Brief Overview of Disk Drill
|Starting price||Free version available, professional licenses from $89 with a $29 add-on for a lifetime license.|
|Features||Data recovery for a vast range of storage devices and file types
Scanning corrupted disks, partitions and raw disks
Backup and restore
File preview during scanning
Proprietary SMART technology
EaseUS Data Recovery Wizard
Stellar Data Recovery
Recoverit Data Recovery
Disk Drill is a data recovery tool that’s very reliable for retrieving lost data. Its developers are constantly upgrading the software and have just released a new version: The latest update – Disk Drill for Windows 4.2 boasts of more powerful scanning algorithms, optimized recovery features, and an even more intuitive user interface.
How to Get Started with Disk Drill
If you need a quick data recovery solution, setting up Disk Drill has two easy steps.
- Download Disk Drill from the official website.
- Open the setup and install Disk Drill. Grant Disk Drill administrator privileges, as this is necessary for the algorithms to run.
You are now ready to recover data from your desired location! Opening Disk Drill reveals the main menu, which is intuitive and easy to navigate.
What’s New in Disk Drill?
Although Disk Drill has been around for a long time, constant upgrades improve its functionality. The unique selling proposition of Disk Drill includes powerful scanning algorithms and an extremely user-friendly interface. Just when we thought it could not get any better, the developers released an update that enhances the tool even more.
Enhanced NTFS scanning
The standout feature for Disk Drill 4.2 is the new NTFS scanning module, which is better suited to recover data from formatted or corrupted drives. It is instrumental in critical data loss situations.
Deep scan algorithm upgrade that detects a wide selection of file types with better accuracy.
NTFS scanner made compatible with compressed volumes.
Faster scanning sequences make it possible to detect bad sectors fast and reveal found data more quickly.
Auto-resume scanning helps with drives that disconnect during scanning; automating data recovery to save you time. Also, you can avoid those nasty interruptions from hindering your progress.
A 25% smaller installation package enables you to get started with data recovery faster.
How Different is the Latest Update?
If you are an existing user of Disk Drill, you will notice that Disk Drill has provided some improved features in this update. However, if you are in dual minds about upgrading, here is a handy comparison of what changed between the latest update and the previous version.
|Feature||Disk Drill version 4.1||Disk Drill version 4.2|
|NTFS smart deep scanning (file system reconstruction) for compressed volumes||No; it also crashes randomly||Yes; random crashes fixed|
|Scanning drives that keep disconnecting||Yes; saves interrupted session so you can resume||Yes; it automatically resumes scanning to save time|
|Deep scan for various file types: PUB, MSI, DOC-DOCX, PDF, TTF, RAR, ZIP, CAB, BRAW, CinemaDNG, IPYNB, ICNS, JTD, JTDC, JTT & JTTC||No, not applicable||Yes, comprehensive support is available|
|Updated SMART to support more device brands: Kingston, WD, SanDisk, Transcend, Seagate, and other manufacturers||Limited support||Full support of all modern HDD/SSD drives|
|Real time temperature monitoring||No||Yes|
Taking Disk Drill for a Test Drive
We previously tested Disk Drill extensively for its data recovery capabilities. Attempting to test Disk Drill 4.2 for Windows, our scope included three storage devices – SD cards, external hard drives, and the Recycle Bin. We tried selecting different file types – documents, photos and videos, and folders and recovered them using Disk Drill.
Recovering Deleted Folders from Hard Drives
We tried to restore deleted data from a hard drive, and Disk Drill worked precisely as claimed! The recovery process was straightforward, and here’s what we did:
We launched Disk Drill and selected the hard drive we wanted to recover.
After selecting all methods we clicked on Search for lost data.
We waited while the scan ran, but Disk Drill found our folders before the scan was complete. So we paused the scan and selected recovery.
The folders got restored, and we placed them in a new location.
Recovering Deleted Photos from an SD card
Another time we found Disk Drill helpful was when our SD card for project photography got corrupted. Consequently, we couldn’t access the photos. Eventually, we tried our luck with Disk Drill, and it worked wonders:
We connected the SD card to the computer and launched Disk Drill.
After selecting the corrupted SD card as the target location, we began the scan.
We chose to restore the files to a new location, and that was it!
Recovering Documents Deleted from the Recycle Bin
One of our team members accidentally emptied their Recycle Bin while trying to recover an important document. This blunder would have been very troublesome, so we tried using Disk Drill to recover it in a last-ditch effort. Here’s how it went:
We launched Disk Drill and chose the Recycle Bin as the recovery target.
Using the quick scan method, we scanned the Recycle Bin.
We restored this file to a new location, opened it, and found that it worked smoothly.
To quickly sum up, Disk Drill worked exactly as advertised. It often helped us in tricky situations, and we can’t recommend it more!
The Complete Disk Drill Review
Now that we have tested the newest version of Disk Drill let’s delve into its specific features.
Disk Drill’s latest versions work on Windows 7 (SP 1) and above. Therefore, if you are using Windows 7/8/8.1/10, Disk Drill 4.2 should run on your computer without any problems. However, remember to grant it administrator privileges. If you are using an older version of Windows, you could consider trying out Disk Drill’s older versions (Disk Drill 2).
Disk Drill offers a free trial to their software which lets you test out all of the features and restore up to 500MB. However, if you want to recover more files, you should consider upgrading. The Pro version for one user and up to three activations will cost you $89.
