Perform the following procedure to use File Restore to search for files that have been deleted.

The following parameters can be used to search for deleted files.

Search for files named

The search pattern that you enter can contain any subset of the file or path names. The search pattern can also include the asterisk (*) wildcard character.

Look in

Search in the drive that is listed, or browse to a drive or folder.

Search for files in deleted directories

Search for files in directories that have been deleted.

Last modified

Search for files that have been deleted in the last number of months, or for files that have been deleted between specific dates.

Size between

Search for files that are within a specific size range.

File Restore attempts to determine whether a deleted file is recoverable or not and reports the result in the Recoverability column. The following are possible levels of recoverability for files:

The first letter of the file name cannot always be retrieved for files on FAT or FAT32 volumes. For this reason, File Restore displays files that match all characters entered in Search for files named, as well as those matching all characters but the first letter. When the first letter cannot be retrieved, it is replaced by a question mark (?) when it is displayed in the right pane of File Restore and by an underscore (_) when it is copied to a new location.

If a file is found, but the directory where it belongs cannot be determined, it is placed in a directory labeled "...Unknown Folder #..." It is possible for there to be multiple orphan directories that correspond to different directories that no longer exist.

To locate all of the deleted files on a selected drive, click Search Now without entering any search parameters.

To search for files
  1. If you are running File Restore in ERD Commander, click Start, point to System Tools, and then click File Restore. If you are running File Restore in Windows, click Start, point to All Programs, point to Microsoft Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset, and then click File Restore.

  2. In the Search for files named box, enter the search pattern to use.

  3. In the Look in list, click the location of the search folder. You can click Browse to find a folder.

  4. Select the Last modified range.

  5. Select the Size between range.

  6. Click Search Now.

    The files that match the search criteria will appear in the right pane.

After you have successfully searched for deleted files, you can select the files that you want to restore. For more information about restoring files, see How to Restore Deleted Files.