Recover My Files data recovery quick start

Recover My Files data recovery quick start guide

Recover Drive

The Recover Drive search is best used when:

  • a drive has been formatted;
  • a drive has been formatted and windows has been reinstalled;
  • a Windows recovery or system restore has resulted in a fresh installation of Windows and the previous user created files are missing;
  • a drive letter has gone missing;
  • the drive is recognized by your PC as RAW and not files can be read;
  • or some other problem has effected the entire contents of the drive.

Click the Recover Drive button, then click the Next button.

Selecting the disk for data recovery

The next wizard screen performs a scan to identify the devices (hard drives, digital camera, USB drive etc) that are connected to your computer. Select the device you wish to search by clicking it with you mouse to high-light it.

Drive Recovery

When running a “Recover Drive” it is usually best to select and search the entire “Hard Disk”.

Look for the “hard disk” which is the size of your problem drive (“Hard Disk 0” is usually where the C: drive is located, a secondary drive is “Hard Disk 1”, etc).

When you perform a recovery on a hard disk, you are telling Recover My Files to ignore any partitions (drive letters) that are found on the disk, and treat the entire drive as a single block of data. In many cases this is the best way to undelete all possible files and get data back. (Note: by searching the physical drive, Recover My Files will also find and display existing files which have not been deleted or lost).

“Automatic drive recovery. (Recommended)”

During an automatic drive recovery, certain pre-selected file types are used to assist in locating the missing file system. Recover My Files searches for these file types by locating the header / structure and footer and then uses the information found to help pinpoint the missing file system. These files are called “Lost Files”.

In Automatic mode, the pre-selected Lost Files types are Avi, EXE, iTunes, Jpeg, Microsoft Excel and Word and Zip files.

“Drive recovery using selected file types”

This option allows the user to manually select the file types to assist in locating the missing Filesystem.

It is suggested that you only use this option to change the pre-selected file types if you do not have any of the pre-selected file types on the problem disk. For example, if the problem drive had only HTML files on it, it would be necessary to select the HTML file type.

In most cases the common pre-selected file types will be adequate and additional file type selections will NOT be required to locate the entire file and folder structure containing all files.

You may consider adding it to the list if you have a specific file type that is essential to recover. The benefit of adding a file types is that in addition to helping locate the file system, you are simultaneously searching for the Lost File type by looking for its header, structure and footer. If the file system has been destroyed and cannot be recovered, you may still find the important file as a Lost File. However, be aware that adding file types will slow down the search. We suggest that you do not select more than 10 file types at any time.

Search Phase 1 – Partition Recovery

Phase 1: of the search attempts to locate and rebuild then entire lost partitions. Partition recovery should take between 1 – 45 minutes to complete (depending on the size of the drive, the number of files that it contains and the speed of the computer / drive). Learn about steps within phase 1 – partition recovery.

If partitions are located and can be recovered, all of the missing folders and files structure will be displayed under “Folder” view at the end of Search Phase 1 (in order to find and display the full file and folder structure, it is necessary that the search be allowed to fully complete this phase).

A recovered partition is shown in “Folder” view of the results screen as:

Whilst the search is in progress, expand the recovered partition (using the ‘+’) to determine if your missing files have been located. If they partition was found and you can click on your missing files and preview their content, STOP the search and save your files.

Search Phase 2 – Searching for File System records using selected file types

Phase 2 of the search will automatically commence. Phase 2 uses the selected file types to help locate the missing Filesystem records (the file and folder structure) on the drive. The number of file system records found is displayed in the progress bar. Each Filesystem Record represents a file with its full file and folder name.

If you are in a hurry to recovery your data:

When the number of “Filesystem Records:” found reaches a high number (an average home computer has between 50,000 and 150,000 Filesystem records), stops increasing, and remains constant, it means the file system records located have been read. On your average home PC you should reach this point within 2 hours of searching. You can press the STOP button (note down the ‘block’ number that the search is up to in case you wish to recommence the search at a later time);

or, if time is not a concern to you, let the search run to the end.

Once you have stopped the search, or the search finishes, the search results will build and display in “Folder” view of the results screen as a “Virtual Partition”. Expand the search results (using the ‘+’) to determine if your missing files have been located.

Recover My Files download instructions

Current Version:

  1. Click the download button to begin the download.
  2. If possible, save then install the Recover My Files installation program on a drive other than the one on which your files were lost.
  3. Run Recover My Files, search your drive and preview the files found in the results screen.



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