25 November 2013
Monday, November 25, 2013 | Posted by Charnita Fance | | Edit Post
How many times have you wished that you could go back in time and recover an item that was once deleted on your computer?
It happens to the best of us: deleting a file or folder by accident, formatting and erasing a drive by accident, having a hard drive or other external media crash or get damaged, etc. It’s inevitable, accidents happen, which is why it’s always good to be prepared. Hard drives, both internal and external, are great for saving files and important data, but they can often fail us at unexpected times and leave us hanging.
Luckily, there is software like Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery available to help save the day. In this review, you’ll see what this application does and how it can help to recover lost files and important data on your Mac computer, as well as on external and optic media devices and even other operating systems that you may have installed on your Mac (for dual boot and triple boot systems).
Installation and Setup
Stellar Phoenix is very easy to get started with. Once you unzip the folder and drag the item to your Applications folder, it’s pretty much smooth sailing. It does, however, take a few minutes for the the software to initialize when you first open it.
Just be patient; soon you’ll see the main window and you’ll be able to start the data recovery process.
Main Window and Preferences
The main window of Stellar Phoenix is clean and simple. In the top left corner there are four icons: Preferences, Register, Buy Online and About.
I always like to go through Preferences myself, before using any new application, so it’s nice that it’s easily accessible here. In Preferences you can manually select the file types that you want to recover. If a file type is not listed, you can easily add it under the “Add Header” tab. Stellar can already recover more file types than you can even imagine, so you’re sure to be just fine with the default settings.
Under the “Others” tab, you can check for updates and choose how often to automatically check for updates, if desired. You can also choose to hide partitions that are less than or equal to a specific size (ie. 512 MB). If you do not want to be able to see a preview of photos/text files found during scanning, you can keep it disable that here as well (it’s enabled by default).
So now that you’re familiar with the main window and have gone through the Preferences, let’s start the data recovery process. There are three options on the main window:
Recover Data - Use this option to recover lost documents, photos, music, videos and other important data. This is great if you’ve deleted a file or folder by accident, formatted and erased a drive by accident, deleted a volume, have a volume that has failed to mount, need to recover data from a remove storage device, etc.
Create Image - This option takes a sector-by-sector image of the selected region. If you ever develop bad sectors that become unreadable, you can use this image to recover that data.
Resume Recovery - If you’re in the middle of the recovery process and need to stop or get interrupted, you can use this option to resume. You will need to have a saved scan or image in order to use this option.
Once you click on the big blue “Recover Data” button on the main window, you have a few options: Drive Recovery, Photo Recovery, CD/DVD Recovery, iPod Recovery and Raw Recovery. Each Recovery option then has more options/steps to go through in order to begin the recovery process.
At this point, it may seem a bit overwhelming when it comes to all of the options, but Stellar’s graphical interface makes it easy; it’s a breath of fresh air. Plus, there are helpful tips and explanations for each option, which walk you every step of the way. I also like that there are many recovery options to choose from. Stellar really can attend to all of your recovery needs, no other software required!
Testing the Waters
Just for testing purposes, I initiated a Deleted Recovery under Drive Recovery, and I was pretty amazed at all that what found! All of my deleted files were presented in a very organized manner - grouped by file type. Plus, it’s very easy to recover items and you can preview them before recovering. There’s also a handy quick preview feature while the scan goes on, which lets you see recoverable items in real-time.
It did take some time to perform the scan, but this is to be expected. If you need to abort the scan before it’s finished, just click the red power button to the right of the progress bar. You’ll be able to save the scan and continue it at a later time. The scan also uses a lot of battery power, so if you’re on a Macbook Pro or Air, you’ll want to be sure that you’re plugged in - this isn’t something you should do with just a few minutes to spare or if you can only use battery power.
I’ve only really covered the service in this review, but Stellar Phoenix has so much more to offer. Here are some other features that you’re sure to find handy:
- Advanced Boot Camp Support - if you have Windows or another operating system installed, Stellar makes it easy to recover lost or deleted data from those partitions as well.
- Recover data from NTFS and ExFAT file systems.
- Whether you Mac is a desktop or laptop, you can recover data even if your computer fails to startup - this is a pretty invaluable feature!
- Recover data from optical media this is scratched or inaccessible, such as a CD, DVD, Blu-ray-Disc, etc.
- Even if there has been severe corruption, the “Raw Recovery” option can help you out.
- Recover data photos and videos from camera cards and external hard drives - even large drives over 2 TB.
- Recover volumes that have suddenly gone missing.
- Works with Mac OS X 10.4.11 and up.
- Includes 24-hour online support and a 30-day money back guarantee.
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is a godsend when it comes to data recovery. Not only can it scan all known and unknown file types, but it can recover data from practically any type of external media as well. Calling this application a miracle worker is an understatement. It’s easy to setup, easy to use and navigate and is very effective - it definitely gets the job done.
Stellar is free to try before buying, although the free version is a bit limited. You won’t be able to recover any data, but you can do all types of scans and see just how it works in that aspect. If you like what you see, it will set you back $99.00 for the full version, but as you can see from this review it’s well worth it.
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