DiskWarrior Review – Is It Still Worth Your Money?


Out of 5 Total Score

No. 10 Among all macOS solutions

Price range $119.95...$59.95 • Alsoft, Inc. • macOS

Last update on

DiskWarrior describes itself as the world’s most advanced repair and data recovery tool, but this bold claim contrasts with our own experience with the software. Read this detailed review to find out why DiskWarrior isn’t as good as it claims to be. 

Karma 43% - Karma


Bang for the buck 24% - Bang for the buck


Bang for the buck
Recovery performance 6% - Recovery performance


Recovery performance
Usability 22% - Usability


Extras 0% - Extras



Top 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.

  • Error detection. It’s possible to scan existing files and folders on HFS and HFS+ disks for problems and potential data loss.

  • Disk monitoring. DiskWarrior includes a tool that allows you to automatically scan disks for hardware problems. If there is a problem, the program can inform about it.

  • Scanning security. Before scanning DiskWarrior unmounts the disk from the system, which is a good way to prevent data overwriting and other potential problems.

Top 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.

  • M1 support. Macs with the new M1 processor are not supported by the latest version of Disk Warrior.

  • Trial version. The developers of DiskWarrior don’t offer a free trial version, so there’s no way for customers to test the software for free.

  • Monterey support. The application doesn’t officially support macOS Monterey, but we were able to get it to work just fine on the latest version of Apple’s operating system.

  • Manual updates. DiskWarrior doesn’t support automatic updates, so each and every update must be downloaded and installed manually.

  • Repair methods. The program doesn't work as a full-featured data recovery software - it can't recover deleted/lost/formatted data. The program supports only one method of scanning: the repair of HFS and HFS+ directories.

  • Disk monitoring. The automatic disk monitoring module is very old and does not support many modern drives, including those found inside modern Macs with M1 and T2 chips.

  • User friendliness. The program doesn’t have a close button, so you have to close it from the menu or dock. DiskWarrior also doesn’t do a good job when it comes to explaining some of its options, forcing you to read the manual.

  • Preview files. The preview of the restored files and the directory is very limited—it just shows a list of files, and it’s not possible to analyze if they are broken or not.

Top Competitors


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Best choice for Mac users

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DiskWarrior – Overview


DiskWarrior by Alsoft addresses a common cause of data loss—hard drive issues—by offering a host of repair features that can restore even a badly corrupted hard drive to a functioning state. The company behind the software, Alsoft, has been around for a long time, and it has rightfully earned a lot of respect. In fact, Apple used to bundle DiskWarrior with AppleCare, which goes to show that this isn’t some random white label software with a bunch of anonymous developers behind it. However, past performance doesn’t guarantee future results. 


Distributed as Paid Commercial software can be used only with a valid license
Trial version available
Paid plans
  • New Copy
  • Upgrade
Price range $119.95...$59.95
License model Lifetime
No credit card to try
Money back guarantee

DiskWarrior is a premium disk repair and data recovery software application that doesn’t offer a free trial version. Instead, users have to purchase a new license for $119.95 or upgrade from an earlier version for $59.95. What’s interesting is that Alsoft developers the software on a USB flash drive within 1 to 2 days from purchase, but customers also get an online link that they can use to download DiskWarrior immediately. Included with every purchase is one-on-one tech support provided by a USA-based expert. It’s also worth noting that Alsoft donates a portion of its earnings to Texas Children’s Cancer Center and Mothers Against Cancer.

Pricing details

1Price $119.95
  • Immediate Download & DiskWarrior USB Flash Drive
1Price $59.95
  • E-Mail of Software & DiskWarrior USB Flash Drive

Discounts and coupons

Amazon Deal

Get 10% OFF Disk Warrior 5.

Get the Deal
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Developer — Alsoft, Inc.

The origin of Alsoft, the company behind DiskWarrior, can be traced to two former Apple employees, who founded the company in 1984. Since then, Alsoft has been a leading developer of macOS software.

3% 168.1% than avg

Online market share

Reflects the share of online traffic within the niche occupied by data recovery software, based on data taken from ahrefs.com (from Google US search engine).

2900 578.2% than avg

Brand name popularity

Based on the number of brand-related search queries on Google US according to ahrefs.com.

Alsoft’s software portfolio stretches back decades, and it starts with the first and only disk optimizer for Macintosh computers, DiskExpress. Other noteworthy software released by Alsoft includes MasterJuggler, PllusMaker, PlusOptimizer, and, of course, DiskWarrior, which is now in version 5. 

