While you may not have heard of Stellar Data Recovery before, today’s review of their Professional (the version type) software package really is something worth keeping in mind for your data recovery needs in the future. Based out of India but with ties in the US and Europe, the ISO 9001 & ISO 27001 certified organization specializes in Data Recovery, Data Erasure, Mailbox Conversion, and File Repair software and services.

Besides the Professional version, there are five other versions available: Free, Standard, Premium, Technician & Toolkit, with each offering more advanced options.
It is also available for Mac in 3 versions: Free, Professional & Premium.

It supports file recovery from over 200 different types:

Acrobat Files PDF
Archive Files ARJ, CAB, 7Z, LZA, RPM, TAR, BZ2, HQX, RAR, SIT, SITX, ZIP
Audio Files WAV, AIFF, RPS, MIDI, MID, M4A, AU, OGG, WMA, AAC, RFL, RNS, RA, RM, MP3, M3D, CDA, AU, OGG, WMA, AAC, RFL, SND
Database Files MDF, DBF, CSV, MDB, ACCDR, ACCDT, ACCDA, ACCDB
Documents files  MDB, ACCDB, PDF, PS,C WK, FM3, FMT, WK1, WK3, WK4, DOC, DOCX, XLS, XLSX, PPT, PPTX, SDW, QXD, QXP, EPS, QBB, QBW, WPD, DOT, WBK, DOCM, DOTX, DOTM, DOCB, XLT, XLM, XLSM, XLTX, XLTM, XLSB, XLA, XLAM, XLL, XLW, POT, PPS, PPTM, POTX, POTM, PPAM, PPSX, PPSM, SLDX, SLDM, ADE, ADP, MDA, MDN, MDT, MDF, MDE, LDB, AND, ACCDR, ACCDT, ACCDA, MDW, ACCDE, LLACCDB, XPS, ODT, OTT, ODM, ODS, OTS, ODP, OTP, ODB
Email Files EMLX, PST, MSG, EDB, MBOX, NSF, GWI, EML, DBX, DCI, VCF
Image Files NEF, CRW, CR2, ORF, SR2, SRF, K25, KDC, DCR, RAF, MRW, PEF, X3F, JPEG, JPG, TIFF, TIF, BMP, GIF, PNG, XCF, PAT, ARW, DNG, PSP, PCT, RAW, MOS, PSD, EPS, INDD, ERF, FH3, FH5, FH7, FH8
Video files AVI, WMV, ASF, MP4, MOV, M4V, 3GP, MXF, MKV, MTS, DIVX, OGM, MOI, VOB, MPEG, MPG, AVS, DVM, QT, ANM, SMJPEG, SCR, FLC, CLK, ANI, FLA, SWF, FLV, M4P
Miscellaneous files MHT, MHTML, ASPX, JSP, PHP, DBF, QDG, QSD, ABD, CBK, CAS, CHM, HLP, NBP, QDF, RTF, TAX, TXT

 

Stellar Data Recovery (Professional) Review: Getting Started.

There are seven options for the type of data that needs recovering. Firstly, there is the everything option. If you just want the software to try and recover everything on a drive, this is the option to choose. You can select specific options with the remaining six buttons:

Office Documents (including Word, Excel, PPT files, etc.)
Folders (all content within folders)
Emails (MS Outlook, etc.)
Multimedia (jpg, png, BMP, etc.)
Audio (MP3, WMA, WAV, etc.)
Videos (MPEG, MOV, FLV, etc.)

The top right of the dashboard is a drop-down box with three options:
Create Recovery Drive, Monitor Drive, and Compare editions.

To recover data from a crashed or non-booting Windows PC, you need to create a bootable USB drive (at least 1GB in size), and this is where the Create Recovery Drive utility does its work.

As well as all the data recovery options, the software also supports a valuable drive monitor. This monitors disk temperature, performance, and health and will send real-time alerts if a problem arises; and also supports disk scanning and disk cloning.

Stellar Data Recovery (Professional) Review: Performing an “ALL DATA” recovery.

For testing, a  2GB Test Folder was created (and deleted) so we know what to look for when running the recovery instance. This way, it would make it easier to spot when searching through the recovered files later on.
Thanks to the clear and concise dashboard, recovering data is accessible. Firstly, choose what information you want to recover; clicking Next brings up the Recover From page once this is done. The Recover From section lists all the drives the software has found, including external drives, optical drives, and flash media.

