Microsoft is launching tools to recover deleted files

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Microsoft has released a new tool to recover files that you accidentally deleted, possibly files that have been lost because you removed the contents of the disk – or files that were corrupted for some reason. That’s what Thurrott.com writes.

The tool is called Windows File Recovery and requires Windows 10 version 2004 or later. It is a command-line tool that is downloaded from the Microsoft Store.

According to Microsoft, Windows File Recovery can be used to recover files from both hard drives, SSDs, USB flash drives and memory cards, and supports both NTFS, FAT, exFAT and ReFS.

The tool works in three different modes: Default mode, Segment mode or Signature mode. Default mode uses Master File Table (MFT) to find lost files, but requires both MFT and File Record Segments (FRS) to be intact. If not, use Segment mode. Segments are a collection of file information that the NTFS file system stores in MFT, such as name, date, file size, and file type.

Windows File Recovery is run from the command line.

Windows File Recovery is run from the command line. Screenshot: Microsoft

The last mode, Signature mode, is used when only a small portion of the data to be restored is available, and is also the mode you must use if you want to recover data from an external device – such as a USB disk. It is also the only mode that supports file systems other than NTFS. Signature mode looks for specific file types and does not work on very small files.

Among the file types that can be restored with Signature mode include Office formats, PDF, image formats such as PNG and JPG, as well as audio and video formats such as MP3, MP4 and MOV and MPG.

In Segment mode, MFT (Master File Table) and FRS (File Record Segment) are used to find deleted files.

In Segment mode, MFT (Master File Table) and FRS (File Record Segment) are used to find deleted files. Screenshot: Microsoft

Windows File Recovery can save recovered files to another disk, so you don’t have to overwrite anything on the disk you are recovering from. You can find more information about Windows File Recovery and how to use it here.

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