Disk Drill vs MiniTool Power Data Recovery

Last update:

3.84

Disk Drill
Winner • Chosen by 90% of Users
VS

2.15

MiniTool Power Data Recovery
4.5.616 Released 4th Aug, 2022 Current version11.3 Released 9th Aug, 2022
Windows 7-11 RequirementsWindows 7-11
Recover up to 500 MB for free Trial version limitRecover up to 1 GB for free
$89.00 / PerpetualLifetime Starting Price$69.00 / 1 monthSubscription + Lifetime
176,000 Found files

Good

98%

Corrupted

1%

Lost

0%
Found files and Recovery quality168,880 Found files

Good

86%

Corrupted

9%

Lost

4%
Easy UsabilityNormal

Introduction

Data recovery software is the easiest and safest way to restore data lost due to accidental deletion, formatting, corruption, and other logical damage. But choosing the right tool isn’t exactly straightforward. There are clear differences in performance, usability, and features – and the decision often comes down to a user’s unique needs.

In this article, we’re putting two popular tools head-to-head: Disk Drill and MiniTool Power Recovery. Want to know which one’s right for you? By the end of this detailed breakdown, you will. Read on.

Top Disk Drill Pros

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

  • Visualization of the scanning process. The scanning process is visualized in real time, with information about the number of scanned files and the time remaining available at a glance.

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

Top Minitool Pros

  • Interface. The interface is appealing and well put together.

  • Creating a bootable disk. The program can create bootable disks for computers that refuse to boot.

  • Recover during a scan. You can recover files during a scan.

Top Disk Drill Cons

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

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

  • RAID. Limited RAID support.

Top Minitool Cons

  • No HDPI support. The program can not work on monitors with high resolutions. As a consequence, the interface is unclear.

  • Paid option to fix corrupted video files. There is a feature for fixing corrupted video files, but it is a separate paid option.

  • Settings are not saved. After saving the settings in the program, these settings are lost after scanning.

Pricing • Business model

1Distributed as Freemium Freemium
2Trial version available
3Trial version limitations Recover up to 500 MB for free Recover up to 1 GB for free
4Number of devices per license
  • PRO License - 1
  • Enterprise License - 10
  • Personal - 1
  • Personal Ultimate - 3
  • Business Standard - 1
  • Business Deluxe - 1
  • Business Enterprise - 99
  • Business Technician - 299
5Starting price$89.00/ Perpetual$69.00/ 1 month
6License modelLifetimeSubscription + Lifetime
7No credit card to try
8Money back guarantee
9See Plans & PricingPricing detailsPricing details

Like most data recovery software, Disk Drill and MiniTool Power Data Recovery follow the freemium model. You can recover up to 500 MB for free with Disk Drill, while MiniTool offers 1 GB of free data recovery. Once you’ve reached these thresholds, you’ll have to pay for a license to continue.

Disk Drill has always only offered a perpetual or “lifetime” license, which costs $89 and (as of this article) nets you both the Windows and Mac versions. On the other hand, MiniTool offers a lifetime license for $99 along with monthly or annual subscriptions starting at $69/mo.

Disk Drill inches ahead of MiniTool in terms of value-for-money. Though, remember that MiniTool offer 1 GB of free data recovery compared to 500 MB – this alone could make it worth trying out first. But this is far from the whole story, so I recommend you continue reading.

Data Recovery Performance

The most important metric for any data recovery software is performance. While Disk Drill and MiniTool Power Data Recovery are pretty close in number of files recovered, there are some key differences that you need to know.

Scan of File Systems

1FAT32 partitions
Full support
Partial support
2exFAT partitions
Full support
Partial support
3NTFS partitions
Full support
Full support
4EXT4 partitions
Not supported
Not supported
5HFS+ partitions
Not supported
Not supported
6APFS partitions
Not supported
Not supported
7BitLocker support
Full support
Partial support
8Windows shadow copies scanning
Not supported
Not supported

Right off the bat, Disk Drill tested more reliable for recovering FAT32 and exFAT partitions. This is a big deal for users who might need to restore data from USB drives, memory cards, external HDDs, and other storage media.

Both apps performed equally well at recovering NTFS partitions, but failed to restore Linux-based EXT4 partitions and Apple-based HFS+ and APFS partitions. However, note that we are reviewing the Windows version of both apps. Mac versions are another story.

Finally, a minor difference in quality of life: MiniTool Power Data Recovery can only recover BitLocker-encrypted partitions after you’ve manually unlocked them. Disk Drill makes it a lot more convenient by assuming the unlock request in-app.

Feature Comparison

If performance is the meat, features are the potatoes of any data recovery software. This is where utilities go head-to-head to set themselves apart. 

