A Blatant Endorsement

In a world where endoresments usually mean the person was given a fee to validate their opinion, I pretty much stay quiet. (Well, except for my review site, Facing North, but I keep that separate from my written meanderings.)

Today I am breaking that policy becuase I have to rave about a piece of software that every single person who has ever lost data — or might — needs to own: R-Studio from the magnificently mighty people at r-tools technology. Allow me to quote: “R-STUDIO is a family of data recovery and undelete utilities. Empowered by new unique data recovery technologies, it is the most comprehensive data recovery solution for FAT12/16/32, NTFS, NTFS5, and Ext2FS. It recovers data both on local logical and physical disks, as well as disks on remote computers over networks, even if their partition structures are damaged or deleted. RAID reconstruction and Dynamic disk support are included, as well as support for recovering encrypted files, compressed files, and alternative data streams.”

In non-tech speak that means that when my 150gb hard drive ‘went bad’ a bit more than a year ago, causing me to loose two books in progress, the original text of the published books, 20 years of data collected in my book of shadows, correspondance and images I was in a bad place. Very bad. A few calls to ‘data recovery specialists’ in my area (I’m near Seattle, it wasn’t hard to find several to choose from) got me quotes of $800-$2000. I can’t afford that, not if I want to make the mortgage payment. They also couldn’t guarantee recovery, in which case it usually would only cost me 50%. (I understand their point, but >>ouch<<). My partner consulted the oracle (Google, of course) and found r-tt. The program cost me just under $80. It has a demo version that you could try out first to see if it could even see the files that needed to be recovered. Thats right: i could get a very good idea of whether my data could be recovered BEFORE I even paid them for the program. As it turned out, I could, so I downloaded the program, and recovered my entire hard drive in a matter of minutes. Minutes. For $80. Maybe the most important aspect is this: I am not a techno-wizard. (Far from it, in fact.) This program was simple enough for me to use >>and<< it worked. Why am I telling you this now? Because earlier this week I switched to a new computer. In order to save time, I copied all of my files onto a DVD. (It was going to be used by someone else -- I know, I know, I should have formatted the HD so that data wasn't going to be found, but it wasn't important to do at the time. Turns out that was a good thing.) I checked the DVD to make sure the files copied over (there were several layers of folders) and the first couple of folders and subfolders looked good.  So I deleted the files off the old computer. Uh oh. Several days later I discovered that one subfolder -- full of irreplacable data gathered over three years -- was empty. The DVD recordered simply made the subfolder, but didn't populate it. A quick look atthe old computer showed it wasn't there, wasn't accessible... oh no! R-tt to the rescue. I renewed my registration ($20 this time) and ran it. Found all my deleted files. Undeleted them and copied them to the new machine. Took maybe 1/2 hour, including the re-reg time. So, for about $100, in less than two years R-Studio saved me a MAJOR hassle. Now I'm spreading the word.

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