File Restore helps you to recover files that have been deleted from FAT, FAT32, and NTFS volumes. Perform the following procedure to use File Restore to recover files that have been deleted.

To restore deleted 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. Search for deleted files. For more information, see How to Search for Deleted Files.

  3. In the right pane, select the files to restore.

  4. On the File menu, click Copy to Folder. You can also right-click the selected files, and then click Copy to Folder.

  5. The Browse For Folder dialog box will appear. Browse to the folder where you want to place the files, and then click OK.

    To reduce the possibility of overwriting data that you might want to recover, you should restore files to a location other than the source volume. Options include other disks or volumes on the same system or a mapped network drive.

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:

If a file is marked Likely, none of the file’s data is known to be overwritten by other files. However, this is only an estimate of the file’s condition, and it is possible that a file marked Likely will contain corrupt data. In general, the longer the time since a file has been deleted, the less likely that it can be recovered. The following conditions might also cause a file to not be recovered:

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 view more information about a file that has been deleted
  1. In the right pane, select a file.

  2. On the File menu, click File Properties. You can also right-click an entry, and then click File Properties.

  3. After you have reviewed the file properties, click OK to close the Properties dialog box.