Even the best apps for data recovery can leave you disappointed, as they often lead you to believe that they can recover missing or deleted files that are gone forever. But some data recovery apps are better than others, and the best that we’ve seen is EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard. It’s far from ideal, partially because the advanced disk technology of today makes data recovery harder than it was with the simpler technology of the past, but it’s quick and reliable, and it recovers files that we couldn’t get back using its chief competitor, Stellar Data Recovery Premium. If you are using the EaseUS software with reasonable expectations, it will restore files and directories that would otherwise be lost forever.
Pricing and Plans
EaseUS provides a free version, which can rescue up to 2 GB of data. A free edition of Rival service Stellar restores 1 GB. If you want to recover more than 2 GB, or if you want vendor tech support, upgrade EaseUS to version Pro (which I tested) for $69.95. A version of $99.90 Pro + WinPE, which I didn’t test for, produces a bootable USB drive that you can use to restore files when you can’t boot your device.
Getting Started With EaseUS
EaseUS has impressed me in testing from the start. I started by copying an audio CD into a combination of BIN / CUE files for burning to a backup CD, then removing the files from my hard disk and emptying the recycle bin. EaseUS got it back in great shape, while its rival Stellar Data Recovery announced retrieving the file, but only brought back a worthless fragment of the BIN file instead.
EaseUS quickly noticed and restored at least a dozen graphics files on the same hard disk that Stellar hadn’t noticed at all. Both EaseUS and Stellar provide unlimited deep scans that can take hours to check every sector on a drive for recoverable data, but only EaseUS allows you to check and display data already found by the app, while the deep scan continues in the background. Stellar lets you wait until the comprehensive scan completed.
EaseUS required ten hours for a full scan on a 2 TB spinning-platter drive which I used for testing, while Stellar needed a whopping 34 hours. Since I was able to find the files I needed even before EaseUS finished scanning, its ability to recover while scanning was much more convenient than Stellar’s reluctance to allow me to recover files or do something else in the software while it was scanning.
When you launch EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard, it begins by showing a list of locations on your device where the software will be able to scan for missing data — drive letters, recycle bin, screen, or any other folder. Click the position and search button, and it goes to work, generating a complete file list and a list of missing files automatically during the initial scan.
In comparison, with Stellar, if you want a list of deleted files, you must wait until it resorts its file list. Also unlike Stellar, EaseUS allows you to use a Filter menu to restrict the search to particular types of files or zero in on files that have updated in the last three days, or the three days previous, or other date ranges. And the same menu allows you to zero in on various sizes of files, for example under 100 KB or between 100 MB and 1 GB. Stellar lacks those choices. When the app stops scanning your data drive, it shows a well-organized list of files, with removed files identified separately from other files, and an optional preview window.
Not Everything Can Be Saved
All data recovery apps list files for potential recovery that does not turn out to be entirely recoverable, and you also have no way to know whether a file can return before you tell the application to try. You can say at a glance with the graphics and certain text files if the file is recoverable. If the preview pane of the app shows the file as you scroll down the list of files in recognizable form, then you can get the file back. Except in the case of text processing, Spreadsheets and songs, whether you’re using EaseUS or Stellar, press the Preview button and wait to see whether a familiar file shows up or whether the music you want to retrieve starts playing back in the Preview screen.
Much as EaseUS did a better job of recovering files, so did a better job of not listing files as recoverable that it could not recover at all. For example, Stellar offered to recover some files that it identified as HTML files on the SSD I used for testing, but which were in fact fragments of completely different file types. EaseUS did not mention these ghost files at all, which makes it easier to find files that I might bring back to life through its file mention.
Unlike Stellar, EaseUS lets you save a recovered file to the same drive it was recovering. It alerts you before you do this because you will unintentionally overwrite other missing data that you may want to recover when you transfer a restored file to the same drive. It won’t let you save a recovered file to the same drive, so if you don’t have a spare drive to save on, you may need to run out and buy a USB drive. Stellar’s strategy is best, but if you’re restoring a few files, and you don’t like the slight chance you’re going to delete anything you may want to recover later, then the strategy of EaseUS is far more convenient.
Your Last Choice
No applications are suitable for data recovery. Like its rivals, EaseUS lists files it can not recover, and we wish it tried to automatically show thumbnail images of each file it lists for recovery — instead of automatically previewing graphic files and making us click on a button before attempting to thumbnail any of the document formats. However, these slight limitations seem insignificant when compared to the advantages of this software, and the app provides a remarkable comparison to its rival Stellar Data Recovery program. EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard is our simple data recovery program editor’s option.