4 of the best Mac hard disk recovery tools

Rescue your precious data with one of these disk-savers

How fast are these disk utilities in an emergency?

The speed of a disk utility in operation can be a difficult thing to judge, since it depends upon the complexity of the problem and the amount of data on your hard disk. However, a decent interface that lets you know how far along things are and just how long you might be waiting can be useful.

In this regard, TechTool Pro is excellent. Clearly the interface has been thought through and no matter what tool you're using, you're kept up to date with what's going on every step of the way.

The other applications here all use the trusty progress bar, which is fine, if a little uninspired.

Interface

STATUS UPDATES: TechTool Pro takes delight in informing you of your Mac's status

Having said that, all the applications here are slow. This isn't a criticism per se, as there's no substitute for thorough and determined action when it comes to disk recovery. Just don't expect a speedy and simple fix to any problem.

DiskTools Pro managed to defrag a drive in about 17 minutes, but that wasn't much faster than Drive Genius, at 22 minutes. If speed is something you're after, you'll not find it here.

test 6

The Winner: TechTool Pro 5

There's always a chance that none of these tools will fix your problem and, in that case, you'll feel they're a bit useless. However, we can only rate them on how they performed for us.

Drive Genius 2 was a close contender and DiskTools Pro a decent application; even DiskWarrior does what little it does very well, but there was one standout performer. From the outset, TechTool Pro 5 made most of the running in this four-horse race.

Winner

For starters there's the excellent interface, which makes things simple even for the most tech-phobic Mac user. Under the hood, however, the range and depth of tools available is excellent. None of the utilities were particularly fast, but TechTool Pro certainly had the best working interface.

TechTool Pro is the most expensive option, but it's worth every penny. The other apps are all perfectly adequate, and some features, such as Drive Genius's partition and duplicate file search functions, are useful enough. But TechTool Pro has to be the overall winner.

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First published in MacFormat Issue 214

Liked this? Then check out How to survive a hard disk disaster

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