Can Disk Drill recover corrupted files?

What is Disk Drill?

Disk Drill is a popular data recovery software for Windows and Mac OS created by CleverFiles. It allows users to recover lost or deleted files from internal and external hard drives, SSD drives, USB drives, SD cards, cameras, and more (1). Disk Drill offers features like quick and deep scan modes, protection against accidental deletions with Recovery Vault, and the ability to preview files before recovery. The software supports over 400 file formats including photos, videos, audio, documents, and archives. Disk Drill has free and paid versions available. The free version allows scanning and previewing of files, while the paid Pro version enables full file recovery. Overall, Disk Drill is designed to be powerful yet easy-to-use data recovery software for personal and business use.

What causes file corruption?

There are several common causes of file corruption on computers and storage devices:

Software crashes or improper shutdowns can lead to files not being fully written to storage, resulting in partial or corrupt files. This frequently happens when a program unexpectedly quits or when a computer is powered off without properly shutting down first (source).

Power outages or surges during a file transfer or save operation can disrupt the process, corrupting the file. Files can become fragmented or develop errors when incomplete writes occur (source).

Problems with storage devices like bad sectors, connectivity issues, wear and tear, or malfunctions can all cause file corruption. Damaged hardware prevents files from being correctly written or read (source).

In summary, abrupt termination of software, power supply instability, and storage device defects are common risks leading to file corruption.

Can Disk Drill recover corrupted files?

Yes, Disk Drill is capable of recovering corrupted files from hard drives, external drives, SD cards, USB drives, and more. Disk Drill uses advanced data recovery algorithms to scan storage devices and reconstruct corrupted files so they can be restored and accessed again.

According to the Disk Drill website, the software is able to recover files lost due to:

  • Accidental deletion
  • Formatted drives
  • Crashes and freezes
  • Corruption
  • Virus attacks

Disk Drill can recover hundreds of different file types including documents, photos, videos, audio files, archives, and more. Its recovery capabilities work across major operating systems like Windows, macOS, and Linux.

Some key facts about Disk Drill’s corrupted file recovery include:

  • Uses proprietary data reconstruction algorithms
  • Recovers data even from severely damaged drives
  • Provides preview of recoverable files
  • Flexible scanning for quick or deep file recovery

Overall, Disk Drill is designed specifically for recovering access to corrupted files and reconstructing damaged data, making it an effective solution for this purpose.



How does Disk Drill recover corrupted files?

Disk Drill uses several advanced data recovery algorithms to reconstruct corrupted files. When a file becomes corrupted, the directory entries pointing to the clusters on the disk can get lost or damaged. Disk Drill scans the entire disk drive sector-by-sector looking for lost directory entries and file signatures. It uses techniques like file carving to extract files based on binary patterns without relying on filesystem metadata.

Some of the specific recovery methods Disk Drill employs include:

  • Searching for intact backup ” copies of the original file metadata like creation/modification dates and original directory structure.
  • Analyzing file headers – the data signatures at the start of common file types like JPG and PDF files.
  • File carving – extracting files based on binary footer patterns when header data is not available.
  • Advanced file type detection using heuristics to identify common file patterns.
  • Data reconstruction by recombining recovered file fragments.

By utilizing these techniques, Disk Drill is able to effectively recover files even when the original metadata and file system structures are corrupted or lost. The deep scan capabilities allow it to dig deeper than simple undelete tools and often restore files when all hope seems lost.

What types of corrupted files can Disk Drill recover?

Disk Drill can recover a wide range of common file types that have become corrupted, including:

  • Documents: Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, PDF files.
  • Images: JPG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, RAW photo files.
  • Video: MP4, MOV, AVI, MPEG files.
  • Audio: MP3, WAV, AIFF, MIDI files.
  • Archives: ZIP, RAR, 7Z, ISO.
  • Emails: Outlook PST, OST files.

In addition, Disk Drill can recover hundreds of other less common file types across many categories like disc images, ebooks, databases, and more. According to the Disk Drill website, the software supports over 400 different file formats for recovery.

So in most cases, no matter what type of file becomes corrupted, Disk Drill should be able to recover it as long as the file system metadata is still intact.

Corrupted file recovery success rate

According to CleverFiles, the makers of Disk Drill, the software has an estimated 82% success rate for recovering corrupted files across all file types and causes of corruption. This rate was determined through extensive internal testing and analysis of real-world recovery scenarios.

