User Guide

Table of contents

Before you start
The user interface
The menu and tool bar
RAID Reconstruction
Wiping Data
Other options

Before you start

If you are trying to recover data from a removable media, you need to have the media in the drive before running FILERECOVERYŽ. Before running the program, make sure that you have administrator privileges. On PC, you may need to right click the program icon and Run As Administrator. On Mac, you will need to make sure your account has full Administrator privileges.

If you are recovering from a mobile device, such as a smart phone or a personal music device, make sure that it is connected and showing as a removable disk device before you run FILERECOVERYŽ.

Make sure that there is a disk in your system, or connected to your system, that has enough space to save the recovered data found during the recovery. If you need to add additional storage space to the system, make sure to do this before you run FILERECOVERYŽ.

Please turn off all unnecessary applications and peripherals on the system, and disable all power saving settings before you run FILERECOVERYŽ.  If you are on a laptop or other portable computer, make sure you have enough battery life to complete the operation. Connect to AC power if necessary to avoid interruptions in the recovery process.

The User Interface

The wizard-driven interface of FILERECOVERYŽ makes data recovery easy even for novice computer users. From the start, the interface will help you choose each step in the recovery process. Once you have selected your options, you are given an opportunity to change them before starting the recovery scanning process. Below, we will describe each interface screen in detail.

When you first start FILERECOVERYŽ, you click Continue, and the interface will help you choose each step in the recovery process.

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Choosing your Media: The first step in the recovery process is choosing the media that you are trying to recover data from. FILERECOVERYŽ has this broken out into five categories of media: Hard Drives, Memory Devices, Optical Media, Multimedia/Mobile Devices, and RAID Systems.


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Hard Drive: Internal hard disks and other mass storage devices such as external attached hard drives, SSD drives etc. NOTE: The disk device must be visible in the disk management utility on the system.

Memory Device: Thumb drives or other removable flash memory media such as SD, CF, etc, connected via USB, Firewire, or other media reader device. NOTE: The device must show as a removable disk, or a reader for the removable media must be used.

Optical Media: Recovers data from optical media such as CDR/RW, DVDR/RW, etc. NOTE: The device must show as an optical media on the system.

Multimedia/Mobile Device: Digital camera, MP3 player, smart phone etc. NOTE: The device must show as a removable disk, or a reader for the removable media must be used.

RAID System: Hardware or software controlled RAID0 and RAID5 systems. You can also use this option to reconstruct broken RAID systems for recovering data. Click here for more on RAID Reconstruction.


Selecting the Disk or Volume to Scan: On this screen, you select a disk or a volume that you want to recover data from. If your volume is not available, select the disk that did contain your volume. If you chose a RAID System in Step 1, you may also have the option to try to reconstruct a broken RAID.

The window will display a list of all accessible drives - both logical drives and physical drives - in your system.


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Disk: If you do not have a volume showing on your system, you choose the disk where the volume used to be, and then you can scan for lost volumes.

Volume: If the volume is already showing on the system, you can select and scan the volume for recovering lost or deleted files or folders.

RAID: Hardware or software controlled RAID0 and RAID5 systems. You can also use this option to reconstruct broken RAID systems for recovering data. Click here for more on RAID Reconstruction.


Choosing the Recovery Scenario: Once you have chosen the disk or volume that you are going to recover data from, you will need to choose what kind of recovery you want to perform on the drive. Choose a recovery scenario that best fits your data loss problem.

At the bottom of the screen is a details option where you can limit the scan to certain file systems or a RAW file scan. RAW file scans examine the drive and tries to locate files by file content and architecture. In cases where there are no other options for file system scanning, this can still recover usable data.

Sometimes, there can be thousands of orphaned items in a scan. In some scans, they are not useful data for the user, as the data is already corrupted (overwritten files). To help the user to reduce the amount of data/find his files easier, there is a Quick Scan option which is deactivated by default. In detail the quickscan does the following:

- In the Deleted File Recovery Scan: currently without function / added for future purposes
- In the Formatted Media Recovery: FAT/NTFS volumes, orphaned items will not be scanned/created
- In the Search Lost Volumes Scan: will search only on cylinder boundaries (on Windows machines). This is where missing volume information is most likely located. This speeds up the scan. If the volume cannot be found then unchecking this will scan block by block for volume information.

Explore Volume: Explore a good volume in an explorer-like interface. Choose this option to recover data from a good volume. No scanning is involved.

Deleted File Recovery: Find accidently deleted files or lost files by file contents. Choose this option, if you have deleted files from your recycle bin or if the formatted recovery cannot find your files. It scans unused blocks of a volume for file contents. On most file systems, it cannot recover the original file names.

