find the missing files.
Photo Recovery found deleted files on my test USB drive quickly and easily in one step. Finding data on a formatted drive took two tries, but it eventually retrieved the data and it was simple to run through the steps in the wizard. On a second test drive, things worked smoothly on the first try. The interface is as user-friendly as can be, which is necessary in software that people will be using during a stressful event.
If you know that the files you'll be retrieving will be only photos and other media, then the $50 Photo Recovery version will save you $80 off Disk Doctors' all-inclusive Windows Data Recovery program, which runs $130. Of course, most of us have many file types that are important and could get lost or accidentally deleted...and let's face it, most of us don't buy this software preventatively, but rather as a cure. Consider whether it's worth getting software that works with more files rather than buying á la carte.