By: MiniTool Software Limited
MiniTool is a software company with a range of storage based software. Its software products are classified as Partition software, Data Recovery Software, Mobile Recovery software, and Backup software.
MiniTool’s professional data recovery software for Windows is called MiniTool Power Data Recovery. The latest version of the software is version 8.5, which is compatible with Windows 10/8/XP/Vista. This version comes with a few bug fixes from v8 but no significant changes to UI or performance.
It can be used to recover data from internal hard drives, removable hard drives, flash drives, CD/DVD drives, pen drives, SSD cards, camcorders, and other digital storage. It supports FAT12, FAT16, FAT32, VFAT, NTFS, NTFS5, ISO9660, Joliet, and UDF file systems.
It offers four types of licenses each for home and business users – in total, eight licenses with varying degree of access rights. There is also a free license version with a data recovery limit of 1 GB.
Other licenses come with unlimited data recovery and added features like an option to load previous scan results (directly or manually) and many more.
Many of us have faced a problem when our PCs, mobile, or other devices get corrupted, and we are forced to format the entire device. It is advisable to keep backup of relevant data, but it too has storage limitations.
So, in case you lose your data due to hardware malfunction, or one of your colleagues or nephews permanently deleted an important file, data recovery software will aid you to recover, at least a part of your data.
Data recovery is possible because in case of HDD storages when you delete a file, the CPU simply labels that file to hide it from the OS, and it lays dormant in the storage over time and eventually gets overwritten by new files, thus becoming irrecoverable.
So, if it’s not late enough, you will be able to scan into the annals of your hard-drive or removable memory and recover what you are looking for using a data recovery software.
It is difficult to recover data from SSD storage and needs access to some advanced techniques. Nonetheless, there are many data recovery tools, including some free versions that provide SSD recovery options.
The main difference between many data recovery tools available for various operating systems and storage modules is the code or algorithm they use to scan the drives. There are many software with in-depth scan features that will allow you to recover files which others might not.
Here we describe and review MiniTool Power Data Recovery software for Windows. There is also a Mac version available, but the UI and results should not show considerable variation from its Windows version.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery makes the data recovery a simple three-step function. The process to recover files, folders, partitions, or entire drives is similar and simple:
The free license of MiniTool Power Data Recovery software limits recovery file size to 1 GB. This is enough for finding mistakenly deleted files, or an inaccessible pen drive, etc. But if you plan to recover the entire hard drives, opt for appropriate license plan, and use another hard drive to store the recovered data.
To begin your journey of recovering deleted/lost/inaccessible data, first of all, visit MiniTool’s website, find the download link, and download the MiniTool Power Data Recovery software. Follow the simple steps shown by the Install Wizard, accept the terms, and Finish to install.
Upon installation, you will be greeted with MiniTool Power Data Recovery software home screen. Now you are ready to begin your data recovery journey.
Before you can gain complete access to all data recovery tools, click the Register link on the top right of the home screen.
This opens the Registration dialog box pop-up window, where you must enter the registration code/key you have received via email upon purchase of MiniTool Power Data Recovery software.
If not, click on the Buy Now link to purchase a trial or paid license and you’ll receive the registration key via your registered email ID. Just copy and paste the key in the requisite text box, and click OK on the pop-up “Thank You” prompt, and you’re good to go.
Shown below is the home screen of the MiniTool Power Data Recovery software client’s home screen.
As can be seen, the interface is clean and looks like any other Windows OS window.
On the left pane are some storage media options from which to choose to recover data. These options are This PC, Removable Disk Drive, Hard Disk Drive, CD/DVD Drive.
The main window pane shows Recovery Result and Drive options related to the storage module selected in the left pane.
Under the Recovery Result options are the results of previous scans if any and Load Manually option.
You can select from previous scan results in case you want to recover something you might have discovered during the last scan but forgotten to redeem or strategically decided not to.
Using the Load Manually option, you can upload any of the older scan results saved in .RSS format.
Below Recovery Result options is the Logical Drive section listing the logical partitions if any of the whole system(PC), or the selected storage media. Under This PC tab, the Logical Drives section lists user-defined partitions like C:, D:, E: drives, and System Reserved portions.
