Disk Drill vs DiskWarrior

Last update:

4.27

Disk Drill
Winner • Chosen by 90% of Users
VS

0.44

DiskWarrior
4.7.382 Released 3rd Aug, 2022 Current version5.2 Released 1st Sep, 2018
macOS 10.8.5-12.0 RequirementsmacOS 10.5.8-11.0
Preview only Trial version limitNo trial
$89.00 / PerpetualLifetime Starting Price$119.95 / LifetimeLifetime
176,000 Found files

Good

98%

Corrupted

1%

Lost

0%
Found files and Recovery quality0 Found files

Good

0%

Corrupted

0%

Lost

100%
Easy UsabilityHard

Introduction

In this comparison, we pit against each other two generations of data recovery software for macOS: Disk Drill and DiskWarrior.

Disk Drill has all the style of a young fashion model, but can it offer more besides pretty looks? DiskWarrior, on the other hand, goes back to the PowerPC era, and its user interface certainly has more than a few wrinkles on it, which we would be willing to overlook if it could perform its job with the confidence and elegance of a master craftsperson—but can it? Let’s find out!

Top Disk Drill Pros

  • Two for one. When you buy Disk Drill for Mac, you also unlock Disk Drill for Windows.

  • Abundance of extra utilities. Included with Disk Drill for Mac are many extra free utilities that greatly increase the value of the software.

  • Mount results as a virtual disk. The results of all scans can be mounted as a virtual disk and browsed using Finder.

Top DiskWarrior Pros

  • Repair capabilities. DiskWarrior shines when it comes to repairing drives whose file system has been damaged, triggering errors in Disk Utility and preventing files from being accessible.

  • Bootable recovery. The program can boot into the standard macOS recovery and repair HFS and HFS+ system disks that have stopped booting.

  • Disk optimization. The program can scan HFS and HFS+ disks and analyze them for directory index fragmentation. In theory, this can increase disk performance.

Top Disk Drill Cons

  • Phone support. No phone number to call for support is provided.

  • Linux file systems. Very limited support for Linux filesystems. Often only the signature scan mode works.

  • No disk cloning. Disk Drill doesn't offer disk cloning features, but creates convenient byte-by-byte backups for better data recovery from unstable drives.

Top DiskWarrior Cons

  • Strange behavior. On startup, the application always minimizes all other open windows for some reason, which can be quite annoying when you have multiple other windows opened.

  • File system support. DiskWarrior supports only HFS and HFS+ drives. That’s a huge downside considering that Apple has been using APFS as its default file system for some time now.

  • Development. The last update was released in 2018. Since then, not a single update has been released. On the official website, the developers have been promising a major new update with support for APFS for more than 2 years now, but nobody knows when it will arrive.

Pricing • Business model

1Distributed as Freemium Payware
2Trial version available
3Trial version limitations Preview only Does not provide trial version
4Number of devices per license
  • PRO License - 1
  • Enterprise License - 10
  • New Copy - 1
  • Upgrade - 1
5Starting price$89.00/ Perpetual$119.95/ Lifetime
6License modelLifetimeLifetime
7No credit card to try
8Money back guarantee
9See Plans & PricingPricing detailsPricing details

Disk Drill is a freemium software application, which means there’s a free version that you can download without paying to test what it can do and how well it performs in real-life data loss situations. The biggest limitation of the free version is its inability to recover found files. The application can only preview them to confirm their recoverability. A PRO license can forever unlock Disk Drill’s recovery capabilities for $89.00.

DiskWarrior doesn’t offer a free version, and it also doesn’t provide a money-back guarantee. That’s bad news for those who don’t want to shell out $119.95 to buy software that’s not guaranteed to work properly or deliver satisfactory results. 

Data Recovery Performance

Our data recovery performance tests are designed to determine how well can data recovery software applications recover lost files from damaged or missing partitions. 

Scan of File Systems

1HFS+ partitions
Full support
Not supported
2APFS partitions
Full support
Not supported
3FAT32 partitions
Full support
Not supported
4exFAT partitions
Partial support
Not supported
5NTFS partitions
Full support
Not supported
6EXT4 partitions
Not supported
Not supported
7Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted Macs
Full support
Not supported
8Native deep scan of system drives on M1-powered Macs
Full support
Not supported

As you can see, DiskWarrior couldn’t possibly deliver any worse results. In fact, the data recovery software didn’t manage to restore the original folder structure and file names of any files from our sample collection. The fact that many modern file systems, including APFS (the default file system of modern Macs), are not supported has a lot to do with the software’s poor performance, but the main reason is that DiskWarrior doesn’t have proper data recovery capabilities. It can only repair file system issues that cause files to become unavailable. 

Even though Disk Drill costs less than DiskWarrior, it delivers vastly superior data recovery results because it can actually recognize and recover hundreds of file formats. The application failed to pass only our EXT4 recovery test because it doesn’t support the Linux file system. That’s understandable considering that Disk Drill is available only for macOS and Windows. What matters much more is the fact that Disk Drill can recover data even from the system drives of M1-powered and T2-encrypted Macs.

Feature Comparison

The feature comparison of Disk Drill and DiskWarrior produced contrasting results, as the summary table below shows.

