Review – DiskWarrior 1.0.2

Disk Warrior Picture

DiskWarrior 1.0.2
Company: Alsoft, Inc.
Estimated Price: $69.95

Owning a computer has its ups and downs, guaranteed. While the ups usually outweigh the downs, bad things do happen. Losing your hard disk containing all of your important files, applications, and other data certainly is no fun. What’s more, if you don’t have a backup, and utilities such as Apple’s Disk First Aid or Norton Utilities are unable to resurrect your disk, your data could be gone forever.

The reason Norton Utilities and Disk First Aid occasionally have problems repairing your disk is because the directory catalog is damaged. These tools attempt to repair a directory by patching over directory data, essentially deleting it and making the disk harder to recover. Fortunately, Alsoft’s DiskWarrior focuses solely on directories, looking at existing catalog data, collecting additional information the OS has stored elsewhere on the disk, and creates an entirely new catalog from all the information it has collected.

Since DiskWarrior creates a new directory catalog from all the information it collects, it can actually recover deleted files in addition to repairing disks. Moreover, if your directory is healthy to begin with, DiskWarrior will provide a noticeable speed increase, since the Mac OS can search clean, organized directories much faster than scattered ones.

The Interface
DiskWarrior is perhaps the easiest program you have ever used, period. There are no preferences to set, no options to skip, no “advanced” tests to do. You simply select what disk you want to run DiskWarrior on, and click “Rebuild.” DiskWarrior is much faster than other disk utilities, and it will fix all types of disks: hard disks, Zip disks, floppies, both in Mac OS Standard (HFS) and Mac OS Extended (HFS+) formats. After clicking rebuild, disk warrior will run through 10 steps including rebuilding the new directory. Once the new directory is created, you can use DiskWarrior’s preview mode, to “preview” what the disk will look like in the Finder. If you don’t want to preview the disk, you simply click “Replace,” and DiskWarrior will replace your existing directory, fixing any existing problems and preventing future data loss.

The Proof
While DiskWarrior claims it can repair your disks, the real test is using it to recover real damaged directories. Being a Macintosh technician at my university, I’m exposed to lots of computer problems. The first time I ever saw DiskWarrior in action is what made me a believer in this product:

The Machine: PowerBook 3400/240
The Scenario: The person had told me that they had experienced a typical system lock-up (frozen mouse pointer) the night before. When they turned the computer on the next morning, they got the blinking question mark. After starting up off of the Norton Utilities 4.0 CD, and attempting to repair it with Norton Disk Doctor, the disk was still not mountable, and Norton wanted a “FileSaver” file to repair the disk. Other disk repair utilities were used to no avail. I declared the disk “gone,’ and prepared to re-initialize.

That’s when one of my colleagues brought their DiskWarrior CD in. I started up off the CD, it recognized the unmountable disk, rebuilt the directory, and recovered the disk! The disk was fully bootable, and files that had been deleted more than a week before were now recovered.

The second time I had to use DiskWarrior, it was on a machine in our Macintosh classroom:

The Machine: Power Computing PowerTower Pro 225
The Scenario: The situation was similar to the previous one, however this disk was mountable, but not bootable. Running DiskWarrior again fixed the problem.

DiskWarrior is available from Alsoft’s website at for $69.00. You can order it on-line and download it, or you can choose to have the CD sent to you. DiskWarrior requires a 68020 and Mac OS 7.1 or higher for Mac OS Standard (HFS) disks, and a 68040 or PowerPC for Mac OS Extended (HFS+) disks. The DiskWarrior CD is bootable, and will allow you to repair your startup disk by booting off the CD.

The Summary
Alsoft’s Disk Warrior is unlike anything I have ever seen. It offers the safest, most powerful disk recovery protection on the market today. What’s more, it fixed real world disk crashes, not laboratory-simulated ones. With an amazingly simple interface, and unsurpassed repair capability, DiskWarrior is perhaps the only disk repair utility you will ever need.

If you have ever lost a disk full of data because you didn’t have a backup, you know the feeling, and you know why you need DiskWarrior. My recommendation is to buy DiskWarrior today. It will fix a damaged disk, and will make a healthier one even better, optimizing it and preventing further damage. If you only buy one piece of software this year, buy DiskWarrior. You won’t regret it. Highly Recommended by My Mac Magazine.

MacMice Rating: 5

Adam Karneboge

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