User must select to scan any of the listed storage sections. If the data, you wish to recover resides in the C: drive partition of the Hard Disk Drive, select C: drive under This PC tab to scan.
In case of a corrupted hard drive or storage, the lost portion or partitions are listed separately under Lost Partitions section under This PC. If not, the user can choose to scan the entire hard drive containing the inaccessible partition from under the Hard Disk Drive tab.
Choose the appropriate options from the Recovery Result or Drive sections, and click on Load or Scan button in the bottom right to begin the scanning process.
Another important option on the home screen is that of scan settings. To define or alter the scan settings to find the desired files to recover, click on the Settings button right next to the Load/Scan button.
This opens up the Scan Settings dialog box with options to choose from supported file systems to scan and check which file types to include to for Extra search, and an option to check whether to show current search results while the scan is in progress.
Choosing the appropriate scan settings will make it easy to search for particular files you wish to recover.
The top-right section of the title bar has some important links, the forerunner among which is the link to the Bootable edition of MiniTool Data Recovery software. There also is the Bootable Media button at the bottom left which too like the taskbar link above, redirects to the website to upgrade to the Bootable edition.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery Bootable Edition is for data recovery in case the computer can’t boot properly due to hard drive corruption. The snap-in MiniTool Bootable Media Builder helps you by providing a WinPE based bootable USB drive or CD/DVD boot disk quickly.
MiniTool Bootable Media Builder is only available with Deluxe or higher licenses.
Other icons and links on the home screen are Support, Buy, and Register icons on the top left of the title bar. Right next to these icons is the More drop-down menu with options for language, online support, and more.
To test the MiniTool Power Data Recovery software, we copied some data into the E: drive partition of our internal hard drive and intentionally deleted files of different formats to recover.
Shown above is the Results window showing partial results of the scan so far. The top bar shows the progress in terms of the percentage of total storage space scanned and estimated time to complete the scan. Right next to the progress bar are the options to pause or stop the scan. Below it is the suggestion text stating to wait till the scan is complete for best results.
As the scan results are updated as the scan progress, you can browse through the results obtained so far to search the desired files by pausing the scan, or stop the scan entirely if you are sure that you’ve found what you were looking for and don’t need to look any further.
The scan process takes its due time, and one needs to be a little patient. Our drive size was close to 2 GB and yet the estimated scan time was nearly forty minutes, which was the same when we tried scanning other hard disk drive partition with more filled storage.
The scan time depends on the drive’s file structure, size, and organization. MiniTool Power Data Recovery’s scan was a little slower than some other recovery tools, but one must consider that it deep scans every storage module.
There are no scan options like quick scan or deep scan to choose if you want to just briskly and quickly scan the selected storage or dig deeper.
It does not seem reasonable to scan the entire hard drive partition when you are looking for specific files, say your lost vacation photos.
Although it would be best to allow scanning the specific folders or directories within the storage, a quick scan would also have been a good option.
As the software suggests, it is in your best interest to wait until the scan is complete before beginning to browse the search results to find the desired files. Although, you can start browsing through the results midway also.
Right below the top scan progress tab is the Results window with three major sections – Browse/Find section, Results section, and Preview section.
The first vertical section to the left has two toggle tabs named Path and Type. By default, you are shown the contents under the Path tab, which shows the search results in directory tree-like form.
The results are divided into chosen drive’s existing partitions with constituent folders, More Lost Files folder, and RAW files from the inaccessible portion of the storage.
You can expand the drive partitions, constituent folders including Lost Files folders including $Dir, and RAW files in the Browse section to show its constituent folders and files.
Selecting a particular partition or folder shows its contents in the Results pane. For example, in below image Results pane show the contents of the deleted Content2 folder.
Apart from browsing by path of the desired file, another option is to browse by file type. It is helpful to locate desired files if you’re looking for a specific type of files like documents, graphics, and images, archive files, audio & video, or others like email and program files.
You may expand the type of files to show the available formats and select a particular format to list those specific files in the Results pane. Each listed type and format name shows the total no. of results of that particular type or format in parenthesis next to its label.