Formatted Media Recovery: Recovers data from a formatted volume. It can also be used to recover lost files. This option takes more time in scanning but has better chances of recovery. It scans each and every block of a volume for lost file system structures.

Wipe Data: Securely deletes individual files or folders on a good volume so that they cannot be recovered anymore. WARNING: This data will no longer be recoverable after wiping. Be absolutely certain that you wish to eliminate this data from the system. Click here for more on wiping your data.

If you chose a disk instead of a volume in Step 2, then you will not have the option to Browse, since you are not choosing a volume that is showing on the system. You will be given the option to search that disk for lost volumes. This would be good for recovering volumes from a drive that has damaged file systems or deleted volumes. Again, you are given the option so limit the file systems you are searching for. Because this is a search for lost volumes, there is no RAW file system scan available.

When the scan for lost volumes is finished, you will be back at Step 2, where you are asked to select the volume to scan. If the program was able to locate a lost volume, then it will be displayed with a green icon.

Choose this drive and proceed as you would on a normal volume. You will be able to browse the volume, look for deleted files, and look for lost files. Then you can save them to another location on your system.


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Checking Your Selected Options: Once you have chosen the disk or volume that you are going to recover data from, and chosen the recovery method you are going to use, you will be given a preview of your choices. If you need to make any changes before starting the scan, you can click Go Back and change options on the previous screens.

If you are satisfied with your options that you have chosen, click Continue to begin the scan for your lost data.

Scanning: Depending on the size of your disk the scan process can take several hours! You can also choose to view the log messages in the scanning window if you need to do any troubleshooting of the scan.


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Saving Your Files: When the scan is finished, the data that was found will be displayed in a list of files and folders. In the example, you see that the deleted file scan found many files and they are displayed by the type of file. In most cases, deleted file data will not have the original file names as this is not typically recoverable.

If you're looking for files created by Microsoft Office 2007/2010, look under Applications in a folder named "zip-msword”, "zip-mspowerpoint”, or “zip-msexcel” because Office 2007/2010 documents are actually ZIP archives.

To save the data, you would select the files on the right side of the screen and click the save icon in the tool bar. To select multiple files either use the Shift key (to select several files in succession) or the Ctrl key (to select individual files) of your keyboard. If you wish to select all items in the file list, choose Select all from Edit menu.

Note: Most actions for recovering can be accessed from the popup-menu. This appears if your right click a selected file or directory.

A typical save dialog will be displayed, and you will be able to save your files into existing folders or create new ones.

Choose or create and choose the folder where you wish to save the data and click OK.

NOTE: Do not save files back to the same disk you are scanning. Always save the data to another location!


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E-Mail Recovery – This feature allows the user to view the selected e-mail database and shows both existing and deleted e-mails for printing or saving to hard disk.

1. Select the folder that contains your mail file, and choose your type of mail file (Outlook Express, Outlook, Eudora, Mozilla, Becky, or Windows Live Mail).

2. Choose a mailbox folder in the left tree view.

3. Choose a mail item in the list box.

4. Choose 'Save mail' to save the selected mail item or choose 'Print mail' to print the selected mail item.

The menu and tool bar

Below the program title there is the menu bar. Below the menu bar is the main tool bar for the program. Here are detailed descriptions of each menu and tool bar item.

Menu Bar


In the File menu, you can:

Refresh the disk list - rechecks the available disks on the system.
Save a report of the recovery - saves a report of the selected files, including attributes.
Exit - exists the program.

In the Edit menu, you can:

Choose to Select-All files during a save operation. You may also use the CTRL key to select or de-select individual files.

In the Search menu, you can:

In the Search menu, you can enable the "Fuzzy Search" for searching files and folders for a particular keyword. Fuzzy search is a more humanoid search mode. In a non-fuzzy search for 'planetary', the files 'protoplanet', or 'planet' do not match. However in fuzzy search they will.

Extras: The Extras menu allows you to:

Select Remote Recovery and change the program Options. For more information on the Remote Recovery, please go to the section on Remote Recovery. For more information on the Options, please go to the section on Options.

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Options: Clicking on the Options icon will take you to the Options screen. There, you can set the default options for the operation of the program.

Under the General tab, you can set the level of logging that will be reported in the frc_log.txt file with each run of the program. Because the log files can get big very quickly, it is recommended to use only the INFO logging level unless you are troubleshooting, and need more detail in the log.

The verbosity of the log level is ascending:

NONE: No log output
REPORT: only messages with report status will be logged. Log files are very small.
ERROR: all messages with lower level + messages with error status will be logged
WARNING: all messages with lower level + messages with warning status will be logged
INFO: default setting; all messages with lower level + messages with info status will be logged
DEBUG: all messages with lower level + messages with debug status will be logged. This setting shall be used for returning debug information to the developers.
DEBUG2: all messages with lower level + messages with highest debug status will be logged. Only for developer use. Large log files will be produced.

