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iRecover Frequently Asked Questions & common problems and solutions

iRecover supported Operating Systems and file system types

Trial version details

Getting started, what to do and what NOT to do before you begin

iRecover upgrade information

File copying in iRecover is slow...

Can I retain the original file/date stamps for the recovered files?

How do I find the files I want recovered in the file list?

Disk analysis (first stage) is very slow...

After scanning the disk with the trial version, do I need to scan again after registering?

 
iRecover supported Operating Systems and file system types
iRecover runs on Microsoft Windows, version NT4 / 200X / XP / Vista / Win7/8, and on any of the Server editions from 2000 and later.

Recover data from:
File systems: FAT12/FAT16, FAT32, NTFS, and for Linux Ext(x) and XFS.
Raid types: RAID0, RAID5.
Software RAID0 and RAID5 on Windows Dynamic Disks.

 
Trial version details
The iRecover setup installs the complete version of iRecover, but you will need a license key to unlock full functionality. You will not have to download and re-install another program after you have bought the license key, simply enter the key and iRecover is ready for use.

If you run iRecover without a license key, the program will run in 'Trial-Mode': all features are enabled and accessible, but no files can be recovered. Use the Trial mode to analyze your disk and get an idea of the recoverability of your data. If you have a failing RAID setup you can analyze the disks with the Trial version, to make sure that iRecover will actually be able to recover the data. Once you have completed the analysis you can use the scan data from the Trial version in the Full version; this will save you considerable time.

 
Getting started, what to do and what NOT to do before you begin
The golden rules, these apply to every recovery situation:
DO NOT run "chkdsk" or "scandisk" or any other partition repair utility.
DO NOT use the Windows recovery console commands "fixmbr" or "fixboot".
DO NOT attempt to recreate a deleted partition with "Fdisk" or "Disk Management".
DO NOT change the contents of the disk or partition that needs to be recovered.
Never install iRecover (or any other software) on the volume that has problems.
If you don't have another volume ready to install iRecover, connect the problem disk as a secondary disk to another system. If that is not possible, install iRecover on another PC and copy the contents of the installation folder to a USB drive. Then run iRecover on the problem PC from the USB drive.
If your system does not start because of a primary disk failure or a RAID set that isn't working anymore, the best course of action would be to add a disk and install Microsoft Windows on it, then install iRecover and start the recovery.
You could also use the Product CD; a ready-to-run version of iRecover is included (a PC with a running version of Microsoft Windows is required).
When working with a failed RAID:
Do NOT:
- Recreate the RAID.
- Recreate a volume.
- Perform any formatting or initializing.
- Allow the RAID adapter to access the disks, especially when the adapter has been the cause of the problem.
Anything that is changed on the disks will severely diminish your chances of success, so make sure the disks are accessed only by iRecover.
Immediately stop all tasks that access disks.
Disable scheduled defragment jobs, virus scanner auto updates, auto updates, etc. Anything that may (accidentally) write data to the disk should be disabled to prevent any further potential corruption.
Before starting the recovery, verify the pc's components.
Make sure all components (motherboard, power supplies, cabling, disks, memory) are in good working order. Nothing is more frustrating than having to abort a lengthy recovery because a disk's connection port turned out to be faulty.
Make sure the disk is okay, hardware-wise.
Check the disk's S.M.A.R.T. attributes, verify that the disk is not showing any physical deterioration (no grinding noises, no clunking, no ticking etc.) and check for surface defects (if you have reason to believe that the disk may be faulty). Please note: if a disk shows serious signs of physical damage, cloning the disk first would be the best course of action.
Prepare for the recovery.
Make sure you have a location ready to receive the recovered files. A common mistake is to start analyzing a volume and when the time comes to copy the files to safety, there's no free space anywhere.
When scanning a RAID setup, determine beforehand whether the hardware RAID is still functional or not.
If the hardware RAID is broken, you'll have to add the individual disks to the scanning order in iRecover. If the hardware RAID is still intact you can analyze it as if it is one single disk. Also, make sure the RAID adapter is in good working order before starting the analysis.
When using the recovery data file to continue a recovery after purchasing a license, consider this:
The disk and volume layout should not be changed after having saved the recovery data using the trial version. A common mistake is to save the recovery data file using the trial version, then add a volume or disk for the recovered files and purchase a license, and then read the recovery data file to recover files. This has been known to create problems. If the disk setup has changed after saving the recovery data, do not load the recovery data but re-scan the disk. Also, if reading the recovery data file using the full version results in error messages, try re-scanning the disk first.
 
iRecover upgrade information
The latest version of iRecover is 6.1.

Upgrades for version 5.x to version 6.x are free: the upgrade from any 5.x version to version 6.x can be performed by downloading and installing the latest version of iRecover. Use your license key to turn the trial version into the full version.

Upgrades for the same base version are free: the upgrade from 6.0 to any (future) 6.x version can be performed by downloading and installing the latest version of iRecover. Use your license key to turn the trial version into the full version.

