How To Start a Scan and Recover Files

Upon launching Data Rescue PC and activating the software, the first screen will be the Wizard, which allows you to select a Source you would like to scan for recovery. An example Wizard screen is shown below:

Data Rescue PC4 Select Source

Select the Physical Hardware name of the hard drive that contained your lost data from the Source list.

In the above example, we will be scanning the highlighted General USB Flash Disk (Drive 1), a 16GB USB drive that contained a collection of pictures and document files before being accidentally formatted using Windows built in format utility.

Once you have selected your device, press the “Scan” button to continue to the following screen:

Data Rescue PC4 Recovery

On this screen, you can confirm the Source you selected in the previous screen.

After confirming your selection, press “Start” to begin scanning the reformatted hard drive.

Once the scan completes, Data Rescue PC will open the following prompt asking if you would like to save your scan to a file:

Data Rescue PC4 Save Scan File

To ensure you do not need to run another scan, we always recommend saving the scan results in case you must recover at a later time.

Press “Yes” to open the Window below, which will allow you to select a location to save the Scan.bin file. In this example, the scan result list is being saved to the Desktop:

Data Rescue PC4 Save Scan to Desktop

After selecting a location to save your Scan.bin file, press “Save” to continue to the scan results screen.

Once you complete the scan of your device, you may or may not be presented with a Partition List. For deleted files and formatted devices, select the last option “Found Files – Raw Sectors”. If your drive is having problems mounting but the data is still on the device, select the largest partition.

To change your partition, or confirm you have selected the correct one, you can press the “Select Partition” button at the top of the scan results, or go to Tools → Select Partition.

If you are not prompted to choose a partition, simply continue following the directions below.

The Scan Results screen for the example USB drive is shown below. Your screen will look slightly different depending on the type of files that were previously stored on the device, and how the files were lost.

If you were having problems mounting but the data is still on the device, the data will most likely be in its original, recognizable format with folder and file names intact. In that case, skip ahead to the marking files for recovery section, otherwise, read below about recovering raw data.

Raw Recovery Results

Raw data recovery occurs if the original file or folder structure cannot be restored during recovery. This can happen with deleted files, re-formatted drives, or be caused by severe corruption. Here is an example:

Data Rescue PC4 Found Files

As you can see in the above image, the raw contents of files are grouped by file category. This is done because contents of files lost when formatting a hard drive are no longer associated with their file or folder names.

The files will be given generic names, and grouped by File Extension in their respective folders. You will then have to preview or open the files for the file type you are looking for so that you can verify the contents of a file and identify it.

Below you can see the scan results screen further expanded to show the JPEG and PNG subfolders in the Pictures directory. As you’ll recall from the example, this USB contained pictures and documents before being accidentally formatted:

Data Rescue PC4 PNG Files Select

From the results shown above, it looks like the software was able to identify file patterns for a number of PNG image files. To verify that these are the correct files, we can select an individual file and preview its contents.

To preview an individual file, highlight the file and go to Tools → View File. You can also press ALT + V with the file selected, or right click the file and choose “View”.

Make sure you preview several of your files to identify them and make sure they were not damaged, as raw recoveries are much more complex.

Marking Files for Recovery with Data Rescue PC

To mark or unmark a file for Recovery, press the Space key with a file highlighted, or right click the file and press “Check”.

You can also mark entire folders from the directory list to check all contained files, as shown in the example below where all PNG files have been selected for recovery from the formatted device:

Data Rescue PC4 Select Files to Recover

With all the lost PNG files verified and marked, we are now ready to recover the files from the reformatted hard drive.

At this point we have previewed scan results to make sure the files are intact, and marked the files we’d like to recover. If you have not reached this point or had trouble with any of the previous steps, feel free to review previous sections or contact our support team.

With the files marked that you’d like to recover, press the “Recover” button in the bottom right of the Data Rescue window. If you are using the Demo Version you will receive a prompt to purchase. The full version of the software can be purchased to recover the files you have identified and marked. You can also access the activation window by going to Help → Software Registration.

Once the Full Version of Data Rescue PC is activated, you will be automatically taken to the Select Destination Folder Screen after pressing “Recover”:

Data Rescue Destination Selection

From this window, you can select where you would like to recover the files to. In our example, we are saving the files to the desktop since we scanned an external USB drive.

You can select any location, as long as it is not on the same accidentally formatted drive that you have scanned for recovery. You could potentially overwrite files that still need to be recovered, so Data Rescue PC never allows you to write to a Source drive.

After selecting a destination location, press the Save button and you will be prompted with the total number of files and amount of data selected for recovery. Press “Recover” to confirm.

Once the recovery is complete, you will be prompted again with the total amount of data and number of files recovered. Press “OK” to confirm.

You have now successfully recovered your files!

To access the files, simply navigate to the hard drive or folder you selected as your destination. From here you can open, rename, and reorganize files as needed. Once you have confirmed that you have recovered all data from the device, we recommend making a backup of the recovered data. You can then use the device again if it is not physically damaged, once the files have been safely recovered, allowing the old files to be overwritten naturally.