Developer website alsoft.com
Support email tech.support@alsoft.com

1984 • 39 years on market

HQ location

15411 W Fantage # 210, Houston, Texas, United States



Social media

Alsoft is based in Texas, which is also where its customer support staff is located. That’s great news for all paying customers who get to enjoy premium one-on-one tech support from real data recovery experts. 

Data Recovery with DiskWarrior

Tested on: macOS 11.6.2 (20G314)

Excited to see if DiskWarrior is really the world’s most advanced repair and data recovery tool, we performed a comprehensive test to discover its strong and weak points. The results of our test may surprise you.

How We Test

We tested DiskWarrior 5.2 on a Mac running macOS 11.6.2 (20G314). Like always, we relied on our comprehensive testing process to gather objective data that made it possible to repeatably evaluate how the software performed when presented with multiple data loss scenarios.

Because our tests are repeatable, their results can be directly compared, allowing us to see how DiskWarrior does against other software applications of its kind. 

1InstallationFirst, we installed DiskWarrior 5.2 on our Mac, which we use exclusively for software testing purposes.
2Source selectionWe put together several data sets to evaluate DiskWarrior's data recovery capabilities in a controlled manner.
3Scanning processUsing multiple software tools, we first verified the integrity of our data samples before emulating data loss scenarios.
4Managing found dataNext, we used DiskWarrior to recover as much lost data as possible, carefully documenting the software's performance.
5Recovery and post-processingFinally, we analyzed how well DiskWarrior performed, summarizing our findings in this review.

When testing disk repair and data recovery software applications like DiskWarrior, we always focus on data recovery performance, but we make sure to test all extra features as well because such features can greatly increase the overall value provided by the tested software.

Step 1


Because DiskWarrior doesn't offer a free trial version, we had no other option but to purchase the full version. After completing our order, we were provided a download link and informed that we would also receive a copy of DiskWarrior on a USB flash drive within 1 or 2 business days. 

Since we didn't want to wait for the USB flash drive to arrive, we downloaded the DiskWarrior installer using the provided download link. The installation process itself was painless, and we were ready to launch the software for the first time in no time.

Step 2

Source selection

DiskWarrior doesn't make it exactly obvious how to approach a data loss scenario. The application is divided into three main tabs (Directory, Files, and Hardware), and each tab has its own source selection dropdown menu. 

The Directory tab lets you rebuild damaged directories, the Files tab lets you run tests on files to fix user permissions and potential compatibility problems, and the Hardware tab is where you can perform S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics. 

We started on the Directory tab, using the dropdown menu to select our test drive. Unfortunately, DiskWarrior doesn't support Apple File System (APFS) disks, but it does support any locally connected Standard (HFS) or Extended (HFS+) disk, including Fusion Drives, RAID volumes, journaled disks, case-sensitive disks, FileVaults, and Time Machine backups. 

Step 3

Scanning process

With our test drive selected, we first instructed DiskWarrior to rebuild the directory and then checked all files and folders for compatibility problems. 

In both cases, DiskWarrior finished the task quickly, and the application then displayed a comprehensive overview of the results. 

DiskWarrior informed us that the directory was severely damaged, making it impossible to compare it with the original one. The compatibility check ended with a more positive result, with 0 files and folders requiring fixing. 

Step 4

Managing found files

DiskWarrior features a preview feature that lets users compare how the storage device will look like after it is repaired. Unfortunately, our collection of RAW images that we use for testing purposes wasn't supported by DiskWarrior—all we could see were the names of individual files. 

Step 5

Recovery and post-processing

After using the preview feature to see how our test drive would appear after being repaired, we instructed DiskWarrior to write the new directory to the disk. A pop-up window appeared shortly after, informing us that the test disk was successfully rebuilt. 


DiskWarrior – Tutorials and Other Videos

Here are some useful tutorial videos that you can watch to better understand how DiskWarrior works.

How to install DiskWarrior on macOS 10.15 Catalina

This is a step-by-step guide on how to install Alsoft DiskWarrior 5 on macOS 10.15 Catalina.

How to create a DiskWarrior USB Flash Drive

This is a step-by-step guide on how to create a bootable DiskWarrior USB Flash Drive using DiskWarrior Recovery Maker.

DiskWarrior – Full Review

Now that you know how DiskWarrior can be used to recover lost data from a logically damaged drive, it’s time we take a closer look at the results of our in-depth testing process.

Karma 43% by 13 rating criteria



13 rating criteria

Considering that the company behind DiskWarrior has been around for decades and was founded by two former Apple employees, we were surprised when the total Karma score, which reflects the rating criteria below, amounted to just 43%. 