Displayed above are the scan results for .jpg image files in our selected storage drive. There are total 541 lost, deleted or corrupted .jpg images found listed in the Results pane.
Each file icon listed in the Results pane shows a legend describing whether it’s a deleted, lost, RAW, or one of the system files.
There are a few browsing options in the menu bar of the MiniTool Power Data Recovery software’s Results window. First among these is the Show Lost Files option which shows the Lost Files, and More Lost Files folders with $Dir folders, if hidden and adds a Lost Files tab to the Browse section.
This can help to find lost data in case of accidental formatting or corruption of storage. It might not show the files’ original names and the recoverable quality will also be degraded from the original lost data.
Another option is to search the requisite file or folder using the Find option. It has an option to search by file name and apply criteria like match word and match case in case you vaguely or perfectly remember the file name.
Another option is to filter out the results using the Filter option in the main menu. It opens up an Advanced Filter dialog box pop-up with filter opens based on file type, size, a range of creation and modification date, and checkbox options to show deleted, lost, and normal files.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery software provides a preview option to check out the files you wish to restore. It helps to make sure if the data in the restored files will be legible and accessible or not.
Select a particular file or folder to preview, and the Preview section which is the third vertical section in the Results window will show its details like name, size, and creation and modification dates if available. In case you select an entire folder, it shows details by default for the first file in the folder.
There is also a preview button in the Preview section and one in the menu options to preview the selected file. The first time preview a file, you will meet a prompt asking to download the previewer it is not available with your license.
It only takes a few moments to download and supports a variety of file formats. You can use the mouse scroll to zoom in and out of the previewer window.
After being satisfied with the preview, click on the Save button on the bottom right of the Results window to restore the lost, deleted, corrupted or inaccessible files.
This opens up the Save file dialog box to mention the path where to save the file. It prompts a recommendation not to save files to their previous destination to prevent their overwriting.
You can browse through to specify where to save the file or choose to enter the path manually. You can choose to cancel restoration files before completion of the saving process. Upon completion of the restoration, you’re greeted with a congratulations message and link to MiniTool’s backup software to back up your files.
The selected files and folders get saved to the location of your choosing with name and quality same as that shown under preview.
It is advisable to directly save or copy these results in removable storages like removable hard drives, or pen drives, or back them up using any cloud-based storage after saving to a different drive location.
MiniTool Power Data Recovery also provides an option to Export the Scan Results.
Just click the Export Scan Result option in the Results Window’s main menu bar and specify the location to save the scan results. It is advisable to save the scan results in a separate drive, or removable media and not the one scanned to avoid data loss.
These saved scan results can then be loaded in the future using the Manually Load Results feature of MiniTool Power Data Recovery software.
We just tested the Power Data Recovery software to recover deleted files from internal HDD and were able to recover all of the deleted files.
Using appropriate scan modules like Removable Disk Drive, and CD/DVD Drive, it is possible to scan formatted pen drives, SD cards, DVDs, CDs, etc.
We searched the web and other sources to find user reviews regarding the MiniTool Power Data Recovery tool’s performance with regards to the aforementioned media storages.
Barring a few reviews stating issues with scanning the formatted hard drives, and unavailability of some file types and low recovery stats in case of SD cards, the overall user opinions of the MiniTool Power Data recovery software are positive.
We think one should keep in mind that recovering lost data from disk drives or modern static semiconductor chips is a specialized sector in technology, and many companies or organizations pay huge amounts to data recovery professionals.
Most software data recovery tools available in the digital market are meant for different systems and storage modules, and although they provide features to scan and recover files from many sources, it is unwise to expect similar results with all modules.
That being said, as far as MiniTool Power Data Recovery’s performance is considered, it easily ranks in our Top 10 for data recovery software. We would not say it’s the best in class software, but it will get the job done in more cases than not.
Higher pricing for advanced licenses is one primary concern with MiniTool Power Data Recovery software.
Finally, all we will say is that you can for sure try the free version of MiniTool Power Data Recovery to recover deleted files or data from a corrupted or formatted USB drive or SD card. Considering long term personal and business use, if satisfied with the free trial, one can opt to purchase a suitable license from the available options if higher charges are not an issue.