TechnologyTell

Appletell reviews StellarPhoenix data recovery for Mac OS X

Sections: Home and Personal, iPod, iPod Family / Legacy, Mac Software, Macintosh/Apple Hardware, Reviews, Software, System Utilities

2
Print Friendly

Stellar Phoenix IconProvides: Hard drive data recovery
Format: Download and DVD
Developer: Stellar Information Systems
Minimum System Requirements: Mac OS X, 30MB disk space, 256MB RAM
Processor Compatibility: Intel or PowerPC
Price: $99.00
Availability: Out now
Version Reviewed: 4.0.0.0

Stellar Phoenix for Mac is an application much like Data Rescue 3 which we reviewed about a month ago. Using some complex algorithms, this software aims to do things such as recover recently deleted files from hard drives or simply find a hard drive that refuses to mount. When you first open the application, you’ll be asked a few questions regarding what you want to recover. The options along the top of the interface include hard drive, iPod, or photo recovery. Clicking on each of these gives you even more options as to what you want to do.

  • Data Recovery
    • Quick Recovery – This scan uses the file system structure to quickly find and recover corrupted data.
    • Deleted File Recovery – This method scans the unused blocks of the drive to find accidentally deleted data.
    • Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery – This option takes the longest as it scans all of the blocks, but is meant to recover all lost data on formatted drives.
    • Search Lost/Deleted Volumes – This method scans sectors of the drive to find lost or deleted volumes connected to your machine.
  • iPod Recovery
    • Quick Recovery – This scan uses the filesystem structure to quickly find and recover corrupted data.
    • Deleted File Recovery – This method scans the unused blocks of the drive to find accidentally deleted data.
    • Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery – This option takes the longest as it scans all of the blocks, but is meant to recover all lost data on formatted drives.
Stellar Phoenix Options

Once you decide what type of scan you want based on what you need to recover, you must choose the volume you are aiming to scan. The interface for this can be seen in the image below. Through my experience with the application, I found it can recover flash drives and hard drives that are formatted for either Windows or Mac OS X, which is nice. Furthermore, you can choose to work on a disc that is plugged into your computer or load a disc image yourself. If you ever get stuck along the way, the help button in the bottom left corner opens a web page with some pretty helpful materials.

Stellar Phoenix Volume

Once you choose the type of scan and the drive you want, the magic happens. Based on the size of drive and method you’re using, the scan can take anywhere from seconds to hours. For instance, the quick recovery takes a very short amount of time as it scans very quickly. However, the formatted/lost file recovery takes much longer, even on a drive as little as 512MB, as it delves deeper into the file system and data clusters. That said, both methods found a lot of interesting stuff I never thought would still be discoverable on my drive (both enlightening and frightening at the same time). Stella Phoenix finds the existing files first, and then only recovers the ones you tell it to.

Stellar Phoenix Progress

The results window below is the one I was presented with when I ran a quick recovery on my drive. As you can see, the bottom left of the window contains a nice summary of the amount of data found on the drive that is available for recovery. The quick method, as I mentioned, runs very quickly and finds some of the most recent data you’ve had on your drive, it seems. It also doesn’t have very many folders and files in comparison to the other scan. You can choose exactly which files and folders you want to recover just by checking the box next to them. If you want to look through the data later, you can also choose to save the scan and what it found. While this is a nice feature, it could use a little bit of work. It saves a file without an extension to your computer, and double clicking it won’t open the application. Rather, you must right click it and go to the “Open With” menu to get it to open with Stellar Phoenix.

Stellar Phoenix Quick Results

On the other hand, the formatted/lost file recovery scan results can be seen below. This scan does take a lot longer, but it also finds more. I was certainly surprised by some of the stuff it was able to recover from my drive. Most of it was in exactly the way it was when I had deleted it, too, meaning it wasn’t actually off of my drive as I had hoped. Also, this scan delves deeply into the file system, so the files it recovers are extremely strange. For instance, when I recovered them, I had to navigate through a lot of folders labeled with random numbers and letters until I got to folders named like “Folder503″ and so on. However, once I got there, I did find the files that were on my drive, and I’m assuming this is simply because of the way the file system works beyond what we see.

Stellar Phoenix Formatted Results

As I’ve said a couple of times, I was definitely surprised by the amount of data this application was able to recover intact. However, there were also some strange things that happened during my use of Stellar Phoenix. For one, it does have a couple of UI glitches when starting a scan with the progress bar, and the overall UI could use some refinement. It’s functional and works, but needs a little sprucing up.

Furthermore, not all of the recovered data was complete. For instance, I ended up with some 0 second MP3s that reported to be a couple megabytes in size and images that had dimensions of 0x0. Other than that, though, I would certainly recommend this program to someone who has lost some data on a drive or needs to recover a drive. It does find a lot of information and does so in a manageable way.

Appletell Rating:

Buy Stellar Phoenix

2
Print Friendly
  • rhys1

    I downloaded from http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/filerecovery.html Mac data recovery software, i feel it easy to use.

  • ench27

    Similar to above mention there is also Photo recovery software I would like to share which apple site Mac Photo Recovery instantly without acquiring any technical knowledge.
    http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/photorecoveryfordigitalmedia.html