As mentioned in an earlier review of other free data recovery software, when I freelance as a computer repair specialist, one of the most common questions I get is “Can you bring back that file I deleted?” And in most cases, through a wide variety of tools and the occasional bit of craftiness, the answer is yes. That being said, for the average computer user, the methods I use can be intensive, a bit complex, and if you’re not used to PowerShell, may make you sweat waterfalls like that Key and Peele gif that’s all the rage these days. Here, I’ll take a look at a piece of software promising to do everything I can do, with the ease that even a retiree spending their twilight years in Buscayne Bay would feel confident in recovering those slideshow photos. Let’s examine MiniTool Power Data Recovery.
Is MiniTool Power Data Recovery Malware?
As per usual, one of my first things to do when downloading a free trial of a program is to examine it for any signs that it may be malicious by throwing it into a virtual machine and doing a few security scans to ensure that my computer won’t be at risk during a review. In this case, MiniTool Power Data Recovery is completely safe and did nothing to warrant any suspicion.
Installation and Setup
Starting out, the download file is remarkably small at around 24,000KB and downloads in just a few seconds. Set up is likewise just as fast, though there is an interesting warning near the end of the process. It is that you probably shouldn’t download this program onto the same drive you plan to recover, as it can inhibit recovery methods. For this reason, I would recommend copying and pasting the download file into an external hard drive or simply a secondary internal.
Performance and Features
When presented with the intro screen of MiniTool Power Data Recovery, you’re given something nearly underwhelming as it is so simple. Aside from given a 1 GB limit on the bottom of the screen for the free version, you’re only a few buttons to choose from including “undelete recovery”, “lost partition recovery”, “digital media recovery”, “damaged partition recovery” and “CD/DVD Recovery”. You’re also given the option to format the program to be a bootable disc (extremely handy if your main PC has fully crashed) which could in theory be paired with a program like Kali to grab lost files if you’ve forgotten a password. For me, most of these scans on my own systems took a little while (anywhere from 5 minutes for undelete recovery to 20 for media recovery).
When the scan of my hard drive finally completed, the results of it were quite comprehensive. To make things easier to examine, the developers of this tool ensured that the folder search system was well organized with a few handy marks to show where lost or missing files were located, how large they were, and an approximate creation date. Unfortunately (though this is no fault of MiniTool ) most lost files will have rather odd names, so the preview function was absolutely essential. I was surprised by how much the tool actually did recover- in most cases, I have a “no recovery able” rate of around 20%, but by my measurement it was only around 10%, which was well worth the wait for the deep scan.
Now, this was all done with the free version, but there are several options available to those who want to add a few extras. Starting out is the personal standard edition for $69, which gives you unlimited data recovery, the ability to pause and resume (instead of just restart) scans, and a download insurance service. For $20 more, you can add the ability to recover data when a system crashes through boot OS and you have the ability to upgrade for free. Lastly, there is a $129 option that allows 3 PCs to be covered with this software, and all the features of the previous versions.
Overall, I would give MiniTool Power Data Recovery a big thumbs up in what it was made for. Though I find their options a little too simplistic and lack of customizability a bit hindering, the truth of the matter is this was definitely designed for those with less tech confidence than they probably should have. And for those, it’s a great tool to make sure valuable data is saved. Ideally, I’d like to see a file type selector in the future for recovering certain kinds of files, but that’s more due to my own impatience in finding target files. In terms of a numerical rating, I’d give this program an 8.5 out of 10, with the lack of features and the somewhat high price being the only detractions from it being a full 10. If you need files recovered and feel a little uncomfortable getting down and dirty with other file recovery methods, this program is the one to go to.