Saturday, August 13, 2022

How to Recover Deleted Word Documents Using Disk Drill – 2018 Update

We’ve all done it once or twice; Deleted a document, or picture or even video when we didn’t mean to. Or we’ve had it done to us as a result of malicious viruses. And we’ve all certainly had the mini heart attack that comes with losing such data. But what if there was a way to recover that data? Here, we take a look at Disk Drill, how it works, and how to use it to not only recover Word documents, but documents of all kinds.

What is Disk Drill?

Disk Drill is a program from Clever File which recovers files that have been deleted from your PC by scanning your computer for recently lost files and folders, and then allowing you to save them. This does raise the question though, how does Disk Drill do this?

While not terribly open about the process on their website, given how the program operates, and the direct mention that time is of the essence, one can summarize that this program functions by essentially saving the file space from being overwritten by other processes. As many know, the hard drive of a computer has to quickly be able to save, delete, and replace data. During this process, deletion does not allow for just empty space (as this would be “wasteful” for lack of a better term) but instead slots what has been used, but marked for deletion, as the next section to be used for new data. Disk Drill more or less unmarks this data, and allows for access of the data yet again.

How to Install Disk Drill

To begin recovering files (100MB of files can be recovered for free) first visit cleverfiles.com and select disk drill format for you. Afterwards, it’s merely a quick download, confirming of copyright, and selecting a download location. For the sake of ease, one should download the program to the desktop.

How to Recover a Deleted Word Document Using Disk Drill on PC.

winAfter downloading Disk Drill, open the program and select the drive where the file was originally placed. In most cases, this is the Local Disk (C:) or a USB Drive, which must be inserted into the computer before running. Select the disk in question, and select the arrow next to recover.

If the document was recently lost, select “Quick Scan”, otherwise select “Deep Scan” and wait for the file scan to conclude. Next, one must select the type of file you wish to find to make the search easier. Now the hard part comes, in that the user must now preview or search through the files recovered to find the specific one desired. As a result of the recovery process, the file names are often not preserved. To preview the file, click on the magnifying glass on the right hand side. Lastly, once you have found your file, be sure to select the box next to it, and click recover on the upper right hand corner. If needed, change the directory in the “Recover To” pane to the desktop to prevent errors. With any luck, your lost file will be found and recovered in no time.

How to Recover a Deleted Word Document (or Equivalent) Using Disk Drill on Mac.

While there are many similarities in recovering files form both PC and Mac devices, there are a few key differences that require attention. First, while PC’s may be able to continue operating while looking at this guide and downloading the program, it is advised that MAC users shut down their device until they have read this guide and are ready to progress through the process in a fast manner. Macs in general are much less forgiving in terms of memory allocations and may make files irrecoverable for all but a forensic scan.

macNow that this is out of the way, our next step is to find another device that can save Disk Drill to a USB so we may use it in mobile mode and have the highest odds possible for recovery. If at all possible, get a very large external hard drive (a quarter of a terabyte or larger) and install the program directly onto it using a secondary device. After this, transfer the External Hard drive onto the Mac and launch it.

Quickly exit out of all non-needed applications and open up Disk Drill. Next, open uncheck all possible options from Disk Drill, then allow for admin changes as needed. After this, select the main hard drive of the MAC and select all associated partitions. Then click Extras next to these volumes, and select Backup Into DMG Image, ensuring that the destination is in fact the external hard drive.  Now, go to File and select Non-Mountable Images and select where you have saved the Backup file. Click attach, and then select Recover near said partitions. This may take a few moments, but afterwards you may then select from recovered files any of those that may be of interest to you.

For those of you that do not currently have a secondary device outside of a smart phone, there is an inherent risk in permanently losing the file desired, but as a last ditch effort, one can download the program directly onto the Mac, close all unneeded applications as mentioned before, and then select which volumes they would like to recover and performing a search. If a file has been lost within the past 5 minutes or so, there is a good chance that the results will be about at equal odds of success.

You can also follow this guide for how to recover word document on a mac.

Our Review of Disk Drill – Is It Worth It?

Now that we’ve gone over what Disk Drill is and how to install it, let’s see if it works as advertised.

Starting with the quick scan, I can say that I have had mixed, but mostly positive results. When compared to the effectiveness of the deep scan, I feel this is a tool only useful where you had deleted the file literally a moment before opening the program. Anything more, and the deep scan seems to be your only hope.

That being said, if there is one tool you would have to rely on for recovery, you could do way worse than the Deep scan and subsequent recovery. I like to think of myself as someone who does away with files in a quick manner if I don’t find use for them, and within moments this program was able to find quite literally thousands of them, and was not even 30% finished with a scan.

In terms of recovering the documents themselves, it is remarkably easy, though I feel there could be some improvements that could be made. First, while I understand that recovering files names can be extremely hard if not impossible, there comes up the problem of overwriting files in the drive when recovering. This could be fixed by an automatically setting a recovery folder (or on the user side, simply assigning a folder for this purpose should be sufficient).

In short, I have found Disk Drill to be a great piece of software to have just in case something accidental happens, and considering you’re given 100MB of recovery for free, it certainly has no downside.

This concludes our guide on how to use Disk Drill. If you have any questions, tips or tricks in using the program, feel free to ask or share them below in the comments.

Also be sure to check out the following guide as well for recovering unsaved microsoft office files using Disk Drill: https://www.cleverfiles.com/recover-unsaved-word-excel.html

Cody Carmichael
University graduate in Psychology, and health worker. On my off time I'm usually tinkering with tech or traveling to the ends of the globe.
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