Stellar Windows Data Recovery v7 Professional is a solid option to salvage lost or deleted files from your drives, especially if you’re not tech-savvy kind of user. There is a free version but it might well be worth paying that little bit extra for the pro version, and here’s why!
- Easy to use UI
- Free option
- Preview option is handy
- Speeds can be inconsistent
- Too basic for hardcore system users
Let’s go through some of the basics here. This tool is designed to help you recover those files you deleted by accident. No, they’re not completely gone, and here’s why. When you tell Windows to delete some files, the individual blocks of data are “flagged” for overwriting. However, not until they are overwritten by other data are they actually deleted. Tools like Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery can help you recover that data.
It’s a typical next, next, next process to install once you download.
Once installed and activated, we can get into the nitty-gritty and explore the application a little more.
There are multiple quick buttons to allow an easy entry into the world of data recovery.
- Office Documents
- Or the option to look for “All Data”. This will take longer but will deliver a more comprehensive data recovery scenario. It does seem a little too simplistic, but stick with it.
Once you choose what type of file you want to search for (simply toggle the tick boxes) you are taken to a location selection screen where you can choose which drive, folder or even image to search for the lost data. That’s quite comprehensive, however any mapped drive locations are not included sadly which is a bit of an omission here.
To test performance we took to a 1TB drive to look for audio files not sure whether we’d find any as this drive is written to relatively often. A little over 3 minutes later the scan was complete and nearly 80 files were found and were ready to be recovered. Scanning another location (a 128GB scratch SSD drive) completed a scan in just 25 seconds!! Speedy no?
One nice aspect is that you can choose to turn on or off a preview mode that will show, in relative real time, any files and folders found which, if you know what you’re looking for, is actually quite handy. If you fail to find any files, you might want to enable a deep scan which will pour over your selected location with a fine tooth comb and look to bring back any fragments that might be dotted around the hard drive. The likelihood here is that recovered files are likely to be only partially recoverable if the deep scan finds them though, at least in our testing.
When running a deep scan on the same SSD drive as above, to test speed, we managed a full deep scan of the drive in just over 12 minutes. Your read/write speeds will contribute greatly to these results though and your mileage may vary.
In the deep scan, as previously mentioned, whilst we managed to recover more files, some were corrupt. That is to be expected though and it certainly does not detract from the overall ease of UI or the performance we saw during testing.
Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery comes in both a Free and Premium version. The main (only?) difference between the Free and Paid versions of the product is the size of the dataset you can recover and the level of the deep scan when attempting to find those files to recover.
There are also a couple of other pricing models, Platinum and Technician, available. Platinum offers password recovery and backup options whilst Technician is available for those wanting to deploy across multiple systems, and has the ability to recovery from RAID arrays.
Stellar Windows Data Recovery Professional V7 is a great option for those who know they lose data, or are aware they have lost data and want a quick and simple solution with no frills. You won’t find the ability to look for certain file types over and above the standard offerings, and the performance, whilst decent, is inconsistent in our tests, but for $99 for a lifetime license is it something that might well be worth having in the back pocket.
Whilst speeds might be inconsistent there was little in the way of resource overhead when running the application which means that you can enable this and continue to work (albeit to ensure you don’t overwrite that which you are trying to recover, I wouldn’t recommend it).
It’s certainly for the technophobes, but it might just save your bacon. Just try the free version first to see if it “finds” your files before shelling out.