The below-average Karma score is caused mainly by the fact that DiskWarrior hasn’t been updated for a long time. The application doesn’t officially support Apple Silicon Macs, the latest version of macOS, and the APFS file system.

1Update frequency
More than 6 months
2Updated recently
3Changelog available
4Latest macOS supported
Nope, macOS 11.0 (Big Sur) and older
5Runs natively on M1 Macs
Does not support
6Genuine or clone?
7Brand name popularity
8Online market share
10Extensive knowledge base
11Helpdesk support
12Live chat
Not available
13Phone support
Bang for the buck 24% by 8 rating criteria


Bang for the buck

8 rating criteria

There used to be a time when purchasing DiskWarrior when presented with a difficult data loss scenario was a no-brainer, but that time is long gone. Despite its bold claims about world-first data repair and recovery performance, DiskWarrior delivers poor results and even worse value. 

To start with, you can’t even test the application without paying a lot of money for a full license. That would be bad enough on its own, but DiskWarrior doesn’t even run properly on many modern Macs, and it also doesn’t support the default macOS file system (APFS). 

1Competitive pricing
2Price-quality ratio
3Free trial
4Is it free?
Paid license is required to recover files
5Pricing policy
Two subscription plans + Lifetime license option
6Unlimited recovery in full version
7Free upgrades
Only with Lifetime license
8Commercial rights in the cheapest license
Usability 22% by 18 rating criteria



18 rating criteria

Some software applications become better with age, others just become outdated and cumbersome to use. Unfortunately, DiskWarrior belongs in the latter category. Why? Because the application has a clunky user interface that doesn’t make it easy to work with recovered data.

All you can really do is mount recoverable files as a disk, but that’s it. There are no convenient thumbnail previews, no hex editor for in-depth analysis, no search feature, no filters, and so on. This might have been fine 10 years ago, but modern data recovery software applications have raised the bar so much higher that DiskWarrior pales in comparison. 

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
Recovery performance 6% by 126 rating criteria


Recovery performance

126 rating criteria

There’s no sugar-coating it: DiskWarrior’s data recovery performance is abysmal. In fact, the developers shouldn’t even call DiskWarrior a “data recovery tool.”

In reality, DiskWarrior is a disk repair tool capable of fixing damaged HFS and HFS+ directories. Yes, it can restore access to files and folders by building a new error-free, optimized directory, but that’s not the same thing as analyzing a storage device sector by sector to find permanently deleted files—something virtually all other data recovery tools do.

Since only a very few Mac users rely extensively on HFS and HFS+ drives anymore, you can expect DiskWarrior to fail miserably in most data loss situations. 

DiskWarrior doesn’t support conventional data recovery methods. The only trick the software has up its sleeve is the ability to fix logical issues affecting HFS and HFS+ drives. 

1Deep scan
Not supported.
2Quick scan
Not supported.
3Other types of scan
DiskWarrior can rebuild HFS and HFS+ directories, but that's it.
4Device support
All storage devices that use the HFS or HFS+ file system are supported.
5Real-life recovery challenge
DiskWarrior failed all real-life recovery challenges.
6Other notable recovery features
The application is non-intrusive and doesn't take much time to repair a drive, but it otherwise lacks extra features.

Clever scan

1HFS+ partitions
2APFS partitions
3FAT32 partitions
4exFAT partitions
5NTFS partitions
6EXT4 partitions

The Clever scan recovery mode, whose purpose is to recover files with their original names and place them inside their original folders, isn’t present in DiskWarrior.

Quick scan

1HFS+ partitions
2APFS partitions
3FAT32 partitions
4exFAT partitions
5NTFS partitions
6EXT4 partitions

When used soon enough, the Quick scan mode can save the day and address less serious cases of data loss without, but DiskWarrior, unfortunately, doesn’t support it.

Other scan types

1The number of formats supported by deep scan
2Native deep scan of system drives on M1-powered Macs
3Native deep scan of system drives on T2-encrypted Macs
4Native data recovery from local Time Machine snapshots
5Scan for lost partitions
6HFS+ directory rebuild
7Recovered files' labeling
8Partial file recovery
9Disk images: scan and recovery

Our testing process includes the evaluation of HFS+ directory rebuild capabilities, and this is something DiskWarrior excels at. We just wish it could offer a bit more.