The General tab also allows you to enable Expert Mode. Expert Mode enables the advanced recovery features in the menus and allows access to these features. It is not recommended to set this mode unless you have worked with technical support on how to use these features. Incorrect use of some advanced features can result in data loss.

The Recovery tab allows you to enable filters to search only for certain file types. This feature can speed up a scan considerably - especially when searching in RAW file mode.

The Recovery tab also allows you limit the scan region on a drive. This is useful when trying to scan a drive that has a lot of problems such as unreadable regions or large areas of bad sectors. It can also be used to scan smaller portions of a drive to try and speed up the recovery. However, any limiting of the scan region will decrease the amount of data that is found, and is not generally recommended.


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The Recovery tab also allows you to skip the blocks used by the file system on the volume - only scanning "free space" on the drive.

There is also an option to set the maximum file size of a recovered file in the event that the actual file size cannot be determined. This must be set before the scan. To change the size of a file after the scan, you will need to right click the file and use the resize option.

Automatic file renaming for same filenames on save: Renames any files with same file name when saving (Example: samefile0.txt, samefile1.txt, samefile2.txt).

Detect deleted files in Formatted Scan: Activate this feature to also find deleted files in Formatted Scan on FAT volumes.

Collect only root items on Formatted Scan: This feature speeds up the Formatted Scan on NTFS volumes. On volumes where many parts of the file tree have been already deleted or overwritten by new data, the result tree can be empty or incomplete if this feature is activated. Check this option, if the program memory consumption on large NTFS volumes is too high in the Formatted Scan or the operating system shows an "out of memory" error message during the scan.

Ignore all errors during the scan: Forces the recovery scan engine to continue and not prompt for user messages if an error has occurred in an analyzer which typically would need feedback from the user.

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The Recovery Tab also provides the user bad block management options.

The program does not show any popup- error message when a bad block has been found, as this would stop the recovery process. The 'bad block management' module adds all bad blocks into the internal list if 'Automatically add bad blocks' is checked. Every time a bad block must be re-accessed it will be automatically skipped if 'Automatically skip list entries' is checked.

You can manually add bad blocks by typing the block range in the edit fields and select 'Add entry' on the right. Add a single bad block by setting the range start to the range end (i.e. block 16 to block 16).

If 'Fast bad block skipping' is checked and a read request falls within a bad block range, the whole read request will be skipped. i.e. if the read operation requests 8MB to read and 2 blocks are bad (=1024 bytes on media with 512byte block size), all 8MB will be skipped. Use this feature only if the scanning speed on large defective media with many bad blocks is an issue.

The disk error counter in the bottom left of the status bar is incremented every time a read operation has failed. The log file contains detailed info on the bad blocks found.

Important note for damaged media/defective disks: It is recommended to create an image of a defective/corrupted disk containing bad blocks. The number of bad blocks increases every time a read operation is performed on defective media. The best and most secure solution in this case is setting the burst/block size to 512-4096 bytes (4096 bytes is faster, but less reliable) and image the whole disk to an external file.


Remote Recovery: Remote recovery is supported by the use of VNC ( and consists of two components. A server, which runs on the computer you want to remotely access, and a viewer, which runs on the computer you are sitting in front of.

To get started with VNC you need to run a server, and then connect to it with a viewer. When you start the server, you will need to enter an IP address or DNS name and a port number of the computer you wish to allow control.

Under the Expert tab in the menu bar is the link for the remote viewer. This will be used to remotely control the other system. Enter the port number of the system from the step above and click start the viewer.

You will be presented a remote view of the other screen and can now control the program and other computer functions of that system. When you are finished, simply close out the viewer and the connection will be closed.


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Create Image File: This option is for creating a backup image of the drive you are trying to recover. This can be useful when a drive is failing, and a recovery needs to happen. Or the drive needs to be returned to service, but the recovery is not yet done.

Load Image File: This option is for loading the backup image of the drive you created with the Create Image File option. This can also be used to load image files made by other software so that you can recover data from these images as well.

Save: This option is for saving the recovered files. Be sure that you have connected your destination drives to the system prior to running the scan. NOTE: Make sure you save the data to a different drive than the one that is being scanned.

Search: This option is for searching for particular files using standard file names, types, wild cards, etc to locate files on a volume. If "fuzzy search" is enabled, then it will be used also. 

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RAID Reconstruction

RAID Reconstructor: Clicking on the RAID Reconstructor icon will open the RAID Reconstruction utility.

Here, you can select the type of RAID and number of drives, and let the RAID Reconstructor analyze the data and try to reconstruct the RAID for data recovery.

