How to Recover Deleted Files with PhotoRec

December 2016

You have accidentally deleted photos from you camera, saved the wrong version of a document or overwritten important files? There are many software that can help you restore your lost files and PhotoRec is one of them. This versatile and free software that can help you to recover deleted videos, documents, photos and even archive files from different type of media, including your hard disk drives, USB drives, CD/DVD ROM, Memory cards and other type of portable devices (Camera or MP3 player).

The software can be downloaded from www.cgsecurity.org. PhotoRec is bundled with another utility called TestDisk in a single archive file. Download and extract TeskDisk-xx.win.zip to your desktop, but before launching the program, you need to create a folder to store the recovered files in another drive, preferably an external drive or USB key connected to your computer. You cannot save the files on the drive from which they are being restored; otherwise you won't be able to read them.

Launch PhotoRec, by double clicking on the photorec_win.exe:


Then select the hard drive you want to analyze using the arrows keys and then press Enter:



The software will ask you to choose the type of the partition table you are using. In general, PhotoRec already points to the right one. Press Enter to confirm:



Then confirm all menus using the Enter key until you reach the following window:


The software will ask you to select a location to save the files. As mentioned above, you should save them to a USB key or external drive. Using the arrow keys select the location of you backup folder and then confirm with the Y key.

PhotoRec will launch a scan and depending on the size of the hard disk drive and the number of files it contains, this process may take from a few minutes to couple of hours or days. The annoying part is that you won't be able to use your computer during this period of time.

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