Disk Drill vs R-Studio

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Disk Drill
Winner • Chosen by 90% of Users


4.5.616 Released 4th Aug, 2022 Current version9.1.191026 Released 21st Jul, 2022
Windows 7-11 RequirementsWindows 2000-11
Recover up to 500 MB for free Trial version limitRecover files smaller than 256 KB
$89.00 / PerpetualLifetime Starting Price$49.99 / PerpetualSubscription + Lifetime
176,000 Found files






Found files and Recovery quality174,220 Found files






Easy UsabilityEasy


If you’re looking for data recovery software, you’re in luck – there’s a lot to choose from. Now, here’s the bad news… There’s a lot to choose from. And even if they’re all similar tools that essentially do the same thing, there are some major differences between them.

Our site is dedicated to finding the best or most popular data recovery software on the internet and pitting them against each other so users can make a more informed decision.

Today, it’s Disk Drill versus R-Studio – two well-loved software with a lot of power. The competition in this round is tough but in the end… Only one is left standing. 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 R-Studio Pros

  • Supports all major operating systems. R-Studio runs on Windows, Linux, and macOS. Even older versions of the three major operating systems, such as Windows 2000, are supported.

  • Compatible with many file systems. All commonly used Windows, Linux, and macOS file systems are supported.

  • RAID reconstruction module. The program is able to automatically reconstruct broken RAID arrays, and many different configurations are supported.

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 R-Studio Cons

  • Limited preview feature. Only a handful of file types can be previewed. Even many commonly used file types, such as RAW photos, are impossible to preview.

  • Complicated. The software is aimed at professionals, and it shows. The user interface is too complicated for the average user to learn.

  • Unintuitive scanning process. After the disk is scanned and you try to open the results, a new scanning process opens instead, and it can take a long time to finish.

Pricing • Business model

1Distributed as Freemium Freemium
2Trial version available
3Trial version limitations Recover up to 500 MB for free Recover files smaller than 256 KB
4Number of devices per license
  • PRO License - 1
  • Enterprise License - 10
  • R-Studio FAT - 1
  • R-Studio NTFS - 1
  • R-STUDIO - 1
  • R-Studio T80+ - 1
  • R-Studio Corporate - 1
  • R-Studio Technician - 1
5Starting price$89.00/ Perpetual$49.99/ Perpetual
6License modelLifetimeSubscription + Lifetime
7No credit card to try
8Money back guarantee
9See Plans & PricingPricing detailsPricing details

Both apps use a “freemium” business model. In other words, they offer users a partial use of their services as a free trial.

Disk Drill provides users with up to 500 MB of free data recovery. If you want to recover more files, you’ll need to pay for a license. On the other hand, R-Studio lets users recover as many files as they want for free – as long as each file is 256 KB and below.

At the time of this writing, Disk Drill is offering a pretty good deal: $89 for perpetual licenses that cover both the macOS and Windows versions of the app.

R-Studio offers a more interesting pricing model. You can buy individual (perpetual) licenses for FAT and NTFS partitions that cost $49.99 and $59.99 respectively. For coverage on all partitions, you can buy the $79.99 license.

R-Studio comes out cheaper than Disk Drill and should also be a strong consideration if you only ever want to restore individual FAT or NTFS partitions.

However, there are major differences between both software in terms of performance, and especially, in terms of features. We strongly suggest you continue reading before making a decision.

Data Recovery Performance

The data recovery performance section gives us some quick intel on each software’s ability to restore different partitions, as well as their original folder structure and file names.

As we previously mentioned, Disk Drill and R-Studio both have their merits and weaknesses – let’s break them down.

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
Full support
5HFS+ partitions
Not supported
Full support
6APFS partitions
Not supported
Full support
7BitLocker support
Full support
Partial support
8Windows shadow copies scanning
Not supported
Not supported

We were impressed with R-Studio’s overall capability. It performed brilliantly with our NTFS partition – not only recovering our data but the original folder structure and file names as well. It also recovered data from our FAT32 and exFAT formats. As a cool bonus, it also worked well with our HFS+, APFS, and even EXT4 partitions. But regular Windows users don’t often need to scan macOS and Linux-based file systems, so we don’t consider this as a major factor.

Disk Drill, on the other hand, fully restored our FAT32, exFAT, and NTFS partitions. Its Windows version doesn’t work with EXT4, HFS+, and APFS formats, but remember that Disk Drill is currently offering a 2-for-1 deal that covers a license for the macOS version as well. Disk Drill also provides full support for BitLocker-encrypted partitions – you just need to know your password. 

Both apps left a good impression, but we’ll dive into more differences between the 2 as we go through this article.

Feature Comparison

With both apps neck-and-neck, the Feature Comparison section finally introduces some major differences that could tip the scales.

