Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery

Recover Files Even After Drive Format

Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery Home has been designed with the home user in mind for exactly this purpose.

The application is available for $49.00 / €41.13 and you can test its abilities by running a scan on a drive and previewing the files that can be recovered.

Installing the program is an easy process, with no attempts to push third-party software on the system.

Looks are far from complicated and working with it is no trouble at all as the application automatically detects the drives on the system and all you have to do is initiate the scan process.

The main application window needs no explaining because there are only two modules: one intended for looking for any type of files (Drive Recovery) and the other focused on detecting only the image types (Photo Recovery). Furthermore, all the options are intuitively laid out.

Drive Recovery module also includes the possibility to search for lost volumes. You may not know you still have them, but even a quick scan might reveal them. Once they become “visible” in the list, you can treat them just like any other drive.

Stellar Phoenix WDR features two scan modes, Normal and Advanced. The first one is faster but more superficial, and it is recommended for quick recovery jobs when the files have just been deleted and the Recycle Bin emptied.

Running an Advanced scan is intended for tougher jobs that require digging deeper on the hard drive. As such, this method is more indicated when trying to retrieve files from formatted drives. The supported file systems are FAT, NTFS and ExFAT.

When retrieving the scan results, the application will display all the files available on the target drive, both deleted and currently resident. This may make pinpointing the erased information a bit more difficult, although the deleted data is marked with a red “X” in the lower right corner of the icon.

Choosing the deeper scan, however, may reveal folders that are not marked as indicated above but contain lost files.

Unlike some programs of the same feather, Stellar Phoenix WDR does not show the recoverability estimation for the data it retrieves. Instead, it can show a preview, which is a clear sign that the item can be recovered.

The application supports an impressive number of file types, ranging from images and archives to audio, video and documents. For corrupt data and the formats not supported by the previewer, you will be displayed the hex viewer.

During our tests, we had a pretty good idea about the items that can be fully recovered just by trying to preview them. In all cases, the item would be recovered just as shown by the previewer.

The Data Recovery panel provides multiple views for the detected elements. It can list them in the classic tree or by the nature of the file. Alternatively, there is the possibility to instruct the application to show only the items of specific types.

A search function is also available and it features an advanced mode, which allows you to set multiple criteria for the returning relevant results. Apart from providing a name, you can define an approximate size, creation or modification date.

Our tests included file recovery tests on both fix drives as well as removable ones. In both cases, the results were quite impressive. Stellar Phoenix WDR found some of the lost data with the superficial scan, but it managed to bring to light entire folders with information we deleted a long time ago. Moreover, we were able to recover some images and text from volumes that had been erased.

Formatting (quick) the test drives did not seem to affect the program and it successfully showed the info that could be retrieved.

Just like in the case of any other file recovery application, there are some rules to be followed for Stellar Phoenix WDR to help you out. The golden rule is to avoid writing anything on the target drive because this corrupts the items that could still be regained.

The moment we started to copy folders on the partitions subjected to the test, the amount of valid data started to decrease. The files would be either partially recovered or completely damaged.

On the other hand, a folder with over 320 images was only partially recovered, more precisely 110 of them, without any other event occurring but a quick format of the volume.

Sometimes the folder tree is not rendered correctly and the files may not be where you would expect them. In this case, we recommend looking under “Lost folder(s)” for the deleted items.