Review: SanDisk RescuePRO Recovery Software

It’s Christmas Day. Everything is crazy. Driving to visit family. Making sure everything is packed & all the gifts are ready to go. Add to that a sick baby, and you have a recipe for photographic disaster. In the middle of setting up lights & testing exposure at the grandparents house, I decided to reformat my CF card to clean the slate for the photos at their house. The only issue is that I hadn’t yet downloaded the photos from the last 2 days. That’s right. I potentially lost hundreds of photos from my child’s first real Christmas experience. Keep reading to find out how I fixed the situation.

Sadly, I didn’t realize what I had done right away.  I cleared the card right before we sat down for lunch.  I had food on the brain.  It was actually some time after we ate that I picked up the camera to take a few photos.  After snapping a couple, I realized what I had done.  That’s when the knot started to form in my stomach.   I looked at Vicki and said, “I think I just deleted all our Christmas photos”.  As info for all your married folk, I do not suggest this as the lead off line for your spouse.  I quickly followed up with, “There may be a way I can fix it”.

I’d recovered data for people in the past on corrupted memory cards, but I’d never tried to recover from a card that had been formated.  I wasn’t sure if I would be able to do it or not.  I did know one thing for sure.  If I was going to be able to recover anything I would have to stop writing data to the card.  I took the memory card out of my camera and replaced it with another card which has no images on it.

It had been some time since I’d had to recover any data from a memory card.  The last time I did this I was still on a Windows computer and I don’t even recall the software I used.  At first I wasn’t even sure what software I would use now that I had converted to Apple products.  In previous post I’ve made regarding Everything you ever wanted to know about memory cards, I advised that the manufacture of your memory card may actually be the best source for recovery software.  I decided to take my own advice.  I’d just recently bought a new set of 8 gig SanDisk Extreme SDHC cards for my soon to be delivered Nikon D7000.  In the packaging for the cards included a free one year licence offer for SanDisk’s recovery software called RescuePRO.  I figured that would be my best bet for the situation I put myself in.

I followed the instructions on the free offer info card on how to download the current version of the RescuePRO software (version as of the post being published).  The software is offered through  I just had to go to the website and download the install file.  I ran the installer and launched the app.  The software prompted me to chose one of two options.  The options were to get a licence key or to use a free trial.  Since I had the free coupon code for a one year licence, then I followed that route.  I’m assuming the free trial is a limited access setup, but this could be a good way to try the software without committing to buy.  After clicking the link to use a licence key, I was directed to a website to enter the coupon code included with the memory cards I bought.  I submitted my info, and within seconds I had an email with my licence number.  I copied it into the software, it accepted it, and I was ready to go.  That process was painless and took only a few minutes at the most.

Once the software was installed, the easy part started.  As the image shows, the software offers 6 options to choose from.  I chose the Recover Photos option.  The software asked me where I wanted to recover photos from.  I chose the affected memory card, and clicked Start.  The software scanned the card and said it found 300+ images in less than a minute.  I wasn’t sure if it would find my files as “photos” or as “files” since they were .NEF Nikon RAW image files and not a typical JPEG images.  I was pleased to see it found them with no issue.  It even put a little Nikon logo next to the files since they were a .NEF file type.  I then chose the Copy option to move them to my hard drive.  To software started copying the images to a new folder on my hard drive.  About 8-9 minutes later, everything I had on the card was recovered.  I breathed a big sigh of relief and immediately told my wife that I HADN’T destroyed all our Christmas memories.

I don’t know that I could have asked anything more of the software.  It did exactly what it said it would do.  Best of all, it was simple to use and delivered quickly.  The other options in the tool include recovering both Audio/Video content and the more generically named “files”.  It should work with any flash media that is corrupted or has received a low level format.

The other options offered by the software are to Backup Media or to Wipe Media.  While I don’t have much use for the backup option, as I already have automated software solutions for this, the Wipe Media option did intrigue me.  I quite ofter share data with clients, friends, and family.  Truly wiping media can be very useful.  I tried this option on one of my memory cards.  Like the other options, after you click Wipe Media, then it ask you what drive you want to wipe.  I chose the memory card and it warned me that the data would not be recoverable if I chose this option.  I clicked OK and it started to wipe the card.  The total process took about 5 minutes on my computer to wipe an 8gig 30Mb/s SDHC card.  Of course, after the wipe completed I tried to run the recovery option on the card I was not able to get any data back.  I can see this being a very useful option for anyone that passes physical media between clients or otherwise.

I don’t really have any major gripes with the software, as it really exceeded my expectations with it’s ease of use and functionality.  The only thing that bugged me a little was around how it recognized new media.  If you launch the software before you enter your memory card, then it will not automatically view the card when you insert it.  I had to choose the New Scan option in the File menu for the software to see it.  Nothing major, but considering how easy the software was to use I was a little surprised it didn’t manage this automatically.

The only other thing that was a little annoying was how it named the files while it was copying them.  Rather than keeping the original file names, it started numbering them at 00001 and moving up.  This wasn’t a huge concern, but it was a little annoying.  Looking at the files that it recovered, I understand why they build it this way.  The software recovered not only images from the past 2 days, but images all the way back to October.  Those images had been through multiple high level formats on the camera.  Since the possibility exist that images from October could have the same file name as more recent images, then I understand why they must apply new file names in the copy process.  The software also named them them from oldest to newest.  So even though I didn’t like the renaming, I understand the reason why it had to happen and appreciate that it managed to keep everything organized in the process.

Overall, I would highly recommend this to anyone that needs to recover content from flash media.  Although I used this app on OSX, they also make a Windows version of the software that works the same way.  SanDisk even offers some nice tutorial videos on the product if you would like a little more hand holding through the process.  SanDisk provides 2 versions of the software, the standard and deluxe versions.  The deluxe software will recover a greater range of image and video file types, as well as capacities up to 64gig vs. the 32gig limitation of the standard software.  For a more detailed info on the limitations of each software, check out this comparison PDF. If the file type you want to recover is on the list, then I wouldn’t hesitate to use RescuePRO to recover it.  The standard version of the software is normally $40 for a one year license and the Deluxe version is $60 for the same time frame.  That made the free offer from SanDisk a fantastic deal, but $40-$60 is more than worth the price for reliable data recovery.

December 27, 2010 • Posted in: Reviews, Tech Stuff

2 Responses to “Review: SanDisk RescuePRO Recovery Software”

  1. Jeff - December 29th, 2010

    I had the same thing happen only with client photos. We
    shot a 50th anniversary. It was big event with a church service and
    reception. It was like shooting a full wedding. When we got back
    home, my wife accidentally, pulled the CF card out of the reader
    before closing properly. All data was corrupted. I actually had to
    send the card to RescuePro for them to recover them. It cost me a
    little money, but they saved the images! That was an 8GB card.
    Since then, I’ve gone to only using 4GB cards so my images are
    spread out and not in 1 basket.

  2. Lorri Gail Moffatt - February 15th, 2011

    I have similar situation. RescuePro has recovered some files but the jpg format is still not recognized by photoshop or lightroom. Is there something else I can do to convert what I can see as recovered something into my pictures of our principal in a pool of jello for a reward to the kids?

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