New User – General Operating Instructions – Initial Setup

Disk Drill for Mac and Windows – Help Center Forums Recovery Vault New User – General Operating Instructions – Initial Setup

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  CleverFiles Team 2 years, 4 months ago.

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    Hello, ok so I am new to Disk Drill, and I am trying to set up GR and RV for the first time for my mac internal drive (El Capitan) and many externals with many partitions. I am a web designer and developer and so I have a massive amount of data I need to make sure is being protected properly, while minimizing the amount of data saved as much as possible, otherwise to just blanket save everything would be pointless as I would run out of disk space way to fast nothing of any real value would end up not being saved – – and I just can’t risk that…so I have a few questions on my initial set up.

    1) With GR protected folders, is the data protected twice, once from being removed from a protected folder (to anywhere else) and then again if it is moved to and deleted from the trash, or is it saying a protected folder is only protected IF DATA IS MOVED FROM IT TO THE TRASH ONLY?

    2) Say I have a myDocuments folder, can I add the folders I want to protect, and then mask the root folder */myDocuments/* , this way I have less to mask? Or do I HAVE TO add the root folder (protect myDocuments folder), and mask every subfolder I don’t want? (I have more subfolders I don’t want monitored than ones I do, If I do the first option, I am thinking I can save myself less I won’t have to remember to mask every unimportant folder I ever make in there, allowing me to only have to add really important ones as they happen…

    3) If I protect my external drives with GR, (kinda goes along with question 1 above), are my files recovered twice? Once on my internal trash and once keeping protected data on the external drive itself? So confused…so if GR default is to protect externals going to the internal trash volume, what would be the use case for adding GR on an external, and then also adding protected folders and masks for these drives as well? Does GR on an external volume cover data moved to another volume on protected folders or just moved to the internal trash only??

    Thanks so much.


    Dear Halome,

    Thanks a lot for such a detailed insight into your scenario of using Disk Drill’s protection methods. All you need to know to properly setup Guaranteed Recovery is the fact that it protects files in the folders you add into it. Once a file is deleted, it will disappear from that folder but will secretly stay on your hard drive via a hard link. Once you want to recover it, Disk Drill does it for you. You should configure the restrictions to prevent your hard drive from running out of space. This will let you keep only the most recent deletions in recoverable state. There’s nothing that can be “recovered twice”.

    Hope this helps.



    Hum, thanks for your response, but I was hoping for something a little more detailed. I get that I can just add the folders I need, so ok, cool to that one, less masking to do etc.. but as far as being “recovered twice”, sorry, what I meant by that and was trying to say is, since disk drill is holding a complete copy of each file, if I turn on GR on my external drive folders, will the copy of the files being saved for restoration be stored on the external HD space or on my internal macs HD space…, and also since the default is that Disk Drill automatically protects files on external volumes when internal HD GR is turned on (read that somewhere), will turning GR on, on my externals separately save these protected full copies of files in both places, (therefore using double the storage capacity – and running out sooner than i would need to) ie, once on my internal HD and another time on my external drive? And also I am concerned about how GR works when transferring files, or moving files from one location to another. In the documentation, I read somewhere that GR only protects files when moved to and then deleted from the trash, but then somewhere else talks about how sometimes files won’t be saved if it bypasses the trash or is transferred to a different volume etc…and also that the terminology being used says it protects files from the trash but we can add more folders to be protected — meaning what? How is adding these folders protecting any more or differently than the default? Also, if we do not add any folder to the protected folders area, is the entire volume (Internal HD, as well as externals) protected from trash deletion? or is nothing protected until we actually add a folder? Also, is there a further importance filter GR uses if we add a protected folder… ie for example, if default is to blanket cover everything and then we add folder xyz to GR does that tell disk Drill to save this folder more so than say a default data residing in a non protected folder (only protected by default and not specified as a separate added protected folder) , that way as disk drill needs to determine which files to get rid of when it comes time to make space, will these files in the protected folders be saved or given a more importance so that other data will be deleted and then only these protected folder data will be deleted last? Sorry, trying to explain myself better…does these questions make any more sense?

    thank you…

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 5 months ago by  halome.


    Sorry to sound like such a major nutcase, it’s just that a few years back I took a really bad data loss, which I am still feeling today, and I am just trying really hard to find a new stable process that will help to make that never happen ever again. So thank you for your patience and helping me understand how disk drill works better…


    Hi again, here are a few rules that might be helpful when setting up Guaranteed Recovery and Recovery Vault in Disk Drill.

    1 – If you are copying files from one protected folder to another one, there will be 2 protected files in both locations as a result.

    2 – If you are moving files from one protected location to the other one, only one file will exist. There will be a hard link created where the removed item resided. No waste of disk space. The same rule will be applied when data is moved from a protected folder to an unprotected one, except for the resulting copy will no longer be protected.

    3 – Note: protection will not save previous versions of your files; meaning if you alter protected files, or overwrite them with something without deleting them in the first place, protection will not restore the previous copies of those files.

    4 – Make sure you have enough available disk space for Guaranteed Recovery to work properly.

    5 – If you protected the whole disk, all newly created folders will be automatically protected. If you protected selected folders only, all new subfolders inside of them will also be protected.

    All this will only work within the same protected disk, unless you have enabled Disk Drill protection on all your disks. Does this help?

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