Device Support

1Internal and external HDD
2Internal and external SSD
3USB thumb drives / Classic iPods (non-iOS) / FireWire devices
4Memory cards
5iOS devices
6iOS backups
8Android devices
9Recovery from RAID1, 0, JBOD
10Encrypted device support
11Unmountable partitions

DiskWarrior has no trouble recovering data from commonly used storage devices as long as they’re formatted using the HFS or HFS+ file system. Mobile devices are not supported, but that’s to be expected. 

Real-life recovery challenges

1Raw photo recovery
2Video formats recovery
3Document formats recovery

Our real-life recovery challenges turned out to be insurmountable obstacles for DiskWarrior, highlighting its poor data recovery performance.

Raw photo recovery
13fr (Hasselblad 3F raw image)
2arw (Sony alpha raw)
3bmp (bitmap image file)
4cr2 (Canon raw version 2)
5cr3 (Canon raw version 3)
6crw (Canon raw CIFF image file)
7dcr (Kodak digital camera raw)
8dng (digital negative lossless raw image)
9CinemaDNG (Blackmagic, Penelope, Pocket)
10erf (Epson raw file)
11exr (high dynamic-range file format)
12fff (Hasselblad raw image)
13gpr (GoPro raw format)
14heic (high efficiency image file format)
15iiq (intelligent image quality raw Leaf, Phase One)
16insp (panoramic image Insta360)
17jp2 (bitmap image format JPEG 2000)
18jpg (joint photographic experts group compressed image)
19kdc (Kodak digital camera raw image)
20mef (Mamiya raw image file)
21mos (Leaf and Mamiya raw image file)
22mpo (multi picture stereoscopic object file)
23mrw (Konica Minolta raw image format)
24nef (Nikon raw image file)
25nrw (Nikon raw image file)
26orf (Olympus raw format)
27pef (Pentax raw image file)
28raf (Fujifilm raw image file)
29raw (native digital camera file)
30rw2 (Panasonic LUMIX raw image file)
31rwl (Leica raw image format)
32sr2 (Sony raw 2 image file)
33srf (Sony raw file)
34srw (Samsung raw image file)
35tiff (tag image file format)
36x3f (Sigma camera raw picture file)
37x3i (Sigma super fine detail picture file)

We used DiskWarrior to attempt the recovery of a host of RAW file formats but the software failed to retrieve even a single one. 

Video formats recovery
1360 (GoPRO 360 degree videos)
2ari (ARRI professional digital video camera)
3arx (ARRI professional digital video camera)
4avi (GoPRO CineForm intermediate codec)
5avi (MJPG, H.264, MSMPEG4 v2 codecs)
6braw (Blackmagic raw video file)
7insv (Insta360 panoramic AVC H.264 video file)
8insv (Insta360 panoramic HEVC HVC1 video file)
9mov (Apple ProRes 422 Proxy/LT/HQ)
10mov (Apple ProRes 4444 Raw/HQ)
11mov (advanced video coding H.264)
12mov (CineForm HD codec)
13mov (HEVC, HVC1 codecs)
14mp4 (advanced video coding H.264)
15mp4 (HEVC, HVC1, Apple ProRes codecs)
16mxf (advanced video coding H.264)
17mxf (DVCPRO HD codec)
18mxf (ARRI raw, Apple ProRes codecs)
19mxf (XDCAM HD422, HD35 MPEG2 codecs)
20r3d (Red digital camera company raw video file)
21wmv (pro raw 9 codec)

DiskWarrior’s video recovery capabilities were equally disappointing. Even commonly used video file formats were not recovered. 

Document formats recovery
1accdb (Microsoft Access 2007+ database file)
2key (Apple Keynote)
3pages (Apple Pages)
4numbers (Apple Numbers)
5djvu (compressed image format)
6doc (Microsoft Word 97 – 2003 document file)
7docx (Microsoft Word 2007+ document file)
8fb2 (FictionBook 2.0 File)
9mdb (Microsoft Access 97 - 2003 database file)
10odp (OpenOffice presentation file format)
11ods (OpenDocument spreadsheet file format)
12odt (OpenDocument text document file format)
13pdf (portable document format)
14ppt (Microsoft Powerpoint 97 - 2003 presentation file)
15pptx (Microsoft Powerpoint 2007+ presentation file)
16rtf (rich text format)
17xls (Microsoft Excel 97 - 2003 spreadsheet file)
18xlsx (Microsoft Excel 2007+ spreadsheet file)

We certainly can’t recommend DiskWarrior to people who have lost an important document and are desperate to recover it. because we were not able to retrieve a single document during our testing. 

Other notable recovery features

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

There are exactly three other positive data recovery features DiskWarrior can offer: the software is non-intrusive, can run from a bootable USB, and doesn’t take a lot of time to finish repairing hard drive damage. 

