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Anyway, that’s enough about performance for the time being - what else does the SanDisk card have to offer? Well, more often than not with an IT product such as a memory card, it doesn’t come as too much of a surprise if when you open the packaging, you find nothing inside but the card itself. Thankfully, the Ultra II range differs from other flash products in this respect since SanDisk has bundled in a copy of their own RescuePRO data recovery software. Designed to recover images and other files that you may have inadvertently deleted, RescuePRO will scan your flash card and display a preview of any recoverable data. You can then choose to restore some or all of the recovered images or files to another directory on your PC.
To test the software out, I first copied a number of JPEG images from my PC to the Ultra II card using the USB2.0 reader. I then deleted the images in Windows, and also formatted the card a couple of times to try and make doubly sure that there were no traces of the files left. However, all this effort proved to be in vain. After scanning the card for a minute or so, the software successfully recovered all of the JPEG files and allowed me to resave them to my PC’s hard disk.
Because the SanDisk software will also work with memory cards from other manufacturers, I thought I’d see what it could find on one of my own (heavily used) CF cards. Again, after plugging the card into the USB2.0 reader I first formatted the card twice before scanning for lost images. To my amazement I was able to recover about a dozen photos that I’d taken - and thought I’d deleted - several months ago. I must admit, the RescuePRO software worked so well I found it quite worrying to think it was possible for potentially sensitive data of any kind to be recovered so easily. Fortunately, if data security is a particular issue then the SanDisk software is also capable of permanently erasing any files on a flash card.
Finally, as a testament to its professional status the Ultra II product line is covered by an impressive ten-year warranty should a fault develop with your particular flash card. This is undoubtedly more generous than the much shorter warranties offered by some other companies, although I do know of at least one flash memory card manufacturer that offers a lifetime guarantee with its products. Nevertheless, at their current prices the SanDisk Ultra II cards do still present good value for money, even for the consumer user.
Although we couldn’t match SanDisk’s claimed transfer rates, it is competitively priced, comes bundled with a useful software package, and is roughly twice as fast as a standard speed CompactFlash card. If you own one of the latest high megapixel digital cameras capable of fast read and write times, then you should certainly give the Ultra II some consideration, albeit probably in a larger capacity.
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