EaseUS: Mac+Win data recovery software that's 100% FREE to 2GB
[UPDATE: The free trial of version 7.5 NO LONGER RECOVERS ANYTHING without buying the software, so this review only applies to version 6 of the software, which I assume can be downloaded from various places on the internet.. It looks very similar to V7.5, I'm not sure what the differences are.]
Wow, after 3 hours of searching and trying various misleading trial versions of data recovery tools, I have found one that actually works at no cost under 2GB per transfer of a group of files.
I have been a photographer and filmmaker for around six years now, and have dealt with lots of computer work for eleven years, but I have always been pretty careful with data, and kept backups, so this is the first time I have ever had to use data recovery software. Why? - This open letter to Sony should explain the issue:
"Dear Sony A7 development team,
Your camera just formatted my memory card. When I inserted a memory card, one of your warning messages came up and I pressed 'accept' by accident, at which point it promptly formatted my memory card. Please get your act together. I love the A7, but you made some huge software mess-ups that are SO bad they seem like they are there purely to annoy the user. The recent firmware update didn't seem to address any of these issues.
I have spoken about this issue, and many others in my video reviews of the A7 (Part one starts HERE). As lovely as this camera is, it will only ever be my backup camera, never my main, unless a lot of simple but important software issues are resolved. And even as a backup it probably won't stay too long this way.
I looked at many various options for Mac, most of them were misleading about what it could recover in the free version. I did not find any that would even recover one file, even those that said one file was free.
Unlike other software I tried, EaseUS wasn't limited only to what the developers think are "media files", which means I could recover the somewhat unknown .ARW raw files from the Sony A7, as well as the .MTS video files that I had lost today. The software is also easier to use and feels much more refined and well thought out than most of the others.
It took well under 30 minutes to do a complete scan of my 32GB Transcend (class 10) SD card, unlike all the other software I tried, which went at snail speed, all of them more than twice as slow. It also found more files than most of the other programs did.
The found files weren't in the same folders as I was expecting them to be, so I did have to use the search function in order to find all my MTS files, but they are all there, and restoring them is a breeze. Just select up to 2gb of files, select a folder and press restore. The best thing is, there is no need to search again after that, just select the next group of files to restore. It copied the files from the SD card at the same sort of speed I would see when copying files using Finder.
The only issue I found, is that it didn't do a good job of recognizing what files were usable, and what files have already been partially written over. It showed more files than could possibly be on the drive. 200GB of "recoverable" files on a 32GB SD card. From what I can see, it's showing me files that no longer take up space on the card, but have left some small part behind after they have been deleted, but they are still marked with their original file size. I managed to recover 42GB of MTS video files, from those, about half were duplicates, and from the 21GB that were not duplicates, 5GB were usable. There were many other files found. I tested 14 .MOV files recorded by my 5D Mark III, but it seemed like all of them were partials. Of the 75 .CR2 canon raw files I tested, 35 were great and 40 were broken and separated into individual folders for working and broken files. I will ask EaseUS for a full copy of the software so that I can test all the thousands of files that are on the card and let you guys know how many were recoverable.
The a paid version of the app will be quicker to use if you have lots of files. With this version, if you had lots of small files, you may have to spend a long time on making sure you're restoring 2GB at a time. For my few hundred video files, this was not an issue, and still, this time is a small price to pay for getting your files. As for pricing for the full version, it's around $70, which is a fair price compared to others. If I had to choose to purchase a paid app, this is the one I would go for. It's simple, fast and marketed honestly. It can be found at http://www.easeus.com Note: I have no affiliation whatsoever with this company.