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Windows 7: Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.

24 Oct 2011   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit
Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.

PhotoRec can recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory.

PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.

So says the author and PhotoRec gets installed alongwith Test Disk. PhotoRec - CGSecurity

As tried by me, this guide should help others in need of a free recovery software to recover the lost media files.


Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-wipeformat.jpg

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-loaded.jpg

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-reformatted.jpg

After deleting the media files and reformatting the 200MB partition, the recovery begins


1.Right click on photorec_win.exe and Run as Administrator.

2. First Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-01-proceed.jpg

EDIT: Select the Disk and not the drive, Proceed, and press ENTER.

3. Second Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-02pt-type.jpg

Select partition table type INTEL – Intel/PC partition, ENTER.

4. Third Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-03enter.jpg

Select the partition, File Opt, ENTER.

5. Fourth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-04filetypeselection.jpg

Select the file types to recover by entering X against the type. ( If all are selected by default, press s to deselect and then select the types to recover.) Press b to save the settings.

6. Fifth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-05enter.jpg

Just gives you the info that your settings have been saved.Press ENTER.

7. Sixth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-06enter2.jpg

Press ENTER to return to the Main Menu.

8. Seventh Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-07search.jpg

Select Search and Press ENTER to start file recovery.

9. Eighth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-08fs-type.jpg

Select the file system type and press ENTER.

10. Ninth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-09wholepartition.jpg

Select Whole partition and press ENTER.

11. Tenth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-10destination.jpg

Select destination to save and press C

12. Eleventh Window :

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-11wait.jpg

If you had pressed ENTER and a Window like this appears , just press C
again and Wait.

13. Twelfth Window:

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-12recovered.jpg

Files recovered.

Close the PhotoRec Window or press q repeatedly till it closes.

Here are the recovered files.

Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.-13recovered-files.jpg

All files played.

There was no .divx file type to be selected. So it could not be recovered. Don’t know why.

The jpg files were recovered and appear twice. Again don’t know why.:)

EDIT: Mystery resolved. Two of the images are thumbnails, while the other two are original resolution pictures.

The other point I would like to mention here is that this program is absolutely safe to use even by novices. It operates in "read only" mode and does not write anything. So there is absolutely no possibility of any wrong commands writing to the disk,whereas Test Disk is more advanced and can write the partition table, MBR etc., into the disk if a wrong command is given by mistake.

The file types that can be recovered is quite exhaustive and is not necessarily limited to media files. You can run it and check what all file types are covered. (fourth window above)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
09 Jan 2012   #2

Windows XP Pro SP3, Windows 7 Pro 32-bit, Windows 7 Ultimate 64bit, Windows XP Home SP3

Question for you:
I've been using Photorec, iCare, Recuva to recover files from a badly damaged, but limping along, WD1000 100gb ultra ata drive. its a very long story in a thread I posted, but at this point we've recovered several hundred files in good shape including images and docs and some music. Still missing is a pretty big stash of vids the user shot, and some more music files [this guy is a graduate teacher/assoc-professor in Media at big university]. Because of the damage, photorec and Recuva, both running under windows 7 [ulti] show a sort of limitless scan - the packages cannot calibrate how long the scan will take, so after four or five days each I shut them down and try something else. Fortunately Photorec is stashing the recovered files in near-realtime on the good drive so cancelling/Quitting does not lose the progress.

My QUESTION is whether there is any performance difference between running Photorec under Windows in a command/window, versus putting it to a bootable disk [testdisk] and running that way? will results be the same either way or is there some advantage to one over the other? I intend to go back in and be very selective about finding just these media types.

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.

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