Product Reviewed:
Undelete 3.0
Executive Software
7590 N. Glenoaks Blvd
Burbank, California 91504
Phone: 818-771-1600

Product Description:
Server and Workstation File Recovery
Retail Price:
Work station one license $44.95 (US)
Server one license $259.95 (US)

Don Hughes
Date Reviewed:
Good Features:

1. User friendly
2. Worked well under field test conditions

Bad Features:


Reviewers Comments:

Requirements: Undelete Workstation 3.0 runs on any x86 or equivalent system (including Pentium) Windows NT Workstation 4.0 (SP 3 min), or Windows 2000 Professional, and XP Professional, XP Home.

Undelete 3.0 offer's PC users a more reliable way of recovering files, should anyone accidentally or intentionally delete an important file. Yes, I am as guilty as anyone who in a haste to delete files has accidentally deleted important data, when cleaning up old data from a hard drive. Microsoft does provide a recycle bin, as part of the Windows operating system, however, why use Undelete when Microsoft Windows has a built in recycle bin? Many deleted files bypass the recycle bin. Therefore, cannot be restored with Windows built in tools. In addition some programs can be set to bypass the recycle bin when deleting a file. A New York Times article reported, "Accidental deletions accounted for $15 billion in losses to corporations annually." There is little doubt if one deletes a database, accounting information; medical information; essay papers and important business documents the costs are incalculable for the end user.

An article in the New York Times on June 29, 1999 stated, "Eliminating Data Files Is Costly for Business. Broadcasters Network International, market research Company, says biggest threat to corporate data security is, by far, computer users accidentally deleting files. Says survey of 300 system managers found accidental deletions cause 30 times the data loss that viruses do." Accidental deletions, according to information on Executive Software's web site, cost corporations an estimated $15 billion dollars annually.

As a computer consultant & field service technician, I tend not to deal with large corporations, but with small business, home office, and personal computer users. Unfortunately, I have seen far too many customers having to rebuild accounting data, inventory, documents, research data, customer lists, and personal files, which have been accidentally deleted. Smaller businesses do not have the extra staff to tackle rebuilding data. Instead, time has to be diverted from other projects, or the employees work overtime, nights and weekends restoring lost information.

It has been my experience that no matter how often I lecture users to back up their important data, relatively few users take the extra time to make backups. Even users who make copies and backup on a regular basis can accidentally hit delete and toss a file into the Recycle Bin or into an unrecoverable cyberspace. Undelete 3.0 is a tool that can give some piece of mind to those of us who operate a mouse at warp speed and hit the delete buttons by accident. The main problem with a file deletion as in the case of a hard drive failure without a backup is that the data can take months to restore, and in some cases, it is impossible to recreate the exact data. With the rapid expansion of digital imaging such as scanners, and digital cameras a simple miss-click of a mouse can delete irreplaceable photographs. Digital photography is fast becoming the photographic system of choice with many companies, small business and consumers. The drawback when using digital photography is should any user accidentally delete a photograph or an entire directory, there are no photographs, slides or negatives from which to make reprints. Another reason to make Undelete 3.0 an integral part of your computer system today is most businesses have to do more with fewer employees, and office workers are tired and fatigued. The more tired, an end user or overworked employee is the greater chance of having data deletion accidents.

Have a computer long enough and one soon finds out just how easy how easy it is to delete a file or a directory from the hard drive. Undelete 3.0, from Executive Software provides additional insurance to protect files and directories. Even with the added comfort of Undelete 3.0, the user must maintain good backup habits to protect from catastrophic data loss. Undelete 3.0 can help any user recover after important documents, database or financial records which have been knowingly or inadvertently deleted. Included on the Undelete 3.0 CD is Executive software "Emergency Undelete" utility. Once a file or files have been deleted and if the end user has not installed another program or programs to the hard drive; there is a good chance the file or files can be restored using the Emergency Undelete utility. Emergency Undelete runs from the CD after the program installs a minimum number of files onto the hard drive.

I had the opportunity to field test Emergency Undelete on a client's computer that suffered a Windows 98 crashes. The client called me to inquire if it was possible to recover her income tax records for the past three years from their corrupted PC hard drive. To make matters worse the client had attempted a restore of Windows, and I was now unsure if any deleted data could be recovered, as it might have been over written. We removed the customer's drive from their computer and reconnected it as a slave drive in one of our systems. The recovery process was simply a matter of running EmergUnd.EXE, entering the drive letter, and the program set to work looking for deleted files. It did not take the program long to search and return a list of previous deleted files, and programs. Reading the long list recoverable files, I was very impressed by the size and scope of programs and files Emergency Undelete located on the corrupted drive. However, we could find only one year of tax data for the client, and not all three years, which was troubling as not a trace of data for the other missing years was located. I called the client to inform her of what we did recover, and she was extremely happy to even one year of missing data recovered. Later the client called after remembering saving the missing two years of tax data directly onto a floppy disk and not to the hard drive-the client later found tax data disks. Undelete 3.0 have several new added features, which enable the program to capture and display which user and the users account that deleted the file-See graphic below.

The program has new enhanced search compatibilities for files, by date, date deleted, and owner, location, and drive or drive partition. In addition to the many enhancements to Undelete 3.0 Executive software have added SecureDelete to permanently erase any file, by overwriting the file location using patterns developed by the National Security Agency (NSA) and the Department of Defense (DOD) standards. SecureDelete can help prevent any company's data being recovered from recycled hard drives.

Undelete 3.0 is very user friendly, and does not require the end user to have a degree in computer science. Simplicity aside Undelete 3.0 is a very powerful utility for any PC, from the home user, small business, or large corporation that require added protection against mysterious data disappearances. Computers, hard drives, Windows operating system, and programs can be replaced, updated or reinstalled. On the other hand, genealogy family trees, digital pictures, letters, essays, important tax or financial information, databases, and research data can take months to recreate or may never be a hundred-percent reconstructed.

Undelete 3.0 is added insurance for any PC user, be they have a single workstation to the Server with multiple workstations. Recovering one important accidentally deleted file will more than pay for the programs cost. If you have PC's in your home or office, you need Undelete 3.0.

GCR Overall Rating (out of 5):

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