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Disk Drill Pro 2 review: Last line of defense for Mac data recovery

J.R. Bookwalter | Feb. 17, 2016
Disk Drill 2 is your first and last line of defense for dealing with misbehaving volumes on the Mac, and the Pro version easily pays for itself the first time trouble comes along.

Disk Drill Pro 2 can also be used to rebuild the catalog of Mac HFS+ partitions, a task traditionally reserved for utility software like DiskWarrior. Unlike that venerable application, Disk Drill Pro can only perform a catalog rebuild on partitions that refuse to mount correctly; otherwise this option won’t appear at all in the dropdown menu.

disk drill pro 2 disk space
Disk Drill also provides a look at what’s consuming space on your drives, with the option to trash or permanently remove files or folders no longer needed.

Drill down

Disk Drill’s first major upgrade isn’t actually new: Version 2.0 made its debut nearly two years ago, and developer CleverFiles has been steadily releasing regular updates ever since, including several that tuned up the application ahead of last year’s OS X El Capitan. Unfortunately, the user interface has remained largely untouched during this time.

With Disk Drill 3 on the horizon (currently in beta testing), I’m hoping the engineers take this opportunity to give the software a fresh coast of UI paint. As it currently stands, Disk Drill is a dated, often confusing morass of options and menus, and it’s not always entirely clear which buttons and options do what.

Part of this stems from how Disk Drill displays volume information typically hidden from users. For example, my Drobo 5D and Drobo mini both show additional EFI and Unallocated partitions, although there’s an option in the lower left corner of the Disk Drill window to filter such volumes from view; this also applies to the Recovery HD, which now standard on all Macs since OS X Lion.

Aesthetics aside, Disk Drill should be considered an essential component of any Mac owner’s utility belt. In addition to HFS+, the software can also recover disks formatted with other file systems including Windows NTFS or FAT and Linux, and built-in Self-Monitoring, Analysis, and Reporting Technology (better known as SMART) will keep tabs on your internal drive even when the application isn’t running.

disk drill pro 2 main window
Disk Drill Pro 2 offers comprehensive data recovery for Mac, but nearly two years after release, the UI is looking rather busy and dated under OS X El Capitan.

Bottom line

Disk Drill 2 is your first and last line of defense for dealing with misbehaving volumes on the Mac, and the Pro version easily pays for itself the first time trouble comes along. Aside from a UI that feels out of step with OS X El Capitan, my only caveat would be to hold off for the forthcoming version 3.0 so your investment will last as long as possible, especially when the Basic version offers sufficient peace of mind today without breaking the bank.

 

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