Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is bundled with so many tools to recover your data, basically it’s the Swiss Army Knife of data recovery.
First, Let’s Establish One Rule
When using any piece of software to recover data, always recover to a different device. Meaning, if you are recovering data on a hard drive, then recover it to another hard drive or USB key that’s large enough to handle the recovery. If you’re recovering from a USB key or SD card, be sure to recover that data to your hard drive. If you choose to write back (undelete) to the same storage device containing the content you wish to recover, it may overwrite another file that you are trying to recover in the process. Always recover to a different storage device. Once the recovery is complete, you may copy it back to it’s original location then. This will give you the best results.
So What Tools Are Bundled in this Swiss Army Knife?
Drive Recovery Tools
The Drive Recovery option provides you with 4 scan methods: Quick Recovery, Deleted Recovery, Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery & Search Lost/Deleted Volumes. I found them all to be powerful in their own right.
Each tool provides a classic view, file view or filtered list. The filtered list is a nice option giving you the power to reduce the amount of content listed on the screen. Another nice feature is Quicklook which will allows you to quickly view a picture, document, listen to a song or playback a video (as long as it’s under 100MB which would have to be a pretty short video) before deciding if this is the file you want to recover.
I formatted an SD card as a Mac OS Extended (Journaled) partition and filled up the card with photos, video, word documents, PDFs and some music files. Then I placed the SD card back into my camera and had it re-formatted (by the camera) to FAT16. Next, I took a couple of pictures, removed the card front the camera and placed it back into my Mac. I ran the Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery tool and it gave me the option to recover 30 of 34 files that originally existed under the prior format (the only reason it wasn’t 34 for 34 is because I took 2 pictures with the camera, this goes back to our rule we established earlier). I was very content with the results. That’s a five star option right there!
My advice, if you are unclear with which tool to start with first, try Quick Recovery and work your way down. I found if the first tool didn’t succeed, one of the next three did.
First of all, yes, the previous tools discussed will recover photos, but if it’s only a photo you need to recover, then start with the Photo Recovery tool. If you have an SD card in the computer it will automatically start its recovery process there, but this can be bypassed by selecting the View complete drive list option.
If you have a damaged CD/DVD that contains photos or other data files this option can be used to recover that information to a new location. Even if it was a CD that didn’t burn properly.
With this tool you can recover such things as your music, photos, videos or podcasts. It has three modes of recovery: Quick Recovery, Deleted Recovery & Advance Recovery. Please note, this option only supports the iPod Classic and the iPod Shuffle. If you’re looking to recover data from an iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c or 5s, check out Stellar’s Phoenix Data Recovery for iOS.
If none of the other tools are able to recover what you’re looking for, then this is probably your last resort. This tool will try to recover information from any corrupt medium. You can even specify a range of sectors to scan. Now that’s precise!
Back in the first screen shown in this article there was an option called Create Image. Now this is not a recovery tool, but a backup tool. This tool takes a sector by sector image of your entire hard drive or any storage device you select and saves it to a .dmg file for later use. If your hard drive or other storage device develops bad sectors in the future, then you can use the Resume Recovery option to recover files that have become corrupted. Rule number two. Never store the .dmg file on the same source that you are creating an image of. For example, if you use this option to backup your hard drive and you store the .dmg file on that same hard drive, if sectors become corrupt, the .dmg file may not work if it resides in the bad sector section. Even worse is if your hard drive dies altogether, that means you lost your data and your backup .dmg file. Hence, always store backup files on a different location other than the source drive.
Let’s Wrap Up
I found tech support to be very knowledgable and quick. Stellar’s website provides a knowledge base, FAQ, submit a case or via phone as well. Stellar also provides 24/7 support, so they definitely have your back.
At $99, Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery is definitely stellar!