Rescue Lost Files and Other Data

Data Rescue 3 DIY Data Recovery Software     If you’ve ever lost a file that’s important to you then you know the need for a data recovery program. However, it’s not usually one file that is of greatest concern. For most Mac users, looking for a data recovery program is usually due to their needing to recover multiple files, or even an entire hard drive, because it is very upsetting when you lose precious pictures, music, or other things of importance.

Fortunately though, due to the many advances in data recovery there is now a solution to such problems as lost or damaged files even if these files trapped inside an internally, or externally damaged hard drive. Because of these technological advances there are many data recovery programs for Macs. Therefore, by reviewing a few of the top ones it can help you to determine which data recovery program you can turn to should the need arise.


Data Rescue 3 can be downloaded and run as an application or it can be run from the boot DVD. If your hard drive has not failed, then you can try out their limited demo (free trial). It’s available for download and allows you to run a full scan, display a list of all found files, and recover 1 file that is 10MB or less in size. If your hard drive has failed, you will of course need to run from the boot DVD.

Data Rescue 3 Requirements:

  • Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later.
  • 512MB RAM minimum, 1GB or more recommended
  • PowerPC G4, G5, or Intel
  • 1GHz processor minimum
  • A second drive to recover to (see below)

Before you use Data Rescue 3 you need to have a second hard drive with enough space to recover data and host the programs workspace. If your Mac has a second internal hard drive or an external USB/FireWire hard drive attached, then you can use it as the second hard drive.


The layout is very easy to look at and to use. It gives you two different view choices that not only change the view, but also assist the user in different ways which is a nice option. Each part of the program is laid out in a way that makes it easy to see what files it’s found, or even what drives its located and what’s on them. There are also some great easy to read graphs when you use the Analyze feature.

The developers have done a good job in developing the program to be as easy as possible, especially as technical as it can be. I liked that the program can be used by a complete Mac novice or an expert. In fact Data Rescue 3 is used by many data recovery services, law enforcement, all major branches of the U.S. Military and major intelligence agencies.

Features & Support

All of the features you need in a data recovery program are included in Data Rescue 3, as well as many I didn’t expect but am glad for. You can definitely tell by these added features that they have been in the business of data recovery for some time. When you begin working with the program you have many tasks to choose from to get started. These tasks include:

  • Quick Scan: This scan is the fastest method that detects existing directory structures even if your volume does not mount. It is recommended to try this scan method first if your volume is detected on the hard drive.
  • Deep Scan: This is a more comprehensive scan that provides the most results possible.
  • Deleted Files Scan The deleted files scan is a specific scan method that searches only the free space of a volume for any files based on file patterns. Scanning only the free space allows the scan to specifically detect any files that were deleted.
  • Clone: The purpose of the this function is to copy a drive or volume to another drive or volume, so that the copy may be scanned. This will reduce the wear-and-tear to the original hard drive as well as freeing it from use while preserving the data that was on it for later scanning. This is an optional task and not required to scan or recover files.
  • Analyze: This function verifies your hard drive’s ability to accurately read data. Analyze can provide a quick check of a hard drive or volume’s ability to read data by sampling its read speeds throughout the media.
  • FileIQ: If Data Rescue does not recognize the file type you are trying to recover, FileIQ will help Data Rescue to learn new file types.

During these scans a nice feature is that you can suspend or end the scan early, allowing you to finish it later which is a helpful option if you’re dealing with a longer scan due to bad blocks or slow reads. Another nice feature is that Drive Rescue will alert you if you have a failing hard drive.

One of their best features is ‘Help’, which is a very detailed help. Users would be smart to start with this area as it is much like a guidebook to the program, encompassing all aspects of the software. They also have great support options, offering free tech support by phone and email, and even better than that they have an actual recovery center that you can send the actual hard drive into. Data Rescue even pays for the shipping and gives you a free diagnosis. This service is especially good for a hard drive that is physically damaged.


Data Rescue 3 runs fast and smooth and each step is well explained. With the two different views offered you can get more than just a change of appearance. With the arena view you have icons to click on as well as some description of each task, which is the view I choose when working with it. Although, the first time it is nice to use the detailed view, which is as its name implies, more detailed. This view expounds more on each task and helps you decide which one you want to choose. I ran into no bugs, no stalling, or other problems with the program. Drive Rescue 3 performed all of its tasks perfectly.


Data Rescue 3 is great for rescuing lost or damaged files on your Mac’s hard drive or even on other media like a camera media card. The program is easy to use and has a very thorough guide that walks you through from start to finish and everything in between. My first thought was that this program may be too technical for a lay Mac user, but on using it I found it to be put together in such a way that anyone should be able to use it. This is impressive to me as it also is full of features that a more experienced Mac owner or a Mac repair technician will be able to use.


Data Rescue 3 is a top of the line data recovery program. Being only the second one that I have used thus far, I feel bad for its contenders as it gives them a lot to live up to. Using it to recover a single file can be pretty spendy, so in that case I would suggest using a less expensive alternative. But as for using it for multi-file or entire drive recovery program, the cost is definitely worth it. I give this program 5 stars, something I don’t often do but also something that I am not alone in doing as Data Rescue 3 has won many awards, reviews, and gratitude as a great data recovery program.


Rating: ★★★★★ 


50 Kimberly Carver

Kimberly Carver is a trained Mac Specialist/Expert. Trained both in school and on the job she continues to educate herself about Macs at every opportunity she gets. Kim’s official training and areas of expertise include: Mac specialist, AOL IT Tech, certified paralegal, research specialist, and licensed private investigator.