Sunday, 26 May 2019 23:12

Review – Stellar Data Recovery Premium

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No matter how careful we are, there will undoubtedly be a time we need to recover a deleted or damaged file. Stellar Data Recovery Premium may well be the tool for you.

Accidentally deleted files, corrupt disks, formatted hard drives, inaccessible volumes, removable memory cards that no longer open – any long-term computer user has seen them all, for themselves as well as friends and family. A good data recovery tool pays for itself and is a piece of software you’ll always be relieved to have on hand in the times you need it.

Imagine the situation: your parents say their camera memory card has all sorts of wonderful photographs from recent trips overseas, but it is no longer working in the camera, and inserting it into their computer just brings a prompt to format it. You can feel their distress. Or, you've gone to delete an old file ... but it was the wrong one. There's a little joke in computing that hardware measures time in milliseconds, but an ohnosecond is the brief instant of time between pressing the delete key and realising you highlighted the wrong document!

Or, you're in the office and the CEO tells you in a panic they accidentally deleted a bunch of unsent invoices, thinking it was something else.

Or even - and this one is painfully familiar to technicians worldwide. You've worked on a staff member's PC and emptied their recycle bin, only to find that's where they filed all their important documents - because it only takes a single button press to do so. Alas, many people do use the recycle bin for filing, and this situation has been repeated in many a company around the globe.

What do you do? Well, here's where Stellar Data Recovery Premium comes in, by Stellar Data Recovery. You can have a happy ending to any and all of these scenarios.

Stellar Data Recovery specialises in data recovery, as you might expect, with existing products to repair corrupt on-premise Microsoft Exchange server EDB databases, Microsoft SQL Server databases, and on to other enterprise and consumer tools for a host of scenarios. Stellar Data Recovery Premium focuses on file recovery, but it's a deceptively simple app, with both Windows - including desktop and server editions - and Macintosh OS X and iOS iPhone versions available.

Behind a straightforward, three-step user interface sits a vast range of features, supporting a wide range of file systems across hard disks, CD/DVD drives and other removable media including

  • NTFS
  • FAT
  • FAT16
  • FAT32
  • ExFat
  • CDFS
  • UDF
  • HFS+

It will recover items emptied from the Trash or Recycle Bin, from formatted disks, SSDs, corrupt drives, unmounted USBs, encrypted and NTFS drives. For Mac users, it will also recover Time Machine and Fusion Drive and will find lost APFS, HFS and HFS+ partitions. It can even create an emergency backup drive for your computer.

You can find other tools that claim to undelete files, but Stellar Data Recovery Premium goes way beyond with such rich file system capabilities. The CDFS support for CD and DVD drives is quite amazing and almost unprecedented, helping you restore treasured memories and valuable items from these discs too.

In fact, not only will it find and recover files, it can even repair corrupted videos and photos, bringing them back to you. That's something you won't get in any regular undeleter program.

Yet, despite the complexity and advanced capabilities under the hood, the app is a cinch to use – simply search, or scan your disk(s), preview the files it finds, and recover those you want. What can we say? There's little else to it ... but it does all this so simply and elegantly.

You can also create an image of hard disks and volumes for recovery, allowing you to file them away or search through them at future times, without fear of loss. This is something sure to benefit systems administrators as well as home users, maintaining forensic libraries of ex-staff files. It's a very helpful feature and iTWire found it similarly a snap to use.

The user interface is elegant and thoughtful, with optional file previewing on scanning, a tabbed interface and various customisations, meaning you can always be sure what you need to do as well as personalise it to suit yourself.

Stellar Data Recovery Premium is available for US$99.99, reduced from US$179.99, and is an admirable product for any tech-savvy person’s toolkit, and definitely for the corporate system administrator's arsenal.

The return on investment is difficult to quantify because your use of the product will vary and, of course, it fundamentally revolves around disasters moreso than everyday situations. Yet, what is the value you place on precious memories that are lost to a corrupt USB stick, or to unsent invoices inadvertently deleted, or even to recover your BitCoin wallet from a formatted hard disk? This is the value Stellar Data Recovery Premium offers - the security and peace of mind you can resurrect data otherwise seemingly lost.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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