The most powerful Mac disk utility ever

“DiskWarrior is alive and well and still the handiest tool around for repairing a Mac’s disk,” Jeffrey Mincey writes for Mac360. “Sometimes even before you know there’s something to be repaired.”

“Yes, disk drives die and won’t hesitate to take your marbles and leave the neighborhood without so much as an adios, a tip of the hat, or a wag of the finger,” Mincey writes. “DiskWarrior can read your Mac’s damaged directory, find salvageable files and folders, and take the time needed to build a new, error-free directory, optimized and ready to go.”

“The latest version is 64-bit so it’s faster than ever, even on Macs with huge disk drives,” Mincey writes. “Pricing isn’t for the faint of heart or casual Mac user [US$119.95], but if the files on your Mac are valuable and your backup scheme is hit and miss, sooner or later everything you’ve stored for years could go bump in the night, and DiskWarrior may be your only recourse.”

Read more in the full article here.

34 Comments

  1. For such a short article, it sure offers a wealth of typos and factual errors.

    Some questions:
    • Can you really buy an 8 GB disk for 3.3¢/GB? That’s amazing. I’d love to buy a disk for $0.26.
    • Did they really call defragmenting “defraying?” I must have missed that.

    But at least it’s also extremely light on details.

    1. Also, Disk Warrior was NEVER about defragmenting data on a hard drive. It was about optimizing (and repairing when needed) the disk directory. The disk directory is the key portion of the hard drive that keeps track of the location of all the data files on the hard drive. It always did that one job MUCH better than any other Mac utility.

      It’s also NOT a “data recovery” utility that scavenges your hard drive for files, after you accidentally reformatted the drive. If you erase the drive, the disk directory data is no longer there, so Disk Warrior cannot repair it. When it comes in very handy is when the disk directory of a drive becomes corrupted, so the drive’s volume does not mount. In that case, Disk Warrior finds the existing disk directory and attempts to “rebuild” it into a working state, so that you can mount the volume again.

      I recall a case when Disk Warrior was NOT able to fix a problem with my external drive’s volume. Even then, Disk Warrior showed me a “preview” of the volume in a Finder window, and I was able to copy off the recoverable data to another drive. So even when it failed, it actually succeeded.

      NOTE: The price is 50% off, if you owned ANY previous version of Disk Warrior and have the serial number. As an upgrade, it’s $60 to get the latest version on a bootable USB flash drive.

  2. “your backup scheme is hit and miss”

    Perhaps you should address this issue before plunking down $120 for a recovery utility. Disk Warrior is indeed a great program, but backups are even better. Much wiser to spend that $120 on an external disk drive and make a complete backup than it is to try and recover data from a corrupted disk.

    And, FWIW, Disk Warrior won’t help that much if the problem is with the disk drive itself. Most of my disk failures over the past couple of years have been of the variety of the disk controller no longer recognizing the drive. Disk Warrior won’t help you if the disk can’t be read at all.

    1. What if your file system gets corrupted and you need files that were created since your last backup? You would be SOL with your backup and no DiskWarrior. DiskWarrior addresses problems that a simple backup disk cannot. It can even find problems that you may not know exist.

    2. I’m a backup fanatic but each of my bootable backups has a copy of DW on it. It’s much faster to repair a disk than to restore from a backup. I’ve been using DW since system 7 days and it’s a must have in any Mac user’s toolbox along with a new favorite, Scannerz.

  3. DW, it’s a solid tool without a doubt. It’s a buy in my book. I’ve used it for years to clear away underlying issues or suspicsions of a drive to solve problems that seem unusual. And yes, when a drive is mechanically failing, a backup is your final and best option. Don’t misinterpret the article.

  4. DiskWarrior was a favorite utility of mine back from about OS7-9 – saved my hide an a couple of occasions. Prior to that (and even during, at times), Apple’s own Disk First Aid was the tool of choice, and I still say is in fact the most powerful ever. I realize it is exempted for not working still today, but still…

    Sure, backup is better. But sometimes things crash without warning you to backup first. Good to know DiskWarrior is still around. (Better to know I haven’t needed such in ages!)

    1. Which is why you should be running TimeMachine to an external drive and using an off-site backup service. That’s a better investment IMO than a $120 tool which may or may not be able to recover files from your damaged hard drive. Useful tool, yes, but not for the everyday user. Backups are much better.

  5. ok, if you think a “tool” called Clean-My-Mac is not a huge threat to your system integrity, if you believe Windows 8 is just great, if your Phone OS is called Android, then you definitely need this crap.