However, it might be a good idea to also pay for lifetime upgrades (29$) as the software is constantly improving. Buying licenses for a business is more expensive, but you can have up to 10 users with unlimited activations (499$ plus lifetime upgrades at 99$).
Disk Drill is primarily a data recovery tool. Its main features are:
- Powerful quick and deep scan algorithms
- Compatibility with several file systems including FAT32, exFAT, NTFS, APFS, and ext2/ext3/ext4
- Compatible with essential file types for documents, media, and other kinds of data
- Automatic scans
- Scanning lost partitions
- Scanning RAW devices
Often the recovery process is complex for new users. Disk Drill takes the pressure off with its clean and intuitive interface. You always know where to find the correct options and what to do next.
Moreover, the new version neatly tucks all functions into the left pane, paving the way for a quick recovery. All other features are visible on the right for easy access. Furthermore, you can choose to see your scan results as a detailed list or tree, which speeds up your search for lost data.
The steps involved in data recovery are made extremely simple for Disk Drill. Regardless of the storage device or the file types you want to recover, Disk Drill works in five simple steps:
Install and launch Disk Drill:
Select the drive and a scanning algorithm.
Run the scan. Either wait for the scan to complete or check the scan results for your file.
Select the files you want to restore, select a new location to place them in.
Click recover and your files should be ready to use!
Data Recovery Performance
We have been using Disk Drill extensively for a while now. And while we had some minor bugs with the previous version, the latest update has fixed them.
Earlier, Disk Drill would crash during scans at random, but the update has fixed this issue. Besides this, Disk Drill now has a lower chance of missing files we want to recover and has a better accuracy rate.
In the tests we ran with hard drives, SD cards, and the Recycle Bin, Disk Drill gave us no problems. The bottom line is that our verdict is highly in favor of Disk Drill works.
The creators of Disk Drill noted the need for data protection. Often we run into situations where we need data recovery because we don’t back up our data regularly enough or empty Recycle Bins (like we did).
As a result, Disk Drill offers free, inbuilt data protection services. When you configure these settings, Disk Drill provides you with a Recovery Vault that facilitates quick recovery of deleted files.
The Recovery Vault intelligently “remembers” where your files were stored. As a result, since Disk Drill has this pointer information, file recovery becomes effortless. However, if the deleted file IDs get overwritten, recovery isn’t possible. Therefore, when you encounter deletion, it’s critical that you use your computer or disk less.
This rescue feature of Disk Drill is also prevalent among users, with many using it as their new backup tool.
Disk Drill for Business
As a large enterprise, your data recovery needs will differ from those of an individual user. A business cannot afford to spend its time troubleshooting issues by itself, not when there is so much on the line. This is why an enterprise license is a great idea.
As a licensed enterprise user, you can expect:
- Unlimited recovery
- Commercial data recovery
- Inbuilt data protection tools
- Ten users and unlimited activations
- Priority customer service
These features cover all your data recovery needs as an enterprise and make sure that you are not left stranded when you run into problems.
Pros and Cons of Disk Drill
While we love Disk Drill and are always amazed at the incredible work the creators put into it, we notice the good and the bad about all software we test.
Although there are apparent problems with Disk Drill that we would love to see fixed, they aren’t pressing. What we like most about Disk Drill is the constant evolution to resolving issues that users face. And that’s why we are sure that they will iron out these problems eventually.
Disk Drill VS other Data Recovery Tools
There are many data recovery tools on the market, and they look incredibly similar to each other. Like you, we wondered if the fluff about Disk Drill was well-deserved or whether it was just like its competitors, just packaged differently.
Perhaps most importantly, unlike EaseUS and Stellar, the creators of Disk Drill are constantly fixing bugs. So even if you encounter problems, if you flag them to the developers, they will help find a fix.
Here’s a list of commendable alternatives to Disk Drill.
Disk Drill also has the inbuilt capacity to deal with a very long list of file types, and you need not add them manually as Stellar does. Disk Drill takes away the stress of additional steps, allowing you to focus only on what’s important: your data.
The two major problems with Disk Drill are:
- Lack of phone support
- Full scans take longer to complete than other recovery tools
We compared Disk Drill against two significant players on the market which are incredibly popular with users – EaseUS and Stellar. Here’s a quick review of each of those:
EaseUS is packed with features that allow you to recover your corrupted, deleted, or lost files quickly.
Here are some of the highlights:
Stellar is for advanced users who know their way around intricate software. Its basic functionality provides recovery support for up to 200 file types, including databases, documents, and media. This is good enough for a regular user, but users working with specific file formats will find this frustrating.
While we think that Disk Drill is an excellent service, there are situations where you could make better use of the other software.
|Software||When to use|
|EaseUS||For all kinds of data recovery, but especially when dealing with RAW partitions|
|Stellar||Data recovery for specific file formats, mainly when you work with uncommon file types that need to be added manually|
|Disk Drill||All kinds of data recovery, but in particular when you need to get started right away and when you want additional protection for your data|
Disk Drill is a great tool for your personal and professional data recovery needs. Here are some pointers that will help decide whether Disk Drill is the tool for you:
Use Disk Drill if you:
- Experience data loss often
- Work extensively with storage drives that undergo wear and tear
- Run an enterprise where digital files are invaluable
- Want a one-stop-shop for data protection & recovery
Skip Disk Drill if:
- You need to recover very specific and uncommon file types
- You have a very low budget and would rather have a subscription-based service