Extras 0% by 12 rating criteria



12 rating criteria

Don’t purchase DiskWarrior if you expect the software to single-handily handle all your data management needs. Unlike many other data recovery applications, DiskWarrior doesn’t include a secure data shredder, duplicate file finder, and other useful tools. While it does display S.M.A.R.T. data, it obtains it from Apple’s Disk Utility, which does all the heavy lifting. 

1Disk space mapping
Not supported.
2Disk clean up
Not supported.
3Corrupted video repair tool
Not supported.
4Corrupted photo repair tool
Not supported.
5Time Machine backups parser
Not supported.
Not supported.
7Bootable macOS installer
Not supported.
8Duplicate finder
Not supported.
9Built-in disk space secure eraser
Not supported.
10Disk cloning
Not supported.
11Disk surface test
Not supported.
12Secure data shredding
Not supported.

Not including any extra features seems like a huge mistake considering how many competing data recovery software applications go out their way to help users manage data and prevent data loss.

What Users Say About DiskWarrior

While other data recovery utilities can scan disks to recover lost or deleted files, DiskWarrior is unrivaled in its ability to repair and rebuild the Mac directory.


Basically, this doesn't work. At least on my Mac Mini, which isn't exactly bleeding edge new. It's a 2012 Intel a major OS revision back.

This would be of limited use on a newer Mac for various reasons. 1) it can't do Apple File System drives 2) You're supposed to plug it straight into the Mac, but it's not USB C 3) It probably can't do M1 CPU based systems.

Basically this is an expensive product in need of a significant update that may be your savior, or it may be useless, but you're going to need to pay full price (non refundable) to find out.


Has some nice features but haven't really used it as much as Drive Genius which I prefer. 


I've had Disk Warrior on my computer for 4 years now and never really knew what it did. I now know it performs magic. All my flies are safe


Bottom line

If there was a time when DiskWarrior was worth the premium price its developers are asking for it, that time is long gone. Data recovery software has evolved considerably since the release of the first version of this application, and users’ expectations have evolved with it. 

Yes, DiskWarrior is still good at repairing HFS and HFS+ storage devices, but that’s simply not a problem many users are trying to solve these days. Even if it were, DiskWarrior wouldn’t likely be our top pick because its user interface leaves a lot to be desired, especially for an application that doesn’t offer a free trial.

As such, we can recommend DiskWarrior only to people who have exhausted other (less expensive) options on how to recover lost data from HFS and HFS+ storage devices.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are answers to several frequently asked questions about DiskWarrior.

DiskWarrior for Mac is data recovery software developed by Alsoft, Inc. It’s one of the oldest applications of its kind.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to download DiskWarrior without purchasing a license first, which you can do on the application’s official website.

By default, Disk Warrior is installed in the Applications folder, which you can access by opening Finder and selecting the folder from the list of favorites on the left.
DiskWarrior shines when it comes to rebuilding internal and external disks, which involves finding all salvageable files and folders and building a new error-free, optimized directory:
  1. Launch the software.
  2. Choose a disk from the popup menu.
  3. Click the Rebuild button.
Yes, DiskWarrior is a safe data recovery software application that has been successfully used by countless users to recover files and repair damaged disks over the years.
To create a bootable USB with DiskWarrior:
  1. Download and install DiskWarrior Recovery Make.
  2. Connect your USB flash drive to your Mac.
  3. Launch the software and allow it to access removable volumes.
  4. Select the destination flash drive, the source macOS recovery disk, and the serialized DiskWarrior application.
  5. Click Create or Recreate.
If you can’t boot into macOS, then you can still perform recovery using a bootable USB with DiskWarrior. You can create one using DiskWarrior Recovery Make.

Since DiskWarrior doesn’t replace the directory structure until the very end of the process, you should be fine even if your Mac freezes in the middle of directory rebuilding.

If you don’t want to use a bootable USB with DiskWarrior to repair your Mac’s internal hard drive, you can also use Target Disk Mode to connect two Macs with a FireWire cable.
No, the latest version of DiskWarrior, unfortunately, doesn’t support APFS, the default file system or Mac computers using macOS 10.13 or newer.

👌 Satisfactory

DiskWarrior Review – Is It Still Worth Your Money?

Out of 5 Total score

No. 10 Among all macOS solutions

DiskWarrior can be recommended to users of older Macs or those who need to repair an HFS or HFS+ drive. Hopefully, the lack of support for popular file systems and Apple Silicon Macs will be addressed soon with an update.

Visit developer website
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David Morelo

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

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.

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