If you have a previous version (4.x and older) and wish to upgrade:
Send your upgrade request and the original order number to DIY DataRecovery support.

Never post any license details in the support forum.

 
File copying in iRecover is slow...
The following information may help you troubleshoot speed issues when copying files using iRecover.
  • iRecover uses the conventional Windows API to open a file, this is done in the same manner as all Windows applications (like Notepad) open files.
  • The source disk is read in blocks. If there's no physical damage and the disk was scanned without problems, there should be no problem here. Reading the disk directly is done using a Windows API which allows an entire drive or disk to be opened and treated as a file. iRecover only moves a pointer through this file to read the correct blocks of data.
  • After reading a block of data, iRecover calls a Windows API and requests the block to be written to the file that was opened in the first step.
  • When all blocks are processed iRecover calls a Windows API to close the file. The file is now copied and iRecover can move on to the next file (if any).
    99 % of all slow-downs occurring during file copying are because iRecover is waiting for a Windows API call to respond.
  • When iRecover is trying to read a block of data from the source disk, it can only continue after the Windows API has completed the request. If reading the source disk is the bottleneck, this may indicate that the source disk is going bad. Clone the source disk as soon as possible.
  • When iRecover writes to a file it may be waiting for the API because the destination is slow. This may be the case when you are writing files to a network location or other relatively slow media, or maybe the destination disk isn't configured properly.
  • In general when the destination drive is slow, normal file copying to this same drive is slow as well. So a slow (target) drive will make iRecover file copying slow too.
  • All software that interferes with reading/writing files (for instance on-access virus scanners) will make the recovery process slower, you should disable these processes.

Please note: make sure the operating system supports the disk sizes of both the source disk AND the destination disk. We see a lot of problems in this area. Older operating systems can not cope with disks larger than 128 Gb. For instance, Windows XP only supports 'large' disks after the appropriate service pack is applied. Always make sure the system BIOS can cope with 'large' disks no matter what O.S.

 
Can I retain the original file/date stamps for the recovered files?
No. Since the Windows API is used to save the files, a new time- and date stamp is added to the files. This is standard behavior and can not be changed.
 
How do I find the files I want recovered in the file list?
iRecover presents files and folders as they were found. If however iRecover was able to identify the 'root' it will create an entry in the list for this root.

The root is the folder under which (in normal circumstances) all your files are stored. The root branches into sub-folders. iRecover shows this in a similar way: if there is a 'Root' in the list, expand it to view files/folders in the same order as you'd expect to find them under normal circumstances. Normally iRecover will identify the root correctly when dealing with recovery from deleted partitions, recovering deleted files or any other damage that did not 'trash' the root folder.

Note: When dealing with a reformatted drive the root (if present) is empty. This is caused by the fact that re-formatting a drive 're-initializes' the root folder.

 
Disk analysis (first stage) is very slow...
If iRecover is slow during the first stage (where it is actually reading the selected drive sector by sector) this can be caused by one of the following:
  • The disk is bad, meaning a lot of sectors can not be read:
    Consider the disk may be 'dying'. If you'd continue the recovery attempt with iRecover (or any other file recovery utility), multiple additional reads are required before you have actually recovered a file. If a disk is really dying, each good read could be the last. You should clone the disk before performing further file recovery! Cloning the disk will read the entire disk in one pass. File recovery software can be run on the clone without further endangering the condition of the problem disk and its data.
  • Lack of O.S. support for large disks:
    To access a drive, iRecover uses the Windows API. If Windows does not fully support large disks, neither does iRecover. Problems with accessing disks larger than 128Gb are common. These problems can be attributed to BIOS problems and incomplete O.S. support for large disks.

The following is a brief description of the requirements for 48 bit LBA support:

Windows XP supports 48-bit LBA with Service Pack 1. You must also have a 48-bit LBA compatible BIOS.

Windows 2000 supports 48-bit LBA with Service Pack 4. You must also have a 48-bit LBA compatible BIOS. To enable 48-bit LBA support with Windows 2000 SP4 you must edit the Windows registry.
To enable 'EnableBigLba' in the Windows registry, perform the following steps:

  1. Start a registry editor (regedit.exe). In Windows, click on Start->Run, enter "regedit"
  2. Navigate to the
    HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Services\atapi\Parameters
    registry subkey
  3. From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value
  4. Enter the name EnableBigLba, then press Enter
  5. Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK
  6. Close the registry editor

Restart the machine for the change to take effect.

Recent versions of operating systems (like Windows Vista and Windows 7/8) should have no problems accessing large disks.

 
After scanning the disk with the trial version, do I need to scan again after registering?
No. In the trial version, after the scan has completed, you can click the "save" button. This will save the analysis data. When running the registered version you can load the analysis data using the "open save file" button. This will allow you to get going quickly. Please note that the "open save file" button is disabled in the trial version; you can not load analysis data in the trial version.

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