[Software Review] – Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery

Data plays a very crucial role for each individual whether it is Home user or Enterprises where as  damage to your computer can  make your data unreadable and that’s where you need a good data recovery software to get you out of trouble, by recovering your valuable data. It has happened to me and I have experienced losing valuable data. Trust me, it is troublesome when you cannot go back in time and re-create it. But if you have a good Data Recovery Software the chances of losing data are least.

Few days back I came to know about this user friendly software “Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery“ and  also got a chance to test it.

Stellar Data Recovery offers a wide range of applications for Data Recovery with two flagship products Windows Data Recovery – Home and Windows Data Recovery – Professional . Professional version helps recovering data from the storage devices with extreme crash scenarios – like recovering lost or inaccessible hard drive partitions.

 

versions

 

I used a 4 GB Pen drive for testing – on a machine with following configuration:

OS Windows 8.1 Enterprise
RAM 12 GB
CPU Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-5200U /2.20 GHz
Data Recovery Software Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery – Home

 

The Application has a clean UI – allowing you to select what you want to recover. Since I was using it first time so I want to go with   “All Data” option.

 

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I start with formatting the drive and then copied some files to it (around 90 MB in total). I combined multiple file formats to make sure it works well with different file formats.

 

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For testing the data recovery feature – I first deleted all the contents permanently (using SHIFT + DEL) from the Flash Drive and run the  Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery software.

 

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For testing the data recovery feature – I first deleted all the contents permanently (using SHIFT + DEL) from the Flash Drive and run the  Stellar Phoenix Data Recovery software.

 

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I was quite happy to see all the files appearing on the screen which I had permanently deleted from the Flash Drive and then I click on Recover button and select the folder where I wanted to save the files . You can turn the preview off if you want to get quick results.

Always make sure that you have enough storage to save the recovered files. For example – if you’re trying to recover data of 10 GB, there should be enough space to save files of 10 GB on your functional storage (Hard Disk in most cases).

I didn’t run “Deep Scan” because it showed me all the files. Though I did something different. I formatted the Flash Drive again and ran Deep Scan on it. Normal scan didn’t show me any results.
7 deep scanning

The Deep Scan on the 4GB Pen drive took nearly 30 minutes of run but unfortunately it couldn’t find any file.

 

8 deep scan result after full format

Hence the data can’t be recovered if you reformat the drive and it is actually not possible if you run any Recovery Software.

You can recover 1 GB of data with free version  and require  upgrade if you want to recover extensive data.

The User Interface of the application is very intuitive . It has all the relevant features and one of the most Effective and User friendly Data Recovery software.

I recommend Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery as you can recover your data in blink of an eye with it.

How to: Generate Free SSL Certificate for a domain and upload on Azure Website?

Today  I spent nearly 2 hours browsing through the Web for ways to create an SSL Certificate for Free from Let’s Encrypt. I explored letsencrypt.org  and various other websites, and landed up on one with the easiest steps. While trying others I got stuck many times in the middle as many of them have a procedure involving some Linux bash commands unclear to me or requiring some complex process. I wanted to Generate a PFX file which I can simply select and upload  to Microsoft Azure Website and it was very hectic browsing through for hours finding the right procedure.

Documentation on letsencrypt.org is very difficult to follow. In the process I came across this lovely site which facilitates simplistic steps (as on today, for me) to Generate an SSL Certificate:

SSL For Free (www.sslforfree.com)

The procedure involves OpenSSL command line tool to generate the PFX file as a final step.

First step is to enter the site domain name(s) :

SSL_For_Free__1Next is the Domain Ownership Verification:

SSL-Domain-VerificationThat’s it. On successful verification it will present you the Certificates and private key in plain text and will allow you to download them as files in a Bundle.

SSL-Generated

SSL-Generated 2

I downloaded the bundle and I got three files inside:

  • ca_bundle.crt
  • certificate.crt
  • private.key

As a final step, to generate the PFX (Personal Information Exchange) file I had to use OpenSSL command line tool which I downloaded from here:

http://slproweb.com/products/Win32OpenSSL.html

I downloaded version: “Win64 OpenSSL v1.0.2k” from the available list as my machine is 64-bit. If you have a 32-bit machine, go for a 32-bit binary.

You need to run the following command in command prompt after the installation of OpenSSL is completed. Make sure you update the “PATH” System Environment variable with OpenSSL’s installation folder path, so that you don’t have to be inside OpenSSL bin folder every time to access the OpenSSL tool.

openssl pkcs12 -export -out “certificate_combined.pfx” -inkey “private.key” -in “certificate.crt” -certfile ca_bundle.crt

 

“certificate_combined.pfx” is the final certificate file that you will be uploading to the portal. OpenSSL-Command

Here’s the PFX file I got generated ready to upload.

PFX file

 

I hope these steps will help you minimize the time to find the right solution for SSL Generation on Windows OS. This certificate however is not Limited to Azure Websites only and you can use if wherever PFX can be used. Also, SSL Certificates generated from this portal will be expired in 90 days, so make sure you regenerate another within this time frame.

In the process i also found this website very helpful to identify SSL installation: https://www.ssllabs.com

This website produces good SSL analysis for any specified website and I will leave that to you to explore more.

ssllabs

 

Uploading this to your Azure Website and enjoy SSL benefits without spending a single penny! Hope this helps someone like 🙂

Happy Learning, Cheers!!

[Quick Tip]: Use Windows Explorer address bar for “commands”

Even though you’re a Windows OS user for a very long time I’m sure you would love to know this! Here’s a quick tip that you might unaware of so far.

 

You can use Windows Explorer’s Address Bar just like you use Run Command:

Run_Command_Pallette

Under any window while browsing files on your computer just point your cursor and click the Address Bar, or press “ALT + D” (feels better than moving the mouse), and type the command as you would have typed in Run Command form:

Windows-Explorer-Run-Command_

hit enter and that’s it. You get a command prompt opened on screen (because of I’ve typed “cmd” ).

I didn’t know this so far even I’m using windows since my childhood 🙂

Cheers!