Do you backup files on your Mac? Do you use an external disk for storage or Time Machine? Have you ever lost a file? A cloned Mac disk drive and Time Machine go a long way toward keeping your files safe and secure, but Murphy’s Law cannot be ignored.
Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.
It’s hard to argue with physical laws. Assume for a moment you have a cloned Mac, and Time Machine. Is it possible still to lose files? Yes. So one more layer of security sure can’t hurt. That’s where the Disk Drill utility comes in.
Disk Drill is a data recovery tool which finds files you cannot, whether through deletion, emptying the Trash, disk or app error, or data corruption. Files which have been emptied in the Trash can be recovered. Files you know are there but cannot be found in the Finder can be recovered.
How? Disk Drill finds files on your Mac that cannot be seen by the Finder, and uses two simple methods. Protect (so you don’t lose a file) and Recover (find files you can’t find).
Data Recovery is handled a number of ways. Use the built-in Recovery Vault to undelete files you thought were deleted and gone. The Quick Scan scans for deleted items. The Deep Scan takes longer and works to find all the pieces of a file that might be lost.
This is really a good method to track down lost documents, deleted photos, or music and movies you’re sure you had but can’t find.
The protection method attempts to prevent file loss with disk drive S.M.A.R.T. status monitoring to alert you of a storage problem. What I like best is the Recovery Vault which monitors all deleted files and details and can undelete them when you go hunting around for what’s lost.
There’s much more going on with Disk Drill than merely finding lost files. Files can be backed up into Disk Images. Scanning sessions can be saved and contain filtering, search, and sorting options.
Is all of this file backup and recovery free?
Not quite. The basic version of Disk Drill works on a single Mac, monitors the disk via S.M.A.R.T, backups partitions to a Disk Image, and scans files but doesn’t recover seemingly lost files. The Pro version has a hefty price tag (worth it, of course, if it finds and recovers a critical file), which scans and recovers lost files. The Expert and Enterprise versions come with additional levels of professional support.
My recommendation is to give the free Basic version a try. It has features you can use, but won’t recover files that are lost but found (that makes sense, right?). If some critical files become lost but Disk Drill finds them, then you can upgrade to the Pro version to retrieve the files.