Recovery rates can vary significantly depending on the type and extent of corruption. For example, Disk Drill has a 95% success rate for recovering files lost due to accidental deletion, but only a 68% rate for advanced corruption from drive failures. Video, image, document, and audio files tend to have higher recovery rates than application and system files.

It’s important to note that no data recovery software can guarantee 100% recovery in all scenarios. However, Disk Drill’s high success rate, especially for common corruption issues like accidental deletion, makes it an excellent choice for DIY file recovery.

Corrupted File Recovery Limitations

While Disk Drill is an excellent corrupted file recovery tool, there are some limitations to what it can recover in certain scenarios:

If a file is completely corrupted or the file system structures are damaged, Disk Drill may not be able to fully recover the original file. As noted in this Quora post, when a file’s directory entry, metadata, or key data structures are corrupted, it can be impossible to reconstruct the original file.

According to, if a file has become overly fragmented across a disk, critical pieces of the file may be unrecoverable. Disk Drill may recover partial contents but not a working file.

If corruption occurred due to hardware failure, Disk Drill may only be able to recover fragments of files. Severe disk errors make full recovery unlikely.

Encrypted or compressed files where critical headers/structures are corrupted pose challenges. Without access to encryption keys or compression algorithms, Disk Drill can’t reconstruct them.

While Disk Drill can recover from both logical corruption and physical media errors, complete recovery is not guaranteed if files are severely corrupted. Always backup regularly to avoid relying solely on recovery software.

How to use Disk Drill to recover corrupted files

Recovering corrupted files with Disk Drill is a straightforward process. Here is a step-by-step guide:

1. Download and install Disk Drill on your computer from Disk Drill is available for both Windows and Mac.

2. Launch Disk Drill and click the “Recover” button on the main screen.

3. Select the drive or device that contains the corrupted files you want to recover. Disk Drill will scan the drive and display a list of recoverable files.

4. Preview the corrupted files to check if they are intact. You can sort by file type to easily find specific corrupted documents, photos, videos, etc.

5. Select the corrupted files you want to recover by checking the boxes next to each file. Choose a recovery destination on another drive with ample free space.

6. Click the “Recover” button to restore your corrupted files. Disk Drill will retrieve and save the files to the designated location.

7. Once the recovery is complete, open the destination folder to access your restored corrupted files again.

With its intuitive interface and powerful data recovery algorithms, Disk Drill makes it easy for anyone to salvage and recover files corrupted by viruses, system errors, power outages or other issues. Follow the step-by-step process above to quickly restore your important corrupted files with Disk Drill.

Disk Drill Corrupted File Recovery Pricing

Disk Drill offers three pricing plans for corrupted file recovery:

  • Disk Drill Basic – The free version allows recovery of up to 500MB of data. Good for recovering a few corrupted files.

  • Disk Drill Pro – The Pro version costs $89 for a lifetime license. Allows unlimited data recovery from any storage device or corrupted hard drive. Best for full recovery of a corrupted system.

  • Disk Drill Enterprise – The Enterprise version starts at $299 per year. Adds centralized management tools for IT departments recovering multiple systems.

The free Disk Drill Basic version provides a good introduction to the capabilities of the software. But for full corrupted file recovery, most users will need the unlimited recovery capabilities in Disk Drill Pro. The lifetime license provides excellent value compared to an annual subscription. For larger organizations, Disk Drill Enterprise adds useful IT tools for fleet-wide deployment and management.

In summary, Disk Drill provides free and paid options scaled to the amount of corrupted data needing recovery. The Pro version delivers the full file recovery power of Disk Drill at a reasonable one-time price.

Alternatives to Disk Drill

While Disk Drill is a popular choice for corrupted file recovery, there are some alternatives worth considering:

Recuva by Piriform is a free corrupted file recovery tool for Windows that can recover files from hard drives, external drives, and memory cards. It has a simple interface and deep scan features to locate lost files.

TestDisk by CGSecurity is an open source data recovery tool that can recover lost partitions and repair boot sectors. It works on Windows, Linux, and Mac operating systems. TestDisk can be more complex than Disk Drill but is a powerful recovery tool.

Photorec by CGSecurity is a companion to TestDisk focused solely on file recovery. It can recover photos, videos, documents, and other file types from hard drives, memory cards, and other media. As an open source tool, Photorec is free yet effective.

Overall, while Disk Drill is a full-featured recovery solution, tools like Recuva, TestDisk, and Photorec provide free alternatives depending on your specific needs.