Stellar Phoenix Macintosh review

As the mythical phoenix rose again from its burning nest of cinnamon twigs, Stellar Phoenix resurrects lost data from ailing hard drives. It can even retrieve files from disks that have been reformatted…

We'll get our gripes with the software out of the way early on. As is the case with many utilities issued by smaller, programming-lead companies, it could do with an interface overhaul. The buttons are clunky and the overall layout ugly. Although there are lots of helpful pointers and labels to ease your journey up the learning curve, some are difficult to understand because of poor English.

None of this should dissuade you from trying Stellar Phoenix though, which proves to be relatively fast and feature packed when asked to do its job. That job is finding and retrieving corrupt data on Mac drives – internal and external, mounting or non-mounting. We weren't able to test the latter as we didn't have a broken Mac handy (thankfully). Still, customer testimonials indicate some satisfaction in this department. We were impressed by the way Stellar Phoenix scanned and organised overwritten files into a hierarchy of types, making it easy for us to track down errant files. The software recognises and reconstitutes a panoply of popular formats, including image, multimedia, archive and office file types.

How much would you expect to pay for a tool like this? Stellar Phoenix clocks in at around £80, which might seem a little expensive at first glance. Clearly, the value given reflects the value you put on your data. However carefully you back up your files, there are times when accidents happen or hardware fails. For us, that makes Stellar Phoenix seem like a sound investment.

OUR VERDICT

Aimed at individual users as well as administrators, prevention is still better than data retrieval. Still, it's good to know that Stellar Phoenix is out there if you ever need it. And you probably will.

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