In short, Disk Drill strives to deliver an excellent user experience across the board, and it takes a holistic approach to data recovery, giving users plenty of tools to not only recover their lost data but also address the root cause of the data loss (poor disk health, lack of backups, and so on). DiskWarrior’s features have become so outdated and neglected that they simply fail to deliver anything close to a positive user experience, which is a shame because the software used to be genuinely great.

Features Table

Karma
90% Average score 43% Average score
1Update frequency
2Updated recently
3Changelog available
4Latest macOS supported
5Runs natively on M1 Macs
6Genuine or clone?
7Brand name popularity
8Online market share
9Maturity
10Extensive knowledge base
11Helpdesk support
12Live chat
13Phone support
Usability
100% Average score 22% Average score
1Modern user-friendly interface
2Dark mode
3Easy-to-locate features
4Automatic implementation of multiple appropriate scanning methods without user interaction
5Auto-resuming scans of failing drives
6Auto-resuming backups of failing drives
7Convenient source selection on start
8Convenient file-by-file preview of recoverable items
9Convenient thumbnail preview of recoverable items
10Mount recoverable items as disk
11Built-in updater
12Multiple view modes in scan results
13Hex view for recoverable items
14Filter recoverable items by type
15Search recoverable items by file names
16Sort results
17Multilingual UI
18Simple deployment
Device support
88% Average score 59% Average score
1Internal and external HDD
2Internal and external SSD
3USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices
4Memory cards
5iOS devices
6iOS backups
7iCloud
8Android devices
9Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
10Encrypted device support
11Unmountable partitions
Recovery performance
86% Average score 6% Average score
1Clever in-depth scan
2Device support
3Other notable recovery features
4Other types of scan
5Quick scan
6Real-life recovery challenge
Real-life recovery challenge
88% Average score 0% Average score
1Document formats recovery
2Raw photo recovery
3Video formats recovery
Other notable recovery features
76% Average score 18% Average score
1Overall non-intrusive read-only algorithms
2Network recovery
3Effectively filters out corrupted scan results
4Byte-to-byte device backups
5Bootable recovery drive creation
6Runs in macOS native recovery mode
7Convenient scan session management
8Bad sector management
9Recovery chance prediction
10RAID reconstructor
11Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan
12Data protection
13Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices
14Scan speed
15Scan free space only
16Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
17Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
18Forensic features
Extras
69% Average score 0% Average score
1Disk space mapping
2Disk clean up
3Corrupted photo repair tool
4Corrupted video repair tool
5Time Machine backups parser
6S.M.A.R.T.
7Bootable macOS installer
8Duplicate finder
9Built-in disk space secure eraser
10Disk cloning
11Disk surface test
12Secure data shredding

DiskWarrior doesn’t stand a chance against Disk Drill because its developers have been neglecting the software for a long time. The last update was released in 2018, and that’s why you can’t even run DiskWarrior on Apple silicon Macs. It’s then quite surprising that Alsoft, Inc., the company behind DiskWarrior, still provides phone support. We would love to hear what Alsoft’s customers say about the software. 

When a software application stops receiving updates, it quickly becomes outdated and inconvenient to use when compared with modern alternatives. That’s precisely what happened to DiskWarrior. The application looks out of place on modern Macs, and it doesn’t have many features we expect data recovery software to have these days.

Smartphones and tablets were virtually unheard of when DiskWarrior was first released, so it probably won’t surprise you to read that the software can’t recover data from iOS and Android devices. Unfortunately, it also performs extremely poorly when recovering data from regular internal and external storage devices. Disk Drill is almost the exact opposite because the app can confidently recover even modern raw photo and video file formats. 

Disk Drill greatly increases the value it delivers by including many extra features related to data recovery. For example, the application can recover data directly from Time Machine backups, and it can monitor the health of storage devices to help users avoid data loss disasters. DiskWarrior, unfortunately, doesn’t come with basically any extra features, except for bootable recovery drive creation. 

Wrapping Up

DiskWarrior has suffered a crushing defeat in this data recovery software comparison. Despite its relatively young age, Disk Drill for macOS has scored more points in every category, making it a much better choice for Mac users who have lost important data and want to get it back without spending money on professional data recovery services.  

Disk Drill for macOS
4.27

Disk Drill for macOS is a data recovery software app even Apple would be proud of, and you can try it for free.

Visit developer's website
Excellent performance
Many extra features
Modern UI
Free version available
Apple silicon Mac support
Mobile recovery

Why choose DiskWarrior

Read full DiskWarrior review
Bootable recovery drive creation
Phone support

More software comparisons

Have you still not found the right data recovery software? Then take a look at our other comparisons. 

David Morelo
David Morelo
Author

David Morelo is a professional content writer with a specialization in data recovery. He spends his days helping users from around the world recover from data loss and address the numerous issues associated with it.

When not writing about data recovery techniques and solutions, he enjoys tinkering with new technology, working on personal projects, exploring the world on his bike, and, above all else, spending time with his family.

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Nikolay Lankevich
Nikolay Lankevich
Approver

Nikolay Lankevich has over 15 years of strong experience in various fields and platform includes Disaster Recovery, Windows XP/7. System analysis, design, application (Inter/Intranet) development, and testing. Provided technical supports on desktop and laptops on Win-XP and Macintosh for about 2000 employees.