In this part of the article, we dissect each tool and measure their features, usability, and real-life recovery performance against each other. While both apps may be equally good in their own ways, this is where you’ll figure out which tool is the right one for you.

Features Table

89% Average score 63% Average score
1Update frequency
2Updated recently
3Changelog available
4Latest Windows release supported
5Genuine or clone?
6Brand name popularity
7Online market share
9Extensive knowledge base
10Helpdesk support
11Live chat
12Phone support
96% Average score 63% 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 65% 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 57% Average score
1Document formats recovery
2Raw photo recovery
3Video formats recovery
Other notable recovery features
61% Average score 66% 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
20% Average score 20% Average score
1Disk space mapping
2Disk clean up
3Corrupted video repair tool
4Corrupted photo repair tool
6Duplicate finder
7Built-in disk space secure eraser
8Disk cloning
9Disk surface test
10Secure data shredding

Disk Drill has always had frequent updates, usually never going 4 months without 1-2 changes to the app. R-Studio’s developers typically update their app every 6 months. Both apps’ developers publish their changelogs, which we really appreciate.

They also both offer good customer support and extensive knowledge bases – Disk Drill’s developers, in particular, publish a lot of helpful content on the Cleverfiles website and on Cleverfiles’ YouTube channel. Still, R-Studio is very well-known in the professional data recovery community and its developers publish a lot of in-depth help content on the R-Studio knowledge base.

Usability is where we see the starkest contrast between both software. Disk Drill is very user-friendly, thanks to its modern graphical user interface. R-Studio is anything but. While Disk Drill’s source selection is highly visual and easy to understand, R-Studio throws a lot of information at the user. It isn’t made better by the app’s old-school design.

And instead of the linear process that Disk Drill provides, R-Studio constantly prompts the user to configure different parameters. This is a delight for data recovery professionals but it’s just confusing for the average user.

R-Studio’s preview function also isn’t up to par with Disk Drill’s, as it struggles to work with even common formats – it doesn’t work at all with RAW files.

However, R-Studio is impressive in aspects other than usability, so it’s still in the running for users who are willing to brave the slight learning curve.

Both Disk Drill and R-Studio provide good device support. They work for hard drives, solid-state drives, and other flash drives. However, R-Studio is excellent at working with RAID drives and outperforms Disk Drill in this regard. Another massive point in R-Studio’s favor is the ability to recover devices over a network. This should be a deal-maker for a certain subset of users.

We observed even more differences during real-life testing – some that may even seal the deal for some users.

We were super impressed with both apps’ ability to restore not only our data but also the original folder structure and file names from multiple partitions. R-Studio did better with HFS+, APFS, and even EXT4 partitions, while we were happier with Disk Drill’s performance on our FAT32 and exFAT partitions. Both apps did equally well for our NTFS partition.

However, Disk Drill’s extensive file signature database blew us away when we actually compared recovery results.

It recognized almost all of our RAW photo files, struggling only with .CRW, .EXR, and .INSP (it did brilliantly with other common formats). We observed a similar performance while recovering our videos. Disk Drill also recovered most of our documents formatted to various extensions, including Apple-based ones.

Out of the box, R-Studio recognized much fewer formats across the board – fortunately, you can add custom formats, so that offsets things a bit. It’s still not as convenient as Disk Drill’s plug-n-play experience.

Disk Drill also offers a much better session management feature, so users with failing drives can expect a less frustrating experience with this app.

Neither software offer much in the way of extras, but there are a few notable ones.

They both offer a byte-to-byte backup feature (which we always appreciate), but only R-Studio offers bootable recovery drive creation. R-Studio also provides an excellent RAID reconstructor, and most intriguingly, forensic features. You can use it for court evidence.

Wrapping Up

It was a tough call because both tools are excellent data recovery software – but Disk Drill wins this match. We didn’t just appreciate its design, it also performed really well, especially with RAW files, and without having to compromise the user experience. Data recovery professionals will find a more complete toolbox with R-Studio, but most users will have everything they need and more in Disk Drill.

Disk Drill for Windows

Disk Drill is powerful without compromising the user experience. We were thoroughly impressed.

Visit developer's website
Beautiful GUI (graphical user interface)
Excellent session management
Huge database of file signatures
Get both Windows and macOS versions for the price of one
Excellent RAID support
Create bootable recovery drive
Users get a lot of control over the process
Add custom file signatures

More software comparisons

Disk Drill and R-Studio are highly respected tools of the trade, but they’re not the only options on the market. There are a lot of data recovery software on the internet – our job is to help you find the right one for you. If you want to explore more options, check out these tools:

Alejandro Santos
Alejandro Santos

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.

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Nikolay Lankevich
Nikolay Lankevich

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.