Ottawa PC Users' Group, Inc.
 Product Review 


Lost your digital photographs? - You need ImageRecall 3
by Alan German

You carefully framed the shot. You squeezed the shutter gently, and watched for the green light, to ensure that the auto-focus had captured the subject. You viewed the resulting image on your digital camera's tiny screen to ensure that you had obtained a perfect result. Finally, after taking a series of award-winning photographs, you packed up the camera, drove home, and loaded the flash memory card into the reader slot of your desktop computer. Everything is perfect – except for the on-screen message – “The card contains no images” – and your response - *&#!@!!!

Looks like you are in need of a little help in the data recovery department – and ImageRecall3 may be just what you are looking for. This little utility package has a one-track mind when it comes to such recovery operations, scanning through the “unreadable” memory device, finding the missing files, and recovering them to your computer's hard disk.

The program can be purchased and downloaded on-line, or ordered on CD-ROM together with a full-colour, installation and user manual. The instructions in the latter are clear and precise, and require just ten pages in a miniature handbook, that includes detailed screenshots illustrating the various steps in the file recovery process and the associated options.

The software is very versatile and can be used on any media, including digital camera memory cards, USB memory keys, and even computer hard drives! Installation is quick and easy. Running the program produces a simple menu panel with the main program controls and a number of optional command icons.

The basic file recovery option merely requires selecting the drive letter of the memory card from a drop-down list, and pressing the “Recover lost files” button. The program goes into a turbo-scan mode, displays a preview of each image as it is retrieved, and lists the total number of files that have been recovered. If you don't think that all of the files have been successfully recovered, there is a further option to run a deep-scan mode.

The program will let you view the recovered files and builds a set of thumbnails for display in an on-screen viewer. While the program will recover all types of files, only image files can be displayed in the thumbnail viewer. For other recovered items, a number of icons are used to denote various types of sound, movie and data files.

By default, the recovered files are stored in My Documents\My Recovered Files\ in the sub-directories TurboScan and DeepScan; however, the output directory can be customized through one of the program's options. Additional options allow you to burn the recovered files to a CD, or to clear the directory of recovered files prior to re-running the program. There is also an option to securely erase a memory card by writing zeros to every location.

Since the deep-scanning process is very thorough, and because the program can be run on large hard drives, one of the options allows you to limit the types of files that are to be recovered so that, for example, only .JPG images would be retrieved.

Another option allows you to backup a memory card by taking a snapshot of its contents, this being stored as a .IR3 file in the Program Files\FlashFixers\ImageRecall 3\ directory. An associated option allows this file to be written back to the memory card so restoring the card's contents. The user's manual suggests that this would allow the card to be reformatted for immediate further use, with file recovery to be conducted at a later time.

The software can be purchased on-line from the FlashFixers' web site; however, an even better offer is to download the free trial version. The latter is a fully-functional version of the program with the limitation that it will only recover the first ten images from a memory card. Purchasing the full version allows unlimited image and data recoveries. And, if this still doesn't work, FlashFixers offer their extensive laboratory recovery services, and will discount the cost by the price of the software.


Bottom Line:

ImageRecall3
Proprietary (US$ 39.95)
FlashFixers LLC
http://www.flashfixers.com/


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Ottawa Personal Computer Users Group (OPCUG), Inc.
3 Thatcher Street, Ottawa, ON  K2G 1S6

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