Sondle File Recovery Assist recovers lost or damaged data

Try a freeware file-recovery tool before this stripped-down shareware.

Sondle's File Recovery Assist can recover deleted and damaged files and other data from fixed and removable hard drives as well as USB drives and even floppies. It supports FAT 16, FAT 32, and NTSB, so it can handle most Windows operating systems still in operation as well as any disks still functioning. File Recovery Assist can find and recover data lost or damaged because of viruses, formatting, hard-drive crashes (but not total failure), and the ever-popular "no apparent reason." As long as the disk still functions and the data hasn't been deliberately overwritten with a secure method, there's a good chance that File Recovery Assist can get your stuff back for you. Sondle File Recovery Assist is free to try, though some features are disabled. Recent upgrades include Windows 8 compatibility.

File Recovery Assist's installer makes the important recommendation of not installing the program on the same drive you want to recover files from or risk losing data -- perhaps permanently. That may require planning if you need to do more than recover files from an emptied Recycle Bin. While File Recovery Assist's colorful, compact interface is functionally similar to other tools of its type, including its view of our drives and scan controls, the fonts are often quite different, especially those used on the interface, controls, and buttons. We scanned our drives, selected one, and expanded the tree view displaying the results. Checking the box by any entry designated it for recovery. We selected a deleted MP3 to recover and clicked Next, but a pop-up nag told us we'd have to buy the software to recover any actual data. A Web-based Help file is quite basic.

Even though we couldn't actually try Sondle File Recovery Assist, we recommend you start elsewhere, preferably with one of the capable freeware file recovery utilities available to download, many of which offer much more than this program in features and options. And when it comes to premium file recovery tools, the competition for File Recovery Assist is even steeper. Of course, you can download File Recovery Assist and see for yourself if it suits your needs.

Editors' note: This is a review of the trial version of Sondle File Recovery Assist 3.0.0.52.

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