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
Free preview Trial version limitNo trial
$89.00 / PerpetualLifetime Starting Price$119.95 / LifetimeLifetime
200,000 Found files

Good

100%

Corrupted

0%

Lost

0%
Found files and Recovery quality0 Found files Our data recovery tool tests are based on creating new partitions and deleting them to see how the application performs in different data loss scenarios. Since this utility program is designed mainly for repairing file systems, it was unable to restore the deleted partitions and, therefore, failed the tests.

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 Paid
2Trial version available
3Trial version limitations Free preview No trial
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. 

Clever In-Depth 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

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 using its Clever In-Depth Scan algorithms. 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.

Quick Scan of File Systems

1FAT32 partitions
Partial support
Not supported
2exFAT partitions
Partial support
Not supported
3NTFS partitions
Full support
Not supported
4EXT4 partitions
Partial support
Not supported
5HFS+ partitions
Not supported
Not supported
6APFS partitions
Partial support
Not supported

DiskWarrior doesn’t have the ability to recover lost files from file system metadata. Disk Drill supports (at least to some extent) all commonly used Windows, Linux, and Mac file systems, making it an easy choice. 

Other Scan Types

1The number of formats supported by deep scan
Some (≈400)
Not supported
2Native deep scan of system drives on M1/M2-powered Macs
Full support
Not supported
3Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted Macs
Full support
Not supported
4Native data recovery from local Time Machine snapshots
Full support
Not supported
5Scan for lost partitions
Full support
Not supported
6HFS+ directory rebuild
Full support
Full support
7Recovered files' labeling
Full support
Not supported
8Partial file recovery
Full support
Not supported
9Disk images: scan and recovery
Full support
Partial support

DiskWarrior is a one-trick pony that can only perform HFS+ directory rebuilds to recover data lost because of file system corruption. These days, such cases of data loss are rare because the HFS+ file system is no longer used by default on modern Macs. In contrast, Disk Drill can recognize hundreds of file formats and recover them even from M1/M2-powered and T2-encrypted Macs—not to mention Time Machine snapshots and disk images.

Real-Life Recovery Challenge

1Raw photo recovery
93%
0%
2Video formats recovery
81%
0%
3Document formats recovery
89%
0%

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. 

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.

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 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.

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.