Review: Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery - Technician
It goes without saying that backup is an essential topic when discussing data management. However, this is something oh so many forget to do or don’t even think about. One of the worse repercussions of forgetting about this important task is data loss. Losing a file to something as simple as emptying the recycle bin or nasty as a media failure, put blatantly, Sucks. With a capital “S.” When you lose priceless memories such as baby photos or that report you were working on all week you may feel helpless. It is in your time of need a good data recovery software can be a knight in shining armor.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Technician is just this. It is a pretty featureful suite of data recovery software that covers almost any type of data recovery need you can think of, from corrupted images off of your SD card to full blown RAID recovery options! So, today I would like to give you an overview and share my thoughts on this software. Now, let me go into some detail about it.
First, let’s look at the features. Today we are taking a look into version 6.0. As one would expect, this software can help you easily recover your precious photos, videos, documents, etc. A new feature to this version is a new Email Recovery option as well as an all-new FAT file system scan engine for faster scans. It has support for over 300 file types and even allows you to add in your own custom one. Windows XP, 2000, Vista, 7, 8, and 10 are supported and as such it, supports FAT, NTFS, AND ExFAT file systems. It even allows you to search and scan for lost/deleted volumes. It categorizes scanned results and can show you a preview of files before recovery. You can also create drive images of the failing media recover data from them. Furthermore, if you like you can read the S.M.A.R.T. data from the drive and run a scan process to look for bad sectors.
The main selling points for the Technician edition over the standard Home or Professional versions is RAID and remote recovery options, both of which are quite handy. In terms from RAID recovery, Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Technician allows for the rebuilding and recovery of data from software RAID and even hardware RAID 0, 5, and 6 arrays. It even works when you do not know the RAID parameters. Remote recovery is great as well. It allows you to recover data from another computer over the network. All you need is to install the Stellar Remote Recovery Agent on the client computer.
User Interface & Functionality
Drive Recovery - "This option allows you to recover files that have been deleted from a volume or removable media by using the deleted file recovery process. It also helps you to recover data from a formatted volume by using 'Advanced Recovery' option. Using this option, you can search for deleted or lost volumes in a hard disk and recover data from it. 'Raw Recovery' feature also allows you to recover data on signature basis from an entire hard disk or from any of its volumes."
CD DVD Recovery - "A CD/DVD disk might become unreadable or corrupt due to a number of factors, such as heat, dust, scratches on the disk. Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software can recover data from damaged CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD and DVD-RW discs. Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery application supports recovery from corrupt optical media disks burnt on Windows, Linux, UNIX, and Macintosh systems. The application performs a scan on the selected optical media for recovery. You can select only one optical disc at a time for scanning."
Photo Recovery - "Photo Recovery - This option of Stellar Phoenix recovery software allows you to recover lost or deleted image / photo files from existing volumes, hard disks, memory cards, or other removable storage devices. It supports recovery of raw image formats from digital cameras like Nikon, Canon, Sony and others."
Email Recovery - "This option of Stellar Phoenix recovery software will help you to recover deleted emails, contacts, tasks, and reminders from Microsoft Outlook. You can also recover deleted mails and other data from Microsoft Outlook Express as well. You can save the recovered emails in three different file formats - PST, EML, and MSG."
RAID Recovery - "This option will help you to recover data from RAID storage devices. Stellar Phoenix recovery software supports recovery of data from RAID levels 0, 5, and 6. This feature can recover data from both, hardware and software RAID."
Recovery From Image
This option allows you to recover from a previously created drive image.
Create Image - "The image you create by using Create Image option of Windows Data Recovery will be of same size as the selected hard disk, pen drive, or volume. Ensure that the location where image file needs to be saved has sufficient space to store the image file."
Clone Disk - "This option of Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software allows you to create an exact replica of a hard disk. You will need to attach another hard disk for cloning the source hard disk. The size of the destination hard disk should be same or greater than the size of the source hard disk."
Drive Status - "This option of Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software shows information of an attached hard disk. The 'Drive Status' section displays model number, serial number, size, temperature, status, S.M.A.R.T feature and firmware revision number of an attached hard disk. In addition, S.M.A.R.T information is also listed in the S.M.A.R.T information box."
Remote Recovery - "With Windows Data Recovery's Remote Recovery feature, you now have the option of recovering data over a network. For recovering data using this feature, you first need to install Stellar Remote Recovery Agent client on all the computers of the network, from which you want to recover data. Using Remote Recovery, data recovery is performed remotely via a secure connection between your machine and the target machine. Using Remote Recovery feature of the software, you can access computers over the network and then recover data from any of the volumes / hard disk of the remote computer. This feature can recover data from any computer over any network."
Settings - "In the Settings menu you can add file types for your recovery, update the software, as even change the log settings and scan settings a bit.
Stellar Data Recovery Inc. has what seems to be a very good support base. For most questions and concerns they have a large knowledge base and FAQs page which can usually cover your needs. For those whose questions can’t be answered so simply you can contact them 24hrs a day Monday through Friday through email or by phone.
In order to test it I attempted to recover data from a few corrupted SD cards as well as recover from purposely deleted files. I was able to recover most files from, but not all. I had issues recovering camera RAW files. At first I changed the settings to look for CR2 files as they showed up as tiff. I tried to recover them off of a SD card after I deleted them. It saw and recovered the files, however their file names were different and all photo viewing programs could not open the files and stated they were corrupted. This was a bit disappointing because .jpg, .docx, and .zip files recovered easily. They need to go back to the drawing board on this and figure out how to improve this file type recovery option as that is big for photographers nowadays.
Besides that, I had the opportunity to recover data off of a RAW disk volume thanks to my friend's drive dying out. I was able to gain access to all his files and from what it seems, everything recovered perfectly. I also tested recovery off of my SSDs in my system. It was able to recover recently deleted files, but once TRIM was issued by the OS and garbage collection ran its course the data could not be recovered. This was expected, however, it is just the nature of flash.
Furthermore, the drive image creation and cloning tools work, but it requires an identical or larger drive as the destination of the image. You can manually set the LBA range, however, that could risk data loss when trying to recover. Drive Status worked as it should and displayed the proper S.M.A.R.T. info, however, I have a preference towards other software for that duty. Remote recovery is interesting and worked to access my servers drives.
Finally, while I haven been able to do a decent amount of recovery testing, I have not been able to use the CD/DVD recovery as none of my system have burners/readers unfortunately. I also was unable to test the email recovery option as I use Thunderbird rather than MS Outlook or Outlook Express. And, I would like to run the RAID recovery options, however, as of late I am short on time and can not explore them without an actual need to use them.
The tool has a full range of advanced features for recovering files, photos, videos, documents, and emails from Windows hard drives, external media, and RAID arrays. The program is simple to use overall, but if you have issues you can always contact their support team. I really liked the folder and file filtering as well as the ability to save volume scan info for later recovery. One thing they could improve on is definitely the UI appearance. It seems very Windows XP/Vista like.
Overall, if you are interested in a data recovery software Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery is decent, especially the Technician version if you need RAID recovery or remote recovery features. Like I said before, it worked in a few tests, but not for when I was recovering camera RAW files. Be sure to try before you purchase to see if it will work for you. Home Edition is $50, Pro is $100, and Technician is $300. For more information and other software check out their website at www.stellarinfo.com.