iRecover Frequently Asked Questions & common problems and solutions
iRecover supported OS's and file systems
Getting started, what to do and what NOT to do before you begin
iRecover upgrade information
iRecover license types explained
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?
supported OS's and file systems
iRecover runs on Microsoft Windows, version NT4 / 200X / XP /
Vista / Win7/8, and on any of the Server editions from 2000 and
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.
|Getting started, what to do and what NOT to do before you begin
||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
- 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
||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
||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
||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
||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
||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
||When using the recovery
data file to continue a recovery after purchasing a license, consider
||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.
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.
license types explained
The Single User (or Home) version of iRecover comes in 3
different license types, so pick the one that suits your
The Standard edition:
Allows you to recover files from non-RAID disks. Use this to
get files back from damaged volumes in PCs, laptops and from
any disk that is not part of a RAID set. External disks are
also supported, as are USB sticks and other devices that
present themselves as a disk when connected to a PC.
NOTE: if a hardware RAID is present in the machine and the
RAID is still intact on a hardware level (meaning, the RAID
still presents itself as one big disk to the system), you can
use the Standard edition on this RAID, because you are
essentially running iRecover on one big disk.
The Standard Plus edition:
Allows the same procedures as the Standard edition, and also
includes a special Digital Image Recovery mode. Use this to
recover photos from digital cameras when memory cards fail,
when memory cards become corrupted, or if other problems
prohibit you from copying the photos in a normal way. Can also
be used on memory cards directly (connected to a PC through a
media card reader).
NOTE: if the camera presents itself as a normal disk when
connected to a PC the Standard edition of iRecover may also
work, but the Digital Image Recovery mode is much faster, more
reliable, and is specifically created to recover certain types
of files. It is therefore easier to use and more likely to
The Pro edition:
Allows the same procedures as the Standard Plus edition, and
also includes a RAID recovery system. Use this to recover data
from RAID sets that are no longer intact (also known as a broken
RAID). You can recover data from individual former RAID0 and
RAID5 disks, as long as all the members are still accessible.
When dealing with former RAID5 disks one disk may be absent (a
function of RAID5) when for instance one disk has physical
Also allows recovery from software RAID on Windows Dynamic
When you buy a corporate license you always get the Pro
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
OS. Find more information on this subject here.
I retain the original file/date stamps for the recovered
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.
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.
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 OS 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
OS support for large disks. Read more here.
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
- Start a registry editor (regedit.exe). In Windows, click on
Start->Run, enter "regedit"
- Navigate to the
- From the Edit menu, select New, DWORD Value
- Enter the name EnableBigLba, then press Enter
- Double-click the new value, set it to 1, then click OK
- 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.
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.