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[Windows] Easily recover lost and deleted photos and images with Ashampoo GetBack Photo

2013-08-14_224929 [1]Need to recover lost or deleted files, including photos and images? Then you should check out dotTech’s review of best free file recovery software for Windows [2]. Don’t like any of the software we mention in our review? Then Ashampoo GetBack Photo wants your business. Let’s see if it is worth your time and money.

What Is It and What Does It Do

Main Functionality

Ashampoo GetBack Photo allows you to recover lost or deleted photos and images from your internal drives, external drives, and external devices (such as smartphones, tablets, cameras, etc.).

Pros

Cons

Discussion

2013-08-14_225026 [3]When I first came across Ashampoo GetBack Photo, I initially thought it only recovered deleted photos and images and not lost photos/images. However, then, after a bit more research, I learned it recovers both lost and deleted photos and images and I was overjoyed, because Ashampoo typically makes great programs. That means Ashampoo GetBack Photo is a great program, too, right? Wrong, unfortunately.

On the surface, Ashampoo GetBack Photo looks like a winner. It is easy to use, is able to recover major images formats, supports internal and external drives, devices such as smartphones/tablets/cameras, and cards, and is relatively cheap for a file recovery program — just $19.95. However, when you get beneath the surface, there are way too many drawbacks to this program.

The first thing I noticed when testing Ashampoo GetBack Photo is it is not able to recover file names of found photos/images. Not recovering file names is a known issue when recovering files that have been lost (i.e. files lost due to crash, format, corruption, etc.) so you can’t fault Ashampoo GetBack Photo for that. However, recovering file names for regularly deleted files (i.e. files that were deleted normally and were not deleted due to crash, format, corruption, etc.) is extremely poor programming on Ashampoo’s part; all the good file recovery programs are able to recover file names for files that have been undeleted.

After I got past the annoyance of not having file names, I found another irk: Ashampoo GetBack Photo provides thumbnail previews of all recoverable photos/images but the previews are just that — thumbnails. You cannot view image previews in full size, which makes it extremely difficult to find only the specific photos/images that you are looking for.

Finally, when I actually restored photos/images Ashampoo GetBack Photo told me were recoverable, I noticed some “recoverable” photos and images were actually not recoverable — they were corrupted and didn’t show the whole image/photo. I can’t fault Ashampoo GetBack Photo for not properly recovering all lost/deleted images/photos because that is simply the nature of file recovery. However, I do have an issue with Ashampoo GetBack Photo showing me corrupted images/photos are being recoverable; if they can’t be properly recovered, then don’t show them to me.

Aside from that, there are plenty of other issues with Ashampoo GetBack Photo. I won’t readdress all the major issues in this Discussion section because you can read about them in the Cons list above, but I do want to mention two things:

You see when a file is deleted or lost, it still exists on a physical sector on your hard drive until new data is written over that sector — you just can’t see the file in your file table on Windows because it has been deleted/lost. So when you want to recover lost photos, images, files, etc. it is essential to not use the computer/drive/device from which you want to recover files because whenever you use the computer/drive/device, there is a chance the files you want to recover will be overwritten and thus be unrecoverable.

This is easy to do with external drives/devices/cards because you can simply stop using them, plug them into your computer, and use Ashampoo GetBack Photo (or any other file recovery program that you have) on them. However, this is extremely hard to do with internal hard drives because Ashampoo GetBack Photo because only runs from within Windows. In other words, not only would you have to run Windows to use Ashampoo GetBack Photo but you would have to install it if you don’t have it installed already; in the case of your Windows installation being corrupted or having crashed, you will have to reinstall Windows, install Ashampoo GetBack Photo, and then run it.

All these situations lead to a high chance that the photos/images you want to recover will be overwritten and be unrecoverable. If Ashampoo GetBack Photo was able to run from outside Windows using bootable/recovery CD/DVD/USB, this wouldn’t be an issue in any of the situations I just mentioned.

It is almost like Ashampoo had a junior programmer create Ashampoo GetBack Photo and it turned out to be so bad that they decided to ditch the program altogether and stop updating it instead of wasting money trying to fix it. Except that they are still trying to sell it to people.

Conclusion and Download Link

Typically, Ashampoo programs are of high quality and many people are fans of Ashampoo. However, Ashampoo GetBack Photo is the exception to the rule. Sure it is able to recover tens of thousands of lost/deleted photos and images but it is buggy, does not perform intelligent recovery, does not recover file names, and is slow. To top it off, Ashampoo GetBack Photo must be run from within Windows (which is a terrible idea for anyone wanting to recover photos/images on the computer that Ashampoo GetBack Photo is installed on) and it hasn’t been updated in over one year. I recommend skipping this program.

Instead of Ashampoo GetBack Photo, you should check out dotTech’s review of best free file recovery programs for Windows [2]. Not only do the programs in our review [2] recover lost/deleted photos and images but they also support other file formats. Check them out.

Price: $19.95

Version reviewed: 1.0.1

Supported OS: Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 (32-bit and 64-bit)

Download size: 7.7 MB

VirusTotal malware scan results: 1/45 [4]

Is it portable? No

Ashampoo GetBack Photo homepage [5]