Time Machine has saved me more than a few times and made it very easy to recover deleted files. But for occasions when a backup system fails or when it is not used to back up files on say memory cards or external drives, data recovery applications like Cleverfiles’s Disk Drill will probably be your best solution and is free in its beta version.
Disk Drill is a recovery software for uprooting deleted or damaged files, including videos, lost music, podcasts, photos, and text documents. It works on both internal and external drives, as well as memory cards and thumb drives. I have had to use similar software in the past, and the one thing I like about Disk Drill is its straightforward user interface. I didn’t have to read a lot of instructions to start using it.
Using Disk Drill
When you first launch Disk Drill, you are presented with a guided tour and tutorial of its features. The developers understand how agonizing it is to lose and try to recover important data. But as they point out in their tutorial, “Data recovery is mostly about chances, probability, and common sense…there’s really no guarantee something will be recovered 100%.” If you accidentally delete a file(s), your chances of recovering it are very good if you use Disk Drill soon after, to recover what you lost.
So for example, if you delete files off a camera media card, your chances of recovering them are greater the less you reuse the card after those files are deleted. The more you use the card, the more you overwrite deleted data.
To use Disk Drill, simply click the Recover Data button in the menu bar, select the drive you want to recover, and then click ï»¿”Quick Scan” or ï»¿”Deep scan” to start the recovery process. To make the scanning go faster, you can specify the type of files you want to recover, e.g., pictures, videos, text documents, audio files.
Disk Drill will give you results of its search, at which time you can preview and select the files you want to restore.
I tried the application on a media card and it recovered several deleted images – most at their full resolution size.
One unique feature of Disk Drill is Recovery Vault, which seems to work like a backup protection system for your designated partitions and selected folders. According to the developers, Recovery Vault “keeps a smart history of your file activity and lets you increase recovery changes for all your disks with the Mac file system or FAT”.
Recovery Vault is not enabled by default, and it will only of course protect files on drives after it is applied to them. This feature is very useful because when files are deleted on the Mac system, the details (file name, dates, etc) are also erased. Recovery Vault retains this information when files are deleted or damaged.
Users of Disk Drill will have different recovery issues for their hard drives. Cleverfiles”˜s developers seem to be addressing well the needs of different users. Their site includes a growing collection of documentation for the type of recovery processes a user might need.
The site also includes a user forum for additional questions and discussions.
Data recovery is not something we look forward to or use everyday, but it’s important to have a program like Disk Drill for when the inevitable occurs. Let us know what you think of Disk Drill after you download and give it a run. It will remain free under its beta version, so you will want to grab a copy now.