Email, something that has never been so essential than today. It contains our communication threads, transactions, sensitive data, personal matters and many more stuff. It’s probably the first thing that we open when we sit in front of our computers. So if you discover that one day, your email file is corrupted, bringing with it all the very important data you’ve gathered all though out, what are you going to do? Fortunately, you don’t have to fret and think everything’s gone as Stellar Phoenix might have the solution you’re looking for. In this review, we’ll be presenting their Outlook PST Data Recovery Software to see whether or not it does recover those lost PST files.
- Scans and repairs the Outlook PST files from all kinds of PST file corruption
- Repairs and restores various types of Outlook objects.
- Allows searching emails in the list of recoverable items
- Enables selective recovery of the Outlook folders
- Supports MS Outlook 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2010
- Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, Server 2003, XP, and 2000
Now granted that you won’t be using this file every now and then, unless you’re really having a bad day and your email always gets corrupted, the software opens up with a simple wizard that lets you scan your drives for Outlook PSTs. As for the user interface itself, it is presented with a simple 3-panel window that displays a folder tree to the left, email list at the top right and a preview pane at its bottom. At the bottom of the folder trees, there are multiple buttons that allow you to further filter which ones are you going to retrieve. For example, if you’re just looking for a specific calendar entry, then just click on the Calendar button to select the said items. Then the right pane gives you a preview of the selected email or file. Now depending on how corrupted the email file can be, the preview display will vary.
The primary advantage of this tool is that it scans fast. For the purposes of this review, we setup an email account to have around 3000 email files, taking up roughly 500 MB of disk space. Now the scanning time will depend on how much email is present and whether or nor there are big file attachments or for more details are present for contact and calendar entries. Once done, the software will display all the retrieved entries in the three-pane setup mentioned earlier. As for how usable the retrieved files are, we’ll tackle that in the next section.
Ok, so we have scanned our drive and we have obtained our PST files we well. The question now is, does the data we have just recovered readable at all. Now as said earlier, this may vary depending on how corrupted the PST file is. But as far as Stellar is concerned, the program retrieves the PST data and tries to reconstruct it the same exact way as it was prior.
Let’s verify that with this example. As mentioned, we have setup our Outlook to have roughly 3000 emails, then have them deleted and cleared the “Deleted Items” folder in Outlook as well. This is where the program shines, not only is it usable to recovering corrupted PST files, it is also very useful if you accidentally deleted some emails. Now this is very useful especially if your email has multiple attachments or is written/formatted in some way that you want to read them in how they were originally sent. As seen here, this is an example of an email from YouTube and it is very clear that this came from the Deleted Items folder, but it still managed to retrieve the email and present it how it was originally. The program also allows you to selectively retrieve emails, as long as they’re categorized into folders, which is a plus. So for this example, we have more than 3000 emails and what if we only wanted a few.
Now one thing we wished they’d also include is individual email recovery. What if the mail you’ve deleted is one of those 3000 items. Then in order to retrieve it, you must also tick that checkbox for those many emails. It may be impractical at times but it still works, though it may be a hassle to go through that many emails for some. But all in all, the software works the way we wanted.
So the question is, is this software worth the $129 price tag it has? It depends on the user. For those that really depend on their email and can’t live thinking that they’ve lost or accidentally deleted a particular mail, then by all means, it’s worth it. Also, if you’re the type that’s prone to having corrupted email files or you just have a habit of deleting mails directly to the trash, then you’ll find this useful. But if you’re the casual user that accidentally deletes mail quite rarely, then you don’t need to spend the cash on this tool. Needless to say, Stellar Phoenix‘s PST Recovery Software keeps things simple but exceptionally does what its supposed to do. For more information about the PST Recovery Software and their other products, head onto their website at PST Recovery software product page.