get it : PhotoRec

It’s funny how often I find myself deleting things. I mean, Shift-Delete is hard-wired in my brain, just because I delete constantly and hate it when my Recycle Bin sits there full. But the worst thing of all is when I go in to innocently delete a directory that I deem useless, and I remember days after the fact that there was something important in it. That’s why PhotoRec is such a life saver. Before you prejudge it by it’s name, this is a real file recovery program… it’s not just for photos. The list of recognized file types is pretty huge, in fact.

Basically, PhotoRec uses data carving techniques in order to find the files. Data carving is the process of extracting a collection of data from a larger data set… files are “carved” from the unallocated space on the drive. The nice thing is, it works independently of the filesystem headers, so it’s possible to recover files even if the partition info has been screwed up. The negative side of it all is that quite often data carving results in a lot of false positives. So tbh, you’ll end up with a directory of tons of files, and you’ll need to run through that directory in order to find the files that are actually good. But hey, since the purpose is to recover lost files, at least it sides on the ‘false positive’ side rather than the ‘false negative’, right?

Anyway, it’s terribly useful, and I’ve personally been able to recover many lost files with it. I hope your results are just as good!

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