A standard scan is much quicker…

Versus a Deep Scan which takes considerably longer and is more thorough, and has more phases.

Also, turning off the Preview slider at the top will also increase scan speed. But it’s nice having the scan show you what it has found (such as an image) when it discovers it.
When the scan is completed, a dialogue box appears with details of what the scan has found.
The number of files, folders and how much data is recoverable.
The complete list of data that has been found is clearly displayed. Scanned files are displayed in Tree View, File Type, and Deleted List formats, and there is also a preview window that offers a preview of any found file that is supported by the software.
This can be turned on or off.
Note: the scanning can also be stopped at any time.

Once you are satisfied that all the files have been found, it’s time for the final part of the recovery process, the data recovery itself. First off, you need a location to save the data to. Note: This should NOT be the same drive you are scanning! Then click on the Start Saving button.

Stellar Data Recovery (Professional) Review: Performing a “PARTITION” recovery.

Here we are simulating a partition deletion or, in this case, a complete drive deletion.
Please note: If you lose a partition, do NOT reformat the drive. The loss of data is significantly increased as formatting the drive will write over areas where the existing data could be stored.


Clicking the Can’t Find Drive option opens up the Search lost partition where the hard drive with the missing partition can be selected. From here, click search to scan the drive for missing partitions and files. It took the software 11 minutes to find the missing partition. In this case, the partition was the size of the whole drive, which contained the folder we needed to recover. Once complete, the software lists all the partitions it has found on the disk, including the deleted ones. Should the missing partition not be seen with the first pass, an Extensive Partition Search digs deeper to find it.

Stellar Data Recovery (Professional) Review: Disk Image Creation.

Choose Recover from Disk Image, a new dialogue box will appear, “Create Image.” The next screen is where you choose which drive or partition you want to image. In this case, I used an old OCZ 60GB SSD. The smallest I could find for testing. You are then asked in the ‘Create Media Image to Save‘ window to select where the image will be saved once this is done. Click Save, and the imaging process begins.

Stellar Data Recovery (Professional) Review: Conclusion

The Stellar Data Recovery Professional Edition for Windows sits in the middle of the product line-up. It supports data recovery from the system’s hard drive and external drives such as memory cards, USB-based flash drives, and external hard drives, and even from partially burnt or scratched CDs and DVDs.

Available for both Windows and Mac, Stellar Data Recovery is a powerful but easy-to-use feature-rich data recovery tool. It comes in several editions (six for Windows, three for Mac), with the feature count and data recovering capability rising with each edition.

The software can also find missing partitions on a drive, which might have been lost due to corruption or accidental deletion, so that they can be recovered. On top of all the data recovery options, the software also supports disc imaging with the option of imaging the whole drive or a selected region and its own useful built-in disk monitoring utility.

Even though Stellar Data Recovery is a feature-rich data recovery tool, stellar has, by the use of a series of icons and tick boxes, made navigating through the primary job of data retrieval less painful than it might be. The preview window is helpful to confirm that the files found are the ones wanted. There’s also a perfect online user manual for the software. But it truly helps that the program itself is straightforward to use.

While the Quick Scan option is indeed quick, the Deep Scan does take some time to complete. The actual data recovery process takes a while as well, but in this case, the long wait usually pays off with good results. The recovery performance is improved if you know what file types you are looking for, as you can specify exactly what file extensions you are trying to recover in the Advanced Options.

When dealing with something as sensitive as data recovery, it’s good to know that there is a decent level of support should things go bad. Stellar Data Recovery offers live chat, phone, and online ticket support and provides quick and efficient service.

The free version allows for up to 1GB of data to be retrieved, anything above that, and you have to buy one of the paid subscription editions, which are a little pricey but worth it for the results.

Pricing and features of the six different editions of the Windows version of Stellar Data Recovery are as follows (at the time of writing this review):

Free Trial (single system)

Standard Edition £35.99 (1 year, single system)

Professional Edition £64.99 (1 year, single system)

Premium Edition £72.99 (1 year, single system)

Technician Edition £142 (1 year, three systems)

Toolkit Edition £215 (1 year, three systems)

You can read more or purchase directly from their website HERE.

What’s Hot:

  • Range of data recovery tools.
  • Default scans are quick and efficient.
  • Disk monitoring.
  • Huge range of supported file types.

What’s Not:

  • Deep scans take some time.

Big thanks to Stellar Data Recovery for providing a copy of the Professional Edition for today’s review.

REVIEW OVERVIEW
Performance
Design
Features
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