    Call  and ask for assistance if you or your harddisk hickup.

  6. DiskWarrior is excellent. It has regularly cleaned up my hard drives. BUT the price is disturbing.

    There are other disk utilities that do the same things and MORE for less money. My current faves are TechTool Pro and DiskTools Pro. (I’m reluctant to recommend Drive Genius as version 3 has been profoundly flaky since day one. But there is a new version 4 just out today, which I may check out).

    1. In reply to most of the above posts:

      The #1 Rule of Computing is:
      MAKE A BACKUP!
      1) Local backup
      AND
      2) Off site backup (cloud backups qualify)

      Why?
      – Security
      – Retrieval
      – Restoration
      – All drives eventually DIE. Be prepared.

      Nothing is more important than backup up. If you don’t back up, no sympathy for the consequences. You deserve them.

      1. Cloud backups do not qualify, because no cloud service actually guarantees your data integrity or privacy, including iCloud. Subscription-based computing is just not the answer. Miss your monthly payment and kiss your data goodbye. In the long run, it is far cheaper and safer to own your own hard drives & NAS boxes.

        1. Well, kind of sort of.

          There are such things as ‘Trust No One’ cloud services. They use client-side encryption, meaning the service can’t read the data. I use Backblaze at less that $5 a month. Others are SpiderOak and Arq (although Arq is simply software that puts encrypted data up on Amazon’s servers).

          For free services, unencrypted, I have 50 GB over at Box.net. It’s stuff I collect for research that the feds can have for all I care. I have over 5 GB over at DropBox because of referrals. My critical data over there is held in an encrypted Sparse Bundle the feds will concuss themselves over.

          I’d personally love an NAS box. But it’s best to have it OFF site. At least one backup should be off site in case your place burns down, the feds come to get your computers, etc. :mrgreen:

    2. Actually, there are other utilities that do more things, but not one of the other utilities does the one thing that Diskwarrior does exceptionally well, using the same technique. And THAT is to maintain (optimize) and repair (when needed) the disk directory. TechTool Pro and Drive Genius are an excellent utilities, but they did not fixed a “disk not mounting” problem that Diskwarrior fixed in mere minutes. It was like DiskWarrior used some “magic.” And that is the problem that most often comes up, not a situation where I need to check the RAM or video card, or defrag the hard drive.

      And if you already own a license, the upgrade cost is $60 (which includes the bootable flash drive).

  7. So glad to have the update. DW is invaluable. Relied on it for many years and it has resurrected numerous hard drives that Disk Utility couldn’t help.

    In fact, I would say that you can’t call yourself a true Mac “guru” unless you have this tool in your toolbox. In my experience, it’s the disk repair tool that separates the men from the boys when it comes to Mac troubleshooting. I love that feeling of coming to the aid of a frantic friend with a Mac that won’t boot. I just put their Mac into target disk mode (Option-T at boot) and then run DW on my Macbook Pro to repair their internal drive. Magic!

    1. This is by far the most effective tool I’ve ever had in my arsenal. Yes, back up, back up, maintain, clean, but DW has brought back drives back from the dead that every other utility (and fellow tech) had given up on. Apple products are worth the money. So is this. I’m getting the new version. Heartily recommended.

  8. I’ve used Diskwarrior for years. Fortunately, as the years pass, I’ve needed it less frequently. But know this: the Diskwarrior disk cannot boot the computer (thanks Apple) like it could in the old days. So I have Diskwarrior installed on my internal HD, and therefore it is also on my backup disk thanks to Carbon Copy Cloner. Several months ago, my mid-2012 15″ MacBook Pro would not fully boot. Diskwarrior, on the backup drive, repaired the problem. Diskwarrior can and will repair problems that Disk Utility says cannot be repaired. I’ve seen it many times in my working life. Not as frequently, yes, but when you cannot boot, you suddenly will find yourself wishing you had Diskwarrior, screw the expense. Best tool out there.

  9. I’ve used DW forever.

    Its been a great tool. But lately, ever since I switched to SSD drives and Apple Journaling, I don’t think its found much of anything. Sure, maybe a free space error is meaningful but all the rest of the errors are trivial.

    I of course run multiple backups. So its value is limited. $100+ dollars, no a chance. Maybe $20 on the AppStore.

  10. Been using for over 10 years…saved me a few times including 2 especially mission critical situations: a dissertation going to publication and a friends wedding pictures (for a client). I must admit its also very satisfying for occasional tunes ups when you run it and it finds a “major problem” (bold, in red and you fix it! hopefully there will be a break on the upgrade price…

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