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Bob Williams

Member Since: Feb 03, 2013
Posts: 6
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It's been a long time since I've been here, but I stumbled on this post.

Scannerz is not formally a data recovery tool, it's a drive testing tool. Since its inception a few years ago, the company has updated it several times and added more applications to the package. One nice thing about it is they are all free to registered users (Scannerz with FSE or FSE-Lite, not Scannerz Lite which has no add on tools).

In any case, they have a tool bundled with Scannerz called Phoenix. The primary purpose of Phoenix is to do the following:
  • Create what's called a Phoenix Boot Volume
  • Extract the Core OS and place it onto other media, such as another volume or a USB Flash, if your system can support it.
  • Perform basic cloning of volumes.
  • Perform very, very limited data recovery.

A Phoenix Boot Volume is a core extraction of the operating system and it can be put onto a USB Flash drive, external drive/volume, or even another volume on your main drive, but that would defeat its purpose. It's sort of like a "super" emergency boot drive because the entire base operating system is installed, so if you're having problems you can use it to open up Safari and Google for information or even e-mail others with questions. The purpose of the Phoenix Boot Volume is to assist in troubleshooting drive problems and I believe the intent is that it be used when troubleshooting.

The second point allows you to extract your OS and put it on a USB Flash or other drive in the event your optical drive has failed. I believe this is targeted for users of older systems who don't get the OS over the internet (think Leopard and Snow Leopard.)

The third points and fourth points are tied together. Basically what Phoenix does is file copy clone from one volume to another. This is where the "data recovery" portion comes in. If the index on a file system is corrupt but not so corrupt that the files, or at least most of them are readable, Phoenix can recover files that are readable and copy them over, but it doesn't attempt to fix or repair index files. This sounds like it isn't a big deal, but it actually is. OS X uses something called "resource forks" and basic copies can really screw them up. Cloning tools like CCC and SuperDuper can do this as well, but simple copies may fail. Phoenix also does basic cloning, probably as an artifact of this type of recovery. I don't think it's designed or intended to compete with either CCC or SuperDuper.

I'm not trying to ruffle feathers, but I'm not really sure this should be called a "data recovery tool." A limited data recovery tool, perhaps, but not really a data recovery tool. Disk Warrior, if successful can take a totally trashed index, re-create it making a totally useless disk usable again. The key words in the preceding sentence are "if successful." I'm not familiar with Data Rescue 3 or Disk Drill Pro, so I can't comment on them. Phoenix can definitely not re-create or extract files the way Disk Warrior can, and it's not advertised as being capable of that stuff either.

I'm also certainly not trying to knock the "Scannerz Suite" of tools, we use them, in case you haven't guessed. Scannerz is now the only tool we'll use to test drives for hardware problems. Using the Phoenix Boot Volume is definitely an asset, and on old systems where the optical drive has failed, being able to extract the OS and put it onto another volume is an asset.

Maybe you should list Scannerz as being something like "Hard drive testing with limited data recovery."

Just my opinions.
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