Photorescue 3: The best $29 you'll ever spend

NEW (February, 2011): Photorescue 3.2.5!
The best image recovery program gets even faster & better

Buy now and get both the PC & Mac versions for 29!

Buy for $29 (Windows PC & Mac Versions)

Not ready to buy? Try the Free 30-day Demo:

PC Version: photorescue_win_325
Mac OS X Version:

[If your browser won't let you download an executable directly, here is the photorescue_windows_zip and photorescue_mac_zip.

[Licensed Users can simply download and install the Demo version to Upgrade]

PhotoRescue Overview:

More than any other topic, the mention of lost images strikes fear into the heart of the digital photographer. Having said goodbye to film almost 5 years ago, I have become completely dependent on my digital cameras, accessories, and the computer systems which make them work.

For most of our tools there is a good fail-safe. Carry two bodies, a variety of lenses with overlapping capabilities, both a laptop and a Digital Wallet, spare cables,  and lots of cards.

But once we've captured those images of a lifetime, we are at the mercy of the electrons on the card at least until we can get the images safely onto a laptop or maybe even a portable CD burner backup.

This sandpiper image was saved by Photorescue

So what do you do when a card crashes? That's what I asked myself when I'd just filled a card with images of wolves with a kill deep in Denali and had it crash on me and turn unreadable. After two hours of hacking with Norton & Windows utilities I'd only made the problem worse. I was so disgusted with myself I just reformatted it and got back to life.

But I vowed it wouldn't happen to me again. I found some very expensive system administrator tools which are great, but very hard to use, very expensive, and don't really have any nice features like letting you preview the images you lost as you recover them.

Then I found Photorescue (for Windows)! I've been experimenting with it for several months, but wanted to wait to really recommend it until I could use it on some actual crashed cards. Needless to say, cards never crash when you want them too. But finally I've had a chance to use it to recover some valuable images off of crashed cards. And it worked great!

At $29 Photorescue is a total no-brainer. It is faster and cheaper than trying to send the card back to the vendor and much preferred to trying to use a general purpose tool like Scandisk or Norton to hammer at the poor card.

Using Photorescue

Photorescue is easy to use. There are some fairly technical terms in the dialogs, but most of them are there for your information and the program always set the defaults correctly for me so I seldom had to change many settings. About the only thing you really need to tell it is whether the crashed card has a drive letter already or whether it is so damaged that Photorescue has to read it at the block level to recover the files.

It can be used with crashed files, accidentally deleted files, and so far just about any type of problem image I've been able to come up with to test it on.

Getting started:

You can download Photorescue 2 right here at

PC Version: photorescue2

Mac Version: photorescue2

We've also provided the Quickstart guide (PDF) and Quickstart guide (RTF) for your convenience. Once you decide you want to buy it you can simply purchase online from the software.

Note on using the Demo Version:

Secondary or external hard drives can now be recovered. PhotoRescue will ignore the system drive for safety reasons. We recommend the use of a fast interface such as Firewire or USB 2.0 for external drives.

Backup from the Demo Version:

After it completes its run, the demo version of PhotoRescue will offer to create a backup of your card. If your pictures appear to be recovered, we strongly suggest that you accept this option as your media could become worse between the time you run the demo and the time you purchase the program. The backup will be stored in a file called by default card_image.cib and will require an amount of free disk space equal to the size of the media. The backup file can be opened by the full version of PhotoRescue.

Q: Will Photorescue recover your Raw files?

A: YES!! Photorescue now has direct support for previewing and recovering Nikon NEF images and Canon CRW images, along with many other Raw file formats.

Did you know that 72 images of the WTC disaster site were recovered with Photorescue?

Photorescue is published by Datarescue, a major European supplier of high-tech software technology.

--David Cardinal
Pro Shooters LLC

Why it is the best?

Photorescue works when others won't. I've verified that myself many times when recovering lost images. So did Personal Computer Magazine, which awarded Photorescue the Best Buy and Best Product awards after it outperformed every other package in every test!


Upgrades are free for purchasers/renewers within the last year, otherwise you can Upgrade for $19 here.

PhotoRescue Expert Version

If you prefer the powerful Expert interface of Photorescue 2.1, you can still purchase it here:

Buy the PC Version for $29 Buy the Mac Version for $29

Also: FREE Cardwiper 1.0.1:

PC Version: cw101. Mac OS X Version: cw101
Note: Cardwiper does not work with Lexar readers.


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