This is one of those tips we hope you’ll never have to use.

Should you find yourself needing to recover lost files from a problem hard drive, we’ve had the most luck with Data Rescue II by Prosoft Engineering:

Link: Data Rescue II

You can download this data recovery tool and scan your hard drive for free. You only need to buy the $100 software if it succeeds in finding files you want to recover.

Unlike other tools, Data Rescue does not attempt to fix drive problems — rather it focuses exclusively on recovering files. You will need to save your recovered files to another hard drive.

Tip: We typically recommend tools such as Apple’s Disk Utility or Alsoft’s DiskWarrior for “fixing” drive problems. However these tools make changes to the drive which may not be the best choice during serious data loss situations.

No conversation on data recovery would be complete without mentioning the vital importance of having a reliable, automatic, nightly backup. All drives eventually fail. Please help make this tip irrelevant for you by installing and maintaining a good reliable backup system for your studio.

Source: This tip inspired by the recent experience of former Creativetechs consultant Eric Williams who recently upgraded his mother’s computer. Two weeks after erasing her old computer, they discovered they had accidentally missed four years of digital photos. He used Data Rescue to recover the precious photos. Regaining his sanity and being able to sleep at night was well worth the $100.