We ask questions like “What does this app do to make the user’s life easier?”, “How often is it updated?”, and even “What do the developers do to keep users happy?” Read on for the answers.

Features Table

Karma
89% Average score 74% Average score
1Update frequency
2Updated recently
3Changelog available
4Latest Windows release supported
5Genuine or clone?
6Brand name popularity
7Online market share
8Maturity
9Extensive knowledge base
10Helpdesk support
11Live chat
12Phone support
Usability
96% Average score 56% 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
77% Average score 85% Average score
1Internal and external HDD
2Internal and external SSD
3USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices
4Memory cards
5iOS devices
6Android devices
7Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
8Unmountable partitions
Recovery performance
80% Average score 43% 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
86% Average score 43% Average score
1Document formats recovery
2Raw photo recovery
3Video formats recovery
Other notable recovery features
61% Average score 24% 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
6Convenient scan session management
7Bad sector management
8Recovery chance prediction
9RAID reconstructor
10Disk vitals monitoring and tracking during scan
11Data protection
12Links to in-lab recovery service for physically damaged devices
13Scan speed
14Scan free space only
15Start file recovery without interrupting the scan
16Preview recoverable items without interrupting the scan
17Forensic features
Extras
20% Average score 7% Average score
1Disk space mapping
2Disk clean up
3Corrupted video repair tool
4Corrupted photo repair tool
5S.M.A.R.T.
6Duplicate finder
7Built-in disk space secure eraser
8Disk cloning
9Disk surface test
10Secure data shredding

Cleverfiles focuses development purely on Disk Drill, so it enjoys way more updates and chews off a bigger market share than MiniTool Power Data Recovery. In most cases, Disk Drill will be compatible with new formats and operating systems first. 

In terms of usability, Disk Drill pulls away from MiniTool in a big way. It’s great for recovering bad disks because of its well-designed session management. It can detect when a drive disconnects and gets reconnected, and auto-resumes from that point without affecting the process. 

These features are sorely lacking in MiniTool Power Data Recovery, making it difficult to work with failing drives. Other quality of life features are missing from this app as well: a built-in preview feature (you need to install it first), uncluttered source selection, hex view, and even filtering files by type. Disk Drill offers these and more, which results in a much better user experience.

Both tools have equal compatibility with common external storage media such as memory cards and USBs. However, MiniTool Power Data Recovery provides better support for RAID drives.

As we glossed over in the Data Recovery Performance section, Disk Drill provides better support for more formats than MiniTool does. The differences are more glaring during actual testing.

First, Disk Drill has top-notch support for RAW images and videos. We were easily able to preview and recover most of our RAW files, which MiniTool struggled with. This is big news to amateur and professional photographers and videographers. Both apps performed equally well when recovering common Windows-based document types, but Disk Drill did better with other formats such as odt and pages.

MiniTool does have some notable features, such as creating a bootable recovery drive and the ability to start recovering files without interrupting the scan. However, Disk Drill’s intuitive session management, multiple scanning types, and S.M.A.R.T. report simply make it a superior tool.

One other major advantage Disk Drill has over MiniTool is the ability to create byte-to-byte backups. Without it, users have to recover data directly from the drive – this puts it further at risk.

Wrapping Up

While MiniTool is a well-respected player in software development, Disk Drill by Cleverfiles is simply a superior tool. The difference in raw performance feels even greater thanks to its thoughtfully-designed UI and UX, which is an area where MiniTool could really improve. And while there is a slight price difference, the quality of Disk Drill far outweighs the $20 more you have to pay.

Disk Drill for Windows
3.84

Performs well, looks great, constant updates… This is what a top-tier product looks like. Disk Drill for Windows sets the bar high.

Visit developer's website
Excellent performance and usability
Constant updates
Reliable byte-to-byte backup
Great value for its price
Phone support
RAID drive support
Create bootable recovery drive
Recovery during scanning

More software comparisons

Still not what you’re looking for? Data recovery software comes with all shapes and sizes, and while others are clearly superior – it all comes down to the user’s specific needs. Don’t worry, we run all our recommendations through the same rigorous test as we did in this article. Check out these contenders:

Alejandro Santos
Alejandro Santos
Author

Alejandro is a veteran writer with a rich background in technology. He worked part-time in his uncle’s repair and recovery shop as a young boy, and now uses his experience and writing skills to produce content for multiple tech websites – specifically on the topic of data recovery. As an author for Pandora Recovery, he is constantly testing and experimenting with new tools and technology to help his readers find the best software for their needs.

Alejandro’s popular publishings
Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Yevgeniy Tolkunov
Approver

Yevgeniy Tolkunov is Hardware Engineer at ACE Data Recovery. Yevgeniy has a Master's Degree in Physics, Information Technology; 15+ years of experience.