Review : Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery
Nothing can make your heart sink more than that dreaded sound of a hard drive failure. It's a bit like that scene out of speed 3 where you can see the boat coming and the impending disaster thats about to strike from a mile off. Of course you did those backups you were always planning to do... right?
Cue The Typical Lack Of A Backup Irony..
Now obviously I haven't even lost a hard drive due to a failure and even so I have backups right?....Wrong. Due to the sub artic conditions of my house and a combination of dodgy electrics I lost 3 hard drives in a week, including the drive housing my backups. Yes there is a certain irony of losing the backups of your backups.
Of course there are plenty of options to clone and automate your data storage, online options are plenty along with drive cloning software however there is still a time and indeed a market for data recovery software. That leads us nicely onto
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery
A Mac Data Recovery software that recovers lost, deleted, formatted or inaccessible data from HFS, HFS+, HFS Wrapper and FAT file system based volumes irrespective of the data loss situation.
Installation is the usual trouble free mac affair but the 1st of many cosmetic issues reared its head. The EULA agreement wasn't formatted properly with line breaks all over the place looking a complete mess. It might only be a case of removing line breaks but it can sometimes set a president of what the quality of the software may well be.
Interface wise Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery harks back to a pre lion style application. However simple and dated it might look it's the functionality here that's under review so lets gloss over any interface misgivings for now.
A Trip Down Photo Memory Lane
To test the photo recovery option I opted to testing from a USB stick. I tend to have a habit of backing up to USB sticks and then in a momentary lapse of concentration, when I need to transfer file, I end up deleting essential files to save some space.
You do have the option to scan a partial area of the drive instead of performing a full scan. Whilst the majority of the general public will probably not use an option like this it's still nice to see that it can cater for the more technical people out there.
Speed wise you get exactly what you think you should prompt a USB to interface. Scanning my rather small turbo flash drive taking just under a minute to show the file recovery screen.
As is the normal course with all data recovery software, options for common file types are shown on the left and recovered files shown on the right with the option to view a preview above. Initially I was left wondering why important file types such as .PSD were missing from the file list. The simple reason is that if a certain file type is unrecoverable or not found on you the device you are trying to recover from there it won't show up in the list of file types.
The preview mechanism works just fine but the interface issues do rear their ugly heads again. The main user interface bug bearer for me is that you are unable to re-size the application window at all leaving you with a very cramped workspace. Although the column widths are not a fixed size you cannot reorder the list of files by clicking on the column header but you can change the column organisation.
Lost interface points are quickly re-gains as thankfully the recovery process is a very simple and straightforward affair. Once the drive has finished scanning for your files, simply click the files you wish to recover in any of the categories on the left and hit the recover button. Viola. Files are recovered with a minimum of fuss to a destination of your choosing.
Resume Recovery Without Having To Re-Scan.
As previously mentioned at the end of every scan you can save the results for future reference. This means that instead of having to rescan the device every time you want to find a file you can simply load up the results.
The downside is of course that should you delete or reuse the drive in the future you will have to rescan anyway.
Looks really aren't the be all and end all of any application however in the road of Apple this is Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery biggest downfall.
I confess to coming across this program once before and in a rather ignorant way just seemed that it was no longer under development due to the interface however I am glad to say I was completely wrong on this.
The step-by-step guides seem handy but all points to the same sort of data recovery so I would of liked to seem some difference between the screens, or more difference I should say.
On the data recovery and operational side files were found with ease and some dating back to many years ago and believe me this drive has received more than one or 2 formats in its time.
At the end of the day when it comes down to recovering your data it's not about the look and feel of a program but more the way it performs. yes it would be nice if the interface didn't look like a throwback to the 90s and the cosmetic issues are just that cosmetic.
Data recovery works a treat and with a fully live Lion version on the way Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery gets a huge thumbs up from EssentialMac.co.uk
Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is available at Stellarinfo.com Free to Try : $99 to buy