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Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4

This is a discussion on Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4 within the Computer Data Recovery forums, part of the category; Recover My Files v4 FAQ | Main Help Index Watch the "RMFv4 - Drive Recovery" video at this page: ...

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    GDH is offline Administrator
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Default Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4

    Watch the "RMFv4 - Drive Recovery" video at this page:

    This post describes how to use Recover My Files v4 software to recover files 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 user crated files are now 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.

    Watch a Recover My Files video tutorial on this topic here

    Follow these steps to Recover a Drive
    Download Recover My Files v4 from "" or use this direct download link:

    Run Recover My Files v4 and on the first wizard window, select the "Recover Drive" button and click "Next";


    Selecting the Drive to Search
    When running a "Recover Drive" it is usually best to select and search the entire "Hard Disk" (If your hard disk contained 3 separate partitions, e.g. Drives E:, F:, G:, and your formatted only your G: drive, then it would be best to select and search the G: drive only).

    In the example shown in the screen shot below an external 75GB USB hard drive containing photos has been accidentally formatted. The drive contained one partition only which was the size of the entire drive. Clicking on the drive letter in Windows Explorer shows that it no longer contains any files.

    Select "Hard Disk #" by clicking it with your mouse (as shown in the screen shot), then press "Next".

    Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4-drive-recovery-select-drive.jpg
    Drive Recovery Options
    Automatic drive recovery. (Recommended)

    During an automatic drive recovery, certain pre-selected file types are used to assist in locating the missing Filesystem. Recover My Files searches for these file types by locating the file header and footer and then uses the information found to help pinpoint the missing Filesystem. Files found by their header and footer are called "Lost 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 Progress
    The search has two phases:
    1. Search Phase 1 - Partition Recovery

      Phase 1 of the search attempts to locate and rebuild then entire lost partitions (drive letters).

      Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4-progress-partition-recovery.jpg

      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). A recovered partition is shown in "Folder" view of the results screen as:

      Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4-ntfs-partition.jpg

      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.

    2. Searching for Filesystem records

      Once the partition recovery phase is complete, Phase 2, a search for Filesystem records will automatically commence. This is a sequential search of the drive for Lost Files, which help locate the missing Filesystem records.
      TIP: If you are in a hurry, this is where you can speed up the search

      On the main program screen, near the progress bar, you will see a field called "Filesystem Records". Each Filesystem Record is a file that has been found with its full file name and folder location.

      When "Filesystem Records" 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 missing Filesystem has ben found and 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". A virtual partition is displayed in the results screen as:

      Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4-virtual-partition.jpg

      Expand the search results (using the '+') to determine if your missing files have been located.
    Search Results

    In a Recover Drive search, the "Folder" tab of the search results screen is usually the best place to look for your files.

    Expand the search results (using the '+') and;
    • click on a folder (area 4 in the screen shot below) to display the files it contains (area 5a);
    • click on a file to show the file properties (area 5b) and the file preview (area 5c).
    Recover a Formatted Drive with Recover My Files v4-drive-recovery-results.jpg
    If you are happy with the search results and can preview your missing files, you need to purchase a product activation key in order to save the files to another drive.

    Purchase a Recover My Files key

    Use the "Buy Online" button in the program, or visit "" and follow the purchase links. Learn more about the types of license, Standard, Professional or Data Recovery technician here.

    Saving Files

    Learn more about saving Recover My Files search results.
    Last edited by GDH; 03-11-2012 at 09:23 PM.
    Graham Henley
    GetData Support Staff

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