Like several of its competitors, MiniTool Data Recovery both ships with a bootable CD as well as offers a utility to create a boot volume from a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive. Launch the MiniTool Boot Media Builder application, select a CD, DVD, or USB flash drive for it to use, give it a few minutes and you now have a bootable MiniTool Data Recovery drive that you can option-boot into if need be. This function works, but isn’t integrated into the main application, which fans of Data Rescue 4 might find annoying.
While MiniTool Data Recovery packs some terrific features, there are still some caveats to contend with. The program crashed during an initial scan on a 200GB-plus recovery effort, wherein after canceling the scan, it had to be force quit, the drive pulled and reloaded. This, combined with other small oddities, such as the program being unable to run an Undelete Recovery task on an HFS+ partition and requiring a full Damaged Partition Recovery function to be run in its place makes you scratch your head and think “OK, this is a Mac-specific utility, shouldn’t it be able to do that?”
Which is where we get to the heart of the matter. MiniTool Data Recovery is a good program with a rich feature base, it offers some great technical readouts of the partitions you’re working with and customizable settings, but the look and feel of the program comes off as kludgy in terms of its user interface, as if a Windows product had been shoved towards OS X without a ton of clean up. It’s the little things that stand out in this regard, such as grammatical errors in a few of the dialog windows and a lack of an ability to run a check for an update within the application itself.
Finally, while it was easy to option-boot off the recovery volume, the program was apparently unable to recognize any media cards that were put in, instead seeing all the other volumes save for a few SD cards I wanted to work with. This probably won’t be a deal breaker for you, but it does point out a bug that might need to be looked into.
MiniTool Data Recovery’s positives outweigh its negatives and this is definitely a tool worth considering if you’re a techie tasked with recovering someone’s previous and irreplaceable data. The program offers some powerful new features to the usual mix of data recovery programs, although its could stand a few more rounds through QA to work out its kinks and rough edges. Still, this offers some interesting new features that make it worth considering as an addition to your techie arsenal.
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