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DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software review

Fast and comprehensive data recovery

DMDE Review
(Image: © DMDE Software)

Our Verdict

Competent and comprehensive, DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software has a powerful free option that is upgradable for business/pro use.

For

  • Fast
  • Compelling free option

Against

  • Could overload new users with too much information
  • Doesn't display a timer for recovery

Eschewing a flashy website, DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software gets down to business by telling you exactly what to expect from its no-nonsense recovery tool. With five license options beyond the free tool, DMDE is a bit of a mystery, offering multiple languages in its website (including French and Russian) but no clue as to its origins, other than launching in 2008. Its "About" page only explains the software, rather than the company and developers. 

Sales support is available in Canada and the USA, although both agencies appear to be operating under license, with different websites. All of this makes DMDE rather enigmatic.

That mystery aside, how well does DMDE recover your lost files?

Editions

DMDE offers a free version as well as several other editions (Image credit: DMDE Software)

Free vs other options

DMDE is available in multiple editions.

Before purchasing, the developer recommends using the free edition to "make sure you are able to recover and open necessary files." DMDE Free Edition can recover up to 4000 files at a time which makes it useful in small scale recovery jobs. This is less useful for recovering disks and partitions, however, which is where the paid options come in.

Pricing

You can choose a package for one operating system or upgrade to one that covers several (Image credit: DMDE Software)

Five different licenses are available, scaled to specific uses. An Express one-year license is $20 (£14.85), whereas a Standard license for DMDE is $48 (£29.69). Both options are for a single operating system (Windows, macOS, Linux). There is also a Standard license for multiple operating systems ($67.20/£41.65). 

DMDE Professional is $95.00 (£58.70) for one OS, or $133 (£82.19) for multiple operating systems. DMDE also offers a discount for multiple licenses.

Partitions

You can even manage the partitions on your computer with DMDE (Image credit: DMDE Software)

Key recovery features

Using DMDE Free Edition to recover data gives you the option to recover up to 4000 files at a time. It also offers partition management as well as disk imaging and cloning. DMDE Free Edition finds lost data via a thorough volume search, and the disk editor lets you navigate and browse various disk structures.

NTFS Search

DMDE suports NTFS, FAT, exFAT and many other formats (Image credit: DMDE Software)

The tool supports NTFS, FAT formats, exFAT, Ext formats, HFS+/HFSX, ReFS, APFS, and can both scan and manage partitions in these formats.

Finding files with DMDE Free Edition

To test the capabilities of DMDE Free Edition we used a Windows 10 laptop (Dell 5505) with a 16GB SanDisk Cruzer Blade USB thumb drive attached. This device had lost and deleted files and was in normal circumstances unmountable.

Launching DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software prompts the Select Disk/Task dialogue, also available in the Disk menu. From here, you select the device to scan, then click OK. In the next window, you can choose any partition of the chosen disk, see relevant data about it, and click Full Scan to commence recovery.

The list of recoverable files is accompanied by a Preview pane, where completeness can be assessed. To recover a file, check the box, right-click, and select Recover. Multiple files can be selected (as noted, up to 4000 files) and the Recover data button clicked. Recovered data is saved to a specified directory.

Checking logical disks, disk images, and constructing RAID disks are all available from the Select Disk/Task window.

Recovery performance

Scanning the 16GB USB flash drive in under 15 minutes, DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software is relatively fast. Although slower than some alternatives, the depth of recovery was considerable. Some files were long since gone and completely unrecoverable but listed anyway.

The recovery function was similarly efficient, making the whole process just feel easy. Recovered files work, and DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software doesn't appear to list any data that cannot be recovered, although results can be sorted by quality.

DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software's various expanded features are similarly impressive. Investigating these further, we took the time to create a disk image of the disk in question, while it was still unmountable. The image was easy to create, resulting in a mountable BIN file that could be recovered from. You'll appreciate the benefit of having this feature and using it on an old HDD that is about to break. 

Manual

There is a manual available on DMDE Software's website (Image credit: DMDE Software)

Support

There is virtually no support for DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software. While the website offers a 10-point FAQ and detailed online manual (also available as a PDF) with translations in Polish and Russian, technical support is available only via a direct email. 

Contact

You can also get in touch via a contact form (Image credit: DMDE Software)

Feedback can be sent through the website, but it misses a detailed, searchable knowledge base and chat support. There is no reference to any social network accounts or a Reddit page.

In short, if you choose to use DMDE to recover your lost data, manual aside, it's likely to be a slow process if you run into trouble.

Hopefully, this won't happen, but given the depth of options in this software it seems strange that more in-depth support isn't available.

Final verdict

With so many recovery tools on the market with varying levels of competence, speed, features, and pricing, it is easy to be suspicious of DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software. 

But this is a feature packed recovery tool with a free mode that is ideal for all but the most devastating recovery scenarios. 4000 files per recovery session is enough in most cases, and that's before considering the paid options which are surprisingly affordable when compared with others.

While the user interface presents information that might be potentially confusing to the uninitiated, it boasts features that other tools omit, can handle RAID construction, and create disk images. The Express license alone is a bargain, DMDE - DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery Software is available for Linux and macOS as well as Windows, making it perhaps the best free and paid recovery solution available.

Christian Cawley

Christian Cawley is the editor responsible for Linux, Security, Programming, and DIY content at MakeUseOf.com, where he also regularly contribute articles and video reviews. With over 10 years' experience writing in the consumer electronics, IT and entertainment media, Christian has been fortunate to work with some of the best websites and print publications in these fields.