A failing hard drive or loss of data can be really stressful. If your external backups are missing or giving out, it just adds insult to injury. File Recovery Assist promises to bring those files on your portable drives back if you cough up $29.95. Actually delivering on that promise is hit or miss for this program.
While the installation of File Recovery Assist went rather smooth, we were a bit disappointed with its interface. We feel that developers should have spent more time making it straightforward rather than goofy. Though the program scans external drives quickly, it tends to stutter and crash if you make it scan a bigger drive. Getting it to read a drive of 320GB or larger is almost impossible. It fails to find files if you've formatted a drive as well, so you might not be able to salvage files you accidentally deleted. The software is free to test and the free version will find the files you're looking for. However, without paying for the full version you can't really recover any files.
For anyone who's lost important files, programs like File Recovery Assist are a bliss as they are able to save hours of work or hundreds of dollars in missing files. However, this software doesn't completely deliver. Plus, the upgrade only gives you the major functionality of the program. It doesn't make the goofy layout any cleaner or give you smoother performance.
Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of File Recovery Assist 188.8.131.52.