Guaranteed Recovery is a Disk Drill feature that you can use to protect yourself from future data loss. Below you’ll find frequently asked questions about it. To learn how to enable and recover files with it, see How to Use Recovery Vault and Guaranteed Recovery.
What Is Guaranteed Recovery?
When Guaranteed Recovery (GR) is enabled, it monitors the Trash folder — plus any other folder you specify — of a particular drive or partition and makes a copy of any file you send to the Trash or specified folder.
By monitoring the Trash folder, it creates an “undelete recent” function, allowing you to quickly get your file back — even after you Empty Trash. It works quietly in the background, saving files for those “uh oh” moments.
If you are running OS 10.8 (Mountain Lion), GR now has the ability to monitor other folders as well, giving you the ability to make a backup copy of vital files anywhere on your drive. This is especially helpful since files can be lost due to reasons other than deletion. If you are running OS 10.7 (Lion) or below, you can monitor the Trash, but not other folders.
Keep in mind though, that GR only saves the file exactly as it was sent to the Trash, or other specified folder. (It does not save previous versions.) GR also needs a good amount of hard drive space to the store the files, though you can adjust how much space you wish to give it.
Why Should I Use Guaranteed Recovery?
When it comes to files on your Mac internal hard drive, Guaranteed Recovery is the absolute safest way to guarantee data recovery. While it does require allocating hard drive space, it is the only way you can be sure you can get your files back. All other Disk Drill methods of scanning and recovery can fail due to the original file data being overwritten by new data. GR is the only one that prevents this from happening. Even with a regular backup system in place, key changes to a file can still be made in between backup sessions and then lost. And if you use Time Machine, getting that last version from the Trash can be complicated.
How Is Guaranteed Recovery Different from Recovery Vault?
Recovery Vault saves the metadata of deleted files, but it does not save a copy of the file itself. While Recovery Vault greatly improves your chances of recovering a file, it does not guarantee it — the deleted files could be overwritten by new data and lost for good. The Recovery Vault footprint is fairly small and it does not require a lot of storage space. See Recovery Vault FAQs for more information.
Guaranteed Recovery actually saves a complete copy of the file, making it much more likely that the file can be successfully recovered (thus the name “Guaranteed”). By default, GR only monitors the Trash folder, but if you are running Mac OS 10.8, you can set it to monitor other folders as well. Guaranteed Recovery also takes up a lot more hard drive space, since you have to store all those copied files. The amount of storage space you allocate to it can be adjusted though.
What Are the Advanced Options for Guaranteed Recovery?
On the Protect screen, where it shows the protection status of each drive or partition, you will see two options:
Is Guaranteed Recovery Resource Hungry?
No, it is not particularly resource hungry. By default, it only monitors the Trash folder, so it is only active when it needs to make a copy of a deleted file. If you have set it to monitor another folder, it will be active whenever a file is saved to that folder.
What Kind of Drives Can I Protect with Guaranteed Recovery?
You can enable protection on any partition with an HFS+ file system. By default, only the Trash folder on these partitions are monitored. If you have GR enabled on your Mac’s internal hard drive, any file that you drag from an external hard drive to the Trash will be copied.
What Kind of Files Can I Protect with Guaranteed Recovery?
Guaranteed Recovery can protect any file type — it is not restricted to certain file types like Deep Scan recovery is.
Should I Protect a Time Machine Volume?
No. There is no need to enable Guaranteed Recovery for a Time Machine volume, and your system could experience slowdowns if you enable protection on it. If you have Time Machine on a partitioned drive, you can enable protection on the non-Time-Machine partitions, and just leave the Time Machine partition unprotected.
Why Didn’t a File I Deleted Show Up in Guaranteed Recovery?
There are a few reasons why a file might not show up:
How Is My Privacy Protected? Can I Use a Password?
One issue with Guaranteed Recovery is that it makes it easier for anyone who has access to your computer to recover your deleted files. If you wish to ensure your privacy, Disk Drill has a password option. Simply go to the menu bar and select Disk Drill > Preferences and then click on the Security tab. Enter your Master Password twice, and an email address that we can send your password to if you forgot it. (The email address is optional, but you will not be able to recover the password without it.) You do not need to click the Reset button — simply switch to another tab and your password will be saved. Once you have set the password, you will be asked for it every time Disk Drill is launched. If you need to change your password, go back to the Security tab, enter your new password twice and click Reset. If you forget your password (and you had entered a recovery email), click the “Forgot Password” button on the left when Disk Drill asks you for the password.