SOS Crash Recovery nightmare

Dennis Faas's picture

What would you do if your hard drive crashed and the data it contained was not recoverable?

Worse yet -- what would you do if the software you used to backup your drive refused to work unless you paid the company for another license?

Yesterday, Pippie1969 sent me the following email:

" ... [Continuing on with your discussion on PC Security], I thought I would share with you the following story. A little while back, I purchased 2 identical 120 gigabyte Western Digital (WD) hard drives.

In April, one of the drive's crashed (totally), and I was not able to recover *any* of the data on the drive. It was around this time that I stumbled across an article on a disk imaging program called 'SOS Crash Recovery Software' by DataTex. The demo version of the program was very simple to use, and so I decided to purchase an 'unlimited license'.

On June 7th, I used the SOS Recovery program to create a backup image of my remaining WD drive. Ironically, the same drive bit the dust eight days later (just like the first one). This time around, I purchased a hard drive made by another manufacturer and proceeded to reinstall Windows.

Once Windows was reinstalled, I launched the install for SOS Recovery. Following that, a window popped up and informed me that I needed to validate my license over the Internet before I could continue using SOS Recovery. Unfortunately, the validation procedure failed, reporting that the 'program expired' and was no longer valid.

Unable to restore my backed up data from the week previous, I wrote to the DataTex tech support explaining my situation, and was told the following:

' The application registration will allow the install of [SOS Recovery] 2 times before you receive the error you currently have. It appears that you have installed this with the same key more than 2 times, therefore the program will lock you out.

If the product was installed on the PC before the crash, you should not have received this error. The application license only allows for the install on ONE PC, therefore, if you are attempting to install this on another PC you would need to purchase another copy of the product. The application is designed to survive a system crash, thus, the need for installation again once the crash occurs is not necessary.

Side note: With respect to the last line in the above paragraph: if the drive containing the SOS Recovery program is corrupt (because the hard drive died, as in Pippie's case), then a reinstall *is* necessary.

I am sorry for the confusion, however, if you are not using the product on the original system you installed it on, we can not support you unless you purchase another license. '

The truth is that I have only installed this program *once*, and only did one image. Now the company wants me to buy another license to restore my system. The paradox is that I paid 'insurance' money to use a program for this type of emergency, only to find out that I can never use it again to restore my data!

In closing, I would say please don't recommend SOS Recovery to your readers. I am sticking with Acronis True Image, even though [it restores slower than SOS Recovery on my system -- at least it is reliable]! "

Side note: Acronis True Image was reviewed in the Gazette newsletter. You can read the review here.

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