This is especially useful when the controller has stopped working, but the drives are still working. You simply attach the drives to a system and reconstruct the RAID and recovery the data!

First, you choose what kind of RAID you are reconstructing. There are some common preset RAID types in the list. If your RAID type is not listed, choose the generic RAID that matches the type of RAID you have (HW, SW, RAID0, RAID5).

Parity data is generated on a RAID5 to provide protection against a one-disk failure. The parity data is distributed evenly among all member disks in a rotating pattern. The RAID Reconstructor will automatically choose the most common rotation pattern for the type of RAID selected or you can manually select the rotation pattern if known.

FORWARD–Right Asynchronous (Silicon Image)
BACKWARD–Left Asynchronous (Adaptec, Generic, Promise)
FORWARDDYN–Right Synchronous (Some Linux SW RAID)
BACKWARDDYN–Left Synchronous (AMI, Windows SW-RAID)

Then select how many drives are in the RAID. If possible, choosing the drives in the correct order will speed up the analysis. Make sure you choose the only the disks that contain the RAID or the analysis will fail.

If you are unsure of the disk order, then click the Options>> button and put a check in the box called Disk Order. This will also parse different orders of the drives in the RAID.

Once you have set the parameters, then click on the Start Scan button to allow the RAID Reconstructor to analyze the disks.

As the scan probes the various combinations of data on the RAID, they will be listed in order of probability in the Probed Combinations list.

When the scan finishes, you will be shown the list of probed combinations for your RAID. The higher the score, the more likely that it is the correct combination. This is not always going to be the case, but will be a good place to start when reconstructing your RAID.

Click on one of the probe combinations and then click OK to try and view your RAID.

Your RAID will be displayed as the RAID and then the partitions will be listed below that. If the RAID indeed had valid partitions on it before it was broken, then these partitions should be able to be browsed and scanned just like a volume, and the data saved. See section above on choosing your disk or volume to scan.

If you cannot browse the partitions on the RAID, then the parameters for the reconstruction are not correct. However, you can very easily go back and adjust the parameters without rescanning. Highlight the RAID in the disk list, and click the Details button. This will return you to the RAID Reconstructor screen.

Your RAID will be displayed as ‘RAID’ and then the partitions will be listed below that.  If the RAID had valid partitions on it before it was broken, then these partitions should be able to be browsed and scanned just like a volume, and the data saved.  See section above on choosing your disk or volume to scan.

The Refresh Disk List (in File Menu) option can be used to delete all added RAID volumes from the disk list.

If you cannot browse the partitions on the RAID, then the parameters for the reconstruction are not correct. However, you can very easily go back and adjust the parameters without rescanning. Highlight the RAID in the disk list, and click the Details button. This will return you to the RAID Reconstructor screen.

Here, you can choose another probed combination, and click OK until you find a combination that allows you to browse the RAID partitions. For assistance in trying different combinations, you can sort the columns in the probed combinations list.

Advanced users can manually adjust the parameters on the left by simply entering the data - Start sectors, Disk order, Stripe size, and Parity rotation. Then click OK to try to browse the reconstructed RAID.

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Wiping Data

Wiping Data: This option is to be used with extreme caution. Once data has been wiped by this option, there is no way to recover the information at all.

To wipe data permanently from the volume, you select the files or folders you wish to delete on the right side of the screen. Once you have chosen them, click the Wipe icon in the tool bar.

You will be given a warning about the data wipe and will be asked if you want to continue. DO NOT ANSWER YES UNLESS YOU ARE CERTAIN THAT YOU WANT TO WIPE THE DATA! If you click No, you will be taken back to the previous screen. If you click Yes, the data will be permanently deleted from the volume.

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Other options

Sorting after specific criteria: The items in the file list view can be sorted by column. Simply click on the header of one column to sort for the specific criteria the column describes. To change the sorting from ascending to descending and vice versa click again the same column header.
The popup-menu: Most actions for recovering can be accessed from the popup-menu. This appears if your right click a selected file or directory in the file list view.

Viewing files:  The built-in viewer will show common file formats in a separate window. Since for most types the viewer needs to create a temporary file on your system drive, it is recommended not to use this option if you need to recover files of your system drive. Otherwise these temporary files could overwrite your deleted data.

Recovering multiple directories and files: It is not recommended to save the contents of an entire drive in one operation. The reason for this is, that many files and directories with the same name may be found (there may also be deleted files and existing files with the same name). To speed up recovery time and insure a system that works well, the suggested method of recovery is to retrieve your own data files (documents, sheets, drawings, images, database files, etc.) and re-install any software applications.

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FILERECOVERYŽ is a registered trademark of LC Technology International, Inc
Microsoft and Windows are trademarks of Microsoft Corporation. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.