Review: Prosoft Data Rescue ONE

This device could save your digital life

Apple, Prosoft, Data Rescue, OS X, Mac
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We’ve all been using computers long enough that we should all know that from time to time they go wrong, and when they do you need an arsenal of solutions to help you recover lost data – recent backups and data recovery tools are two of the most essential investments you should make before disaster strikes.

Prevention and cure

Backup is critical, of course, and if you don’t backup please, please take action now before you lose your data. Data is important – your images, music collection, personal documents, tax records – all this information is valuable and losing it has consequences. For example, shortly after my mother died one of my Macs failed and I lost nearly all my photos of her. Prosoft Data Rescue ONE is the kind of solution that would have got at least some of those precious moments back.

What it is

Prosoft has been offering excellent software products for simple yet effective data recovery that has led the industry since 2002, offering free trials of many of these (for Mac and Windows). The company also offers its own full physical data recovery service.

With Prosoft Data Rescue ONE, the company has taken a new direction, offering an essential hardware-based solution, consisting of an external hard drive equipped with the capacity to launch Data Rescue on your broken Mac. It will then scan and recover lost data from your machine.

With prices ranging between $49 and $419, four solutions are available, consisting of the software and either a 16GB (flash drive, $49), 500GB, 1TB and 1TB professional drive. (The professional solution offers unlimited data recovery and telephone support, more below).

How it works

This is very easy to use – just shut your Mac down, connect the system to your computer using the included USB cable, and restart while pressing the Option key. You’ll be asked to register your software (you get an email with a registration code) and which drive you wish to boot into, choose Data Rescue ONE and the system will scan your drive to see what can be restored. The Mac must be running Mac OS X 10.7.5 or later. You can see more info on how it works in Prosoft's video, posted below:

Scanning can take many hours, depending on the quantity of data and condition of the drive. Once the scan is complete just choose what data you want to recover and it will be rescued to the ONE drive.

Good points

I can recommend Prosoft's Data Rescue 4 software to anyone who needs to rescue lost data. The combined hardware/software solution of Data Rescue ONE is equally as good, with enhanced support from the company’s teams of crack data recovery specialists. The system is powerful, easy-to-use and highly effective and recovered data (I’d deleted for the purposes of this review) from two Macs (a functional iMac and a damaged MacBook).

Bad points

The small print is that each version of the ONE solution carries a data recovery limit, ranging from 12GB for the smallest model, to 1TB for the $179 edition. If you want to recover more data then you must pay the company more money, or upgrade to the $419 professional system.

That’s reasonable I suppose – every company has a right to a sustainable business, but it is something that may turn some customers off as it means they may only be able to use the solution once or twice before they need to pay again.

To be fair the professional system also offers annual free upgrades and access to help from the Data Rescue Center, making this an essential and effective tool for Mac pros likely to resurrect data from multiple Macs.


With the stated caveats I do think Prosoft has introduced a uniquely useful product for Mac users, though I would prefer that the data recovery limitation and the cost per GB of additional recovery were more plainly described on the company website. You do, however, get what you pay for and this product will recover huge quantities of your lost data. And a Windows version ships "soon".

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