The ability to recover lost information is something that is becoming more important every day as we become increasingly reliant on technology and computers to manage everything from photos and music to our business documents and drafts of the next great American novel. Stellar Phoenix has developed its data recovery solution, Mac Data Recovery, as an easy-to-use tool for Mac users.

When the application starts, the main screen, shown in Figure A has three options:

  • Recover Data
  • Create Image
  • Resume Recovery

Figure A

The main screen of Mac Data Recovery

Recover data

The large blue button for recovering data opens a selection of things to choose from when performing a recovery. The following types of recovery are available, each with specific options displayed for the type of recovery being performed:

  • Drive Recovery – allows recovery of corrupt volumes
  • Photo Recovery – allows recovery of photos, music, and video content
  • CD/DVD Recovery – allows recovery of optical media
  • iPod Recovery – allows recovery of data stored on an iPod
  • Raw Recovery – allows advanced recovery, useful when other methods do not work

Selecting Drive Recovery provides the following options for recovering a volume:

  • Quick Recovery – scans the entire selected drive for lost data, shown in figure B
  • Deleted item recovery – scans for items that have been deleted from the selected volume
  • Formatted Media/Lost File Recovery – recovers items that have been lost due to a media format
  • Search Lost/Deleted Volumes – selecting this option searches for lost or deleted volumes

Figure B

Running a quick scan

Selecting the photo recovery option will allow you to select a volume and scan for photos, music, and video files. Once the scan completes, select the files or folders to recover and click the Recover button, shown in Figure C.

Figure C

Selecting photos to recover

In addition to recovering information from a computer, you can also use Mac Data Recovery to recover data from an iPod. To do so, connect the iPod and select iPod Recovery. Once the connected iPod is scanned, data can be recovered from the device by selecting the found files and choosing recover.

Create image

To improve recovery speed, you can select the Create Image option from the main screen. This will create an image of the selected drive to be used for later file recoveries by creating a snapshot of the volume at the time the process is run. Having a snapshot of your data will allow that data to be scanned and used for recovery, rather than needing to scan the in-use copy of your computer.

When selecting Create An Image, you will choose a volume and provide a name for the dmg image created.

Figure D shows image creation configuration screen.

Figure D

Create an image

Resume recovery

Because recovery of information can take some time, Mac Data Recovery will prompt to save scan data when a running scan is stopped prematurely. If you have saved scan information, selecting Resume Recovery will allow you to select a saved previous scan and pick up the recovery where you left off.

Application options

Options are available to modify the file formats that are included in a scan type. Many are included by default; however unchecking a file format will exclude it. Using the headers section of options, file formats can be added to the existing list.

Filtering searched items can be accomplished from the Filters tab of the Options dialog. This will allow you to create sets of file types, which can be included or excluded from a particular scan.

On the other options tab you can configure general settings for the application, including:

  • Check for updates
  • Show messages before displaying large files
  • Hide Partitions less than or equal to a certain size
  • Show previews of photos/text files found during scanning

In testing this Mac Data Recovery, I have found it very easy to use and straightforward. The configuration was very user friendly and did not require too much research to figure out. There is a free trial that will allow files available for recovery to be viewed, but will not support recovery.

Licensing comes in two flavors, basic for $99, which includes email support and live chat support, and premium for $119, which includes basic support as well as phone support, remote desktop assistance, and expert product advice.

Also see: