The following are some frequently asked questions about scan results and tips for solving them.

Why didn’t the file I need show up after a scan?

There are a number of reasons that you might not see the files you need — or any files at all — after a scan. As we’ve said before, file recovery requires luck. There are never any guarantees. It’s possible that the files were overwritten and are no longer available for recovery. Read our article on Variables that Impact Recovery Chances to get a better understanding of why files might not be found.

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However, it’s equally possible that you haven’t used Disk Drill to its fullest potential yet. Try the following trouble-shooting tips:

  1. Note that Deep Scan does not recover files with their file names intact. The file you need may be in the list, but you don’t recognize it because it has been given a name like “file123.doc” or “180×600.jpg”. Try to filter the results by file type, date and size and then preview each file by clicking the “eye” icon next to the name to see if it is the file you need. Do not search by keyword, as that does not work with Deep Scan results.
  2. If you are trying to recover a specific file type, check What File Types Can Disk Drill Recover? to ensure that Deep Scan supports that particular type. If the file type isn’t supported, contact us to request it.
  3. Check that you have followed all the steps recommended in our tutorial How To Recover Lost Files with Disk Drill Basic.
  4. If you selected a specific recovery method from the Recover drop-down menu, (such as Quick Scan), go back and click the drop-down arrow on the Recover/Continue button and select Run All Recovery Methods. This will allow Disk Drill to scan with all available methods. Click Yes when you get the warning message.
  5. If you selected a specific partition for scanning, select the entire disk instead and click Recover. This will allow Disk Drill to scan the entire disk instead of just one partition.

Why can’t I see a Preview of some files such as ZIP, RAR, DMG and CSV?

Some types of files require a Quick Look plugin. Disk Drill previews files using your Mac’s Quick Look function. To test, use Quick Look on a healthy (non-lost) file of the same type on your Mac. Does it look the same as the one you are previewing in Disk Drill? If yes, you might need a plugin. If no, the file is probably corrupted.

To find a plugin, visit and do a search for the file type you are trying to view. Install the plug-in using these instructions and then try previewing the files again.

There are a few file types that do not have plugins to enable their preview. If you cannot find a plugin, then you will have to decide if you want to gamble and upgrade to Disk Drill PRO to find out if it’s recoverable, as we are unable to warrant the files that cannot be previewed before the actual recovery.

Read on to find out how DMG files can be previewed.

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Why can’t I open some recovered files?

The sad fact of the matter is that some recovered files are corrupt. Disk Drill does its best to the collect the pieces of a file and reassemble it, but sometimes it just doesn’t work. A piece of the file may have been overwritten or resided in a section of the disk with bad sectors. When a file is missing a part, it is called “corrupt” and often it will not open in its native application.

The possibility of corruption is why we instruct users to use the Preview function before recovering files in our tutorial How to Recover Lost Files with Disk Drill Basic. Previewing the whole file — in its entirety — is the only way to be sure that a file has all its pieces.

If you have a corrupt file, it may be repairable, or you might be able to open it with another program. Do a Google search for “repair corrupt file” plus the application name or file type, such as “repair corrupt Microsoft Word file”. You may find something that works. Also, if some of your recovered files have a CFB file extension, you can try renaming them.

.updated: June 3, 2021 author: Robert Agar