Monday, January 20, 2014

Software Review: Stellar Phoenix Mac Data Recovery 6.0

Some things get better with age such as cheese and wine, and some things just rot and start to stink and that’s what I think of this version of Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery.

Previous version of this program were great and I’m a big fan but this version seems like one to skip!  While the program has more of a Mac look and feel than previous versions, it’s still contains spelling errors and grammatical nonsense that interferes with your ability to understand the functions. 

For testing, I took a drive that version 4.1 was able to recover successfully without locking up and took that same drive in version 6.0 and the program locked up or simply gave up on recovery.  Reran 4.1 on the same machine and the same drive no problems so this version clearly had problems.  Even before the program attempted recovery, it took sometimes a minute or more to load while previous versions and competitors only took a few seconds on the same machine.  Clearly version 6.0  is a step backwards not just in recovery but overall program function.  The “quick scan” it offers was significantly longer than previous versions and seemed to recover less data though it locked up quite often while doing recovery.  

When I ran into problems with the program during my tests I called the “24 hour tech support” and support  was about as functional as the program.  Language barriers made it very difficult to understand and instead of solving the problems or giving me advice, they asked me to install TeamViewer and leave it running all night since tier 2 only works during 9am to 4pm India Standard time.  Talk about a security risk!  I don’t like someone I don’t know messing around in my computer without my ability to monitor them.

Even the simplest of questions took at least 24 hours for a reply and often the answers were undecipherable and it took over a month for them to agree to even answer my questions without remoting in after hours.  Questions would go back and forth and I couldn’t get it escalated.  Almost two months to the day of opening my case, and waiting at least 24 business hours between replies I was told the program doesn’t work on a corrupt drive.  I can’t make this up!

Therefore, if you are looking for a recovery program try to get an old version of Stellar Phoenix or use a competitor’s program.  This program is slow, unreliable and the support is atrocious.

Pros:  More Mac-like interface
Cons:  Terrible support, program locks up on problem drives, slow to load

Two out of Five