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Stellar Data Recovery Technician or how to recover data in a simple and effective way

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Written by charon
Publication date: {{ dayjs(1618850144*1000).local().format("L").toString()}}
This article is an automatic translation

Once called Stellar Phoenix or Stellar Recovery, the software is now known as Stellar Data Recovery and while it is clearly not the only one in the niche of data recovery, it has some strengths that allow it to stand out whether on a Windows 10-based system or on a Mac OS machine. Impressions of the Technician version of Stellar Data Recovery.

Stellar Data Recovery has been on the market for more than 20 years and recently received a brand new version - 10.0.0 - which logically prompted us to take a closer look at it. On the principle, there is nothing new insofar as Stellar Data Recovery is a software dedicated to the recovery of data and partitions that users have voluntarily or by mistake destroyed. It can be used for accidental deletion of data, for recovering files that have been voluntarily deleted but are finally needed and, finally, for solving a technical problem: a partition or a volume that is no longer accessible.

About losing your data

Before getting into the heart of the matter, it is important to identify a few imponderables of data recovery. First of all, Stellar Data Recovery can handle such a task regardless of the media: you may have lost data on your hard drive, SSD or external drive, it has no particular problem with it. In fact, it is even capable of recovering deleted data from a USB stick or accessing a damaged CD/DVD.

However, not all cases are alike. For example, data loss due to the hardware failure of a platter hard drive is a very special case in which Stellar Data Recovery, no more than competing software, will unfortunately not be able to do much. In this extreme situation, it is necessary to turn to specialized companies that will be able to disassemble the hard disk to recover the platters on which the precious data are stored. This is a complex and expensive technique that is only justified for "vital" data.

On the other hand, accidentally emptying the recycle garbage can of your operating system, "permanently" deleting a file/folder or losing a partition due to improper handling or a system crash are all cases in which Stellar Data Recovery can be used.

Easy to install and configure

The first good thing about Stellar Data Recovery Technician is that it is easy to deploy even if you are a complete novice. We'll come back to the pricing of the software later, but you should know that no matter which version you choose, the procedure is exactly the same. You have a simple executable: you launch it and follow the few steps to install it on your PC. Of course, it is highly recommended to install it on the system partition of your machine, but - most importantly - not to install it on the partition where the data to be recovered is located.

Stellar Data Recovery Technician is a bit bigger than some similar software since its installation will take up around 300-350 MB of space on your system. However, this is not catastrophic given the current disk capacities. Once the installation is done, you can go to the software's settings to adjust things to your liking. Note that this step is completely optional and we advise neophytes not to do too much "tinkering": it is clearly not necessary for the software to work properly.

However, the parameterization options have a definite advantage in that they allow you to "target" the recovery more precisely. For example, you can choose to recover certain types of files rather than others, if your goal is to recover only photos. You can also define a file size if you know that you are looking for data larger than 10 MB, for example. Stellar Data Recovery Technician, which is completely in French, is quite clear and precise in describing these options.

The analysis itself

Once you've made some adjustments - or not - it's time to turn to the main function of the software: data recovery. To do this, we must necessarily go through the "analysis" stage. First, you have to tell Stellar Data Recovery Technician what data you want to recover: things are not as precise as in the settings, but for the neophyte, it's still an excellent way to target things. The developers allow searching for "Office documents": the idea is then to focus on Word texts or PowerPoint presentations.

It is also possible to search for emails or specific multimedia files: photos, audio or videos. The next step is undoubtedly one of the most important: it involves specifying the location of the lost data that you wish to recover. To do this, several options are available, from a very specific folder to the entire unit, via a specific partition or a few "shortcuts" such as the desktop of the operating system or the "documents" folder of Windows.

It then becomes possible to launch the analysis procedure. The idea here is to give Stellar Data Recovery Technician a little time to take into account the set parameters and "snoop" in the various folders/drives in search of files corresponding to these criteria. We talk about "a little time", but in reality, things go fast, very fast. This is undoubtedly one of the main qualities of Stellar Data Recovery Technician: it is among the fastest on the market and in a few minutes you should be able to find out the results of this "simple" analysis.

On a 4TB hard drive that is about 60% full, it takes a little over 15 minutes to complete the analysis. In the case of an SSD of the same capacity and filled in the same way, the procedure took a little less than 10 minutes. Please note, however, that we are only talking about the "simple" analysis. There is actually a method called " deep scan " which takes much longer: on our 4TB SSD, it took a little more than 90 minutes to complete the whole procedure, which is more complete, but also more demanding for the system.

And in the end, what do we get back?

Once the analysis is complete, you can see everything that Stellar Data Recovery Technician has "unearthed". It organizes things quite clearly and displays three presentations depending on whether you want to focus on file types, the tree structure or deleted files. The user can then "walk around" to try to identify the lost data. Some information is immediately linked to each file (size, modification date...). Unfortunately, Stellar Data Recovery Technician does not offer an estimate of the file's status like some of its competitors.

The software simply offers us to choose the file or files we want to recover and - above all - to define a folder where to copy the data in question. Of course, it is absolutely forbidden to copy this data to the source partition/ drive and the easiest way is probably to use an external disk as a transitional device... Be careful, of course, to have enough free capacity, but Stellar Data Recovery Technician will warn you if there is a risk that this is not the case. Once this is done, it is finally possible to start the actual recovery.

Despite its undeniable qualities, Stellar Data Recovery Technician does not work miracles. It is able to recover accidentally deleted data, but the older they are, the more difficult it will be. For example, old photos that have been deleted for a long time still leave a "trace" on the hard disk, but their "recovery" sometimes results in only partially corrupted or not readable files. The same applies to executables, which will rarely be functional after recovery. The software is more at ease with "Office" documents and recent data.

Of course, the less writing procedures there have been on the disk concerned since the data was deleted, the more likely it is that you will recover them intact. Another possibility if the first level of analysis did not produce any results is the " deep scan ". As we said, this technique is much more time-consuming, but it is also more effective, as it can unearth files that were "forgotten" by the simplest method. Beware, here again Stellar Data Recovery Technician cannot perform miracles and its efficiency in recovering data depends a lot on the deletion conditions.

A question of price

Pricing is obviously a point to be taken into consideration because, like many programs of this type, Stellar Data Recovery Technician is relatively expensive. Its publisher does offer a free version to test the program, but it is very limited in its functionality (1GB of data to be recovered maximum) and to start "talking seriously", you need to untie your purse. There are three options available to us, from the so-called " professional " version to the " technician " version (which we tested here) and the " premium " version. As you can see below, the prices are very variable.

Things start at 79.99 euros for the most basic version and go up to 199 euros. The most comprehensive option, the " technician ", is distinguished by its ability to recover data from damaged RAID 0 / RAID 5 / RAID 6 volumes. We prefer to warn you: such recovery is more delicate than on simple volumes and despite all the goodwill of the developers, the results are more uncertain.

Our opinion

There's no need to kid ourselves and despite the promises of some sleepy vendors, data recovery is a particularly tricky task. Stellar Data Recovery Technician is a well-organized software with many features and is very practical for the neophyte. It is able to search for accidentally deleted files, but also corrupted partitions and can even operate on old CDs/DVDs. Its analysis is among the fastest, but you should not expect miracles and the quality of recovery will depend on the use of the machine after the loss of data: Stellar Data Recovery Technician will however do its best to restore the lost bytes.