File Recovery


How to erase hard drive? Windows7 logo   How to erase hard drive? Intel logo


What Happened to my Data?

When a file is written to a hard drive, two separate systems come into play:

  1. A record of the file is kept in the Root Table or Master File Table (MFT).
  2. Data is written to physical hard drive addresses. The physical addresses are labeled as 'occupied'. These addresses are called clusters.

When file is deleted from a hard drive, the same two systems are notified:

  1. The file record in the Root Table or MFT indicates the file has been deleted.
  2. Clusters are labeled as 'unoccupied'. The data is not removed.

In the event of an accidental file deletion we strongly recommend that you perform the recovery operation as soon as possible. If any new files are written to the same drive, there is a chance that the file-writing process may allocate data to these clusters.

Welcome to Active@ File Recovery

Active@ File Recovery is a powerful software utility, designed to restore accidentally deleted files and directories. It allows you to recover files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin, as well as those deleted after avoiding the Recycle Bin (e.g. Shift-Delete).

Active@ File Recovery can be installed on and run from CD/DVD or USB disk, so that the risk of overwriting your data is minimized.

Active@ File Recovery will help you to restore data residing on hard drives, floppy or USB drives formatted in any of the following file systems:

  • Microsoft NTFS / ReFS / FAT / exFAT
  • Apple HFS+ / ApFS
  • Linux Ext2 / Ext3 / Ext4 / BtrFS
  • Unix UFS, Silicon Graphics XFS, IBM JFS, Sun ZFS
  • CD/DVD/Blu-ray UDF & ISO9660

It works under all Windows family operating systems:

  • Windows 11, Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7
  • Windows Server 2000, 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012, 2016, 2019, 2022
  • Windows XP, Vista
  • Windows PE (embedded Windows environment loaded from CD/DVD/BD or USB disk)

Active@ File Recovery supports:

  • IDE, SATA, eSATA, SAS, SSD, NVMe, SCSI hard drives, USB Drives and Memory Cards
  • Damaged or deleted RAID virtual reconstruction (RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-5, Span)
  • Large-sized drives (more than 2TB)
  • Long file names and local language (non-English) file names
  • Recovery of compressed, fragmented and encrypted files on NTFS
  • Detection and recovery from deleted or damaged partitions
  • Saving scan results to the storage and opening them later on
  • Search deleted files by predefined signatures, including custom signature definition
  • Deleted files filtering, exact or partial file name search
  • Disk Image creation and loading (to restore files and folders from)
  • Integration with a Disk Viewer/Editor - to be able to inspect raw disk/partition/file data

RAID-5 of different types is being supported:

  • Left Asynchronous (the most frequently used)
  • Left Synchronous
  • Right Synchronous
  • Right Asynchronous

New in version 24

  • Latest recovery Kernel 14.01.17 many improvements and bug fixes
  • Improved recovery for volumes with cluster size > 64Kb
  • Added advanced SuperScan options:
    • Reconstruct disks having different physical sector size
    • Reconstruct devices starting with non-zero offset in sector
  • Improved Boot Disk – added Display Scaling and Network Drive Mapping
  • Active@ Boot Disk upgraded to WinPE based on Windows 11 23H2

New in version 23

  • Improved recovery of NTFS volumes formatted with large cluster size
  • Added recovery of Sun ZFS file system
  • Latest recovery Kernel including many improvements and bug fixes
  • Ultimate package: improved Bootable Disk Creator – stores custom configuration for WIM PXE boot
  • Ultimate package: Active@ Boot Disk switched to the latest WinPE v.10 based on Windows 11 v22H2 code base

New in version 22

  • Performance enhancements and bug fixes
  • Ultimate package: improved Bootable Disk Creator
  • Ultimate package: Active@ Boot Disk switched to the latest WinPE v.10 based on Windows 11 v21H2 code base
  • Added new predefined file signatures recognition:
    • Apple iWork Pages (PAGES)
    • Apple iWork Numbers (NUMBERS)
    • Apple iWork Keynotes (KEY)

New in version 21

  • Simplified and improved User Interface
  • Latest Recovery Kernel includes improvements and bug fixes
  • Ultimate version: Active@ Boot Disk upgraded to the latest WinPE based on Windows 10 build 2004
  • Ultimate version: Active@ LiveCD upgraded to openSUSE 15.2: Linux Kernel 5.3, KDE 5.18

New in version 20

  • Added recovery of Apple ApFS file system
  • Reimplemented recovery of Microsoft ReFS file system
  • Latest Recovery Kernel including many improvements and bug fixes
  • Added new pre-defined file signatures:
    • Ancestral Quest Database File (AQ)
    • LibreOffice Documents
    • WPS Office Documents

New in version 19

  • Improved Welcome Dialog and Registration
  • Improved NTFS recovery on volumes located in Windows Storage Spaces
  • Latest Recovery Kernel including many improvements and bug fixes
  • Added pre-defined file signatures:
    • Canon Raw Image File (CR3)
    • Finale Notation File (MUSX)

New in version 18

  • New Easy Mode – simplifies search for lost files and data recovery on live volumes
  • Added more pre-defined file signatures recognition:
    • Microsoft Office Documents (ONE, PUB)
    • MySQL files (IBD,FRM,MYI)
    • Oracle VirtualBox (VDI)
    • Betacase Client Info (BCB)

New in version 17

  • More pre-defined file signatures recognition: Microsoft SQL Server Database (MDF), Virtual Hard Drive Files (VHDX)
  • Support for Microsoft's ReFS versions 3.x file system data recovery
  • Improvements in Linux/Unix JFS and XFS file systems data recovery
  • Improved handling of dynamic virtual disk arrays: Microsoft’s LDM & Linux’s LVM
  • Improved software stability while working with damaged disks
  • Improvements in Windows Storage Spaces partitions handling
  • Data recovery for ReFS file system having non-standard sector sizes: 1024, 2048 & 4096 bytes
  • Improved Custom Signatures scripting for user templates creation to search deleted file by their signatures
  • Professional & Ultimate packages: the latest Active@ Disk Editor version 7 included
  • Ultimate package: Active@ Boot Disk switched to WinPE 10 x64 base, Active@ LiveCD switched to KDE5 base

New in version 16

  • More pre-defined file signatures recognition: AI, ACCDB, OST, DB3, VCPROJ, USER, SVG, FBR
  • Support for Microsoft's new generation ReFS file system scan & data recovery
  • Support for Linux/Unix JFS file system scan & data recovery
  • Recovery of fragmented files by signatures (MOV/MP4)
  • Redesigned User Interface: dockable dialogs, semi-transparent popups
  • Full support for HiDPI monitors (large screen resolutions)
  • Improvements in XFS / Ext4 filesystems recovery
  • New security based on software registration and activation

Active@ Scan technology

Active@ Scan technology allows you to recognize files based onfile signatures for the following file types:

Adobe Files

  • Adobe Acrobat Document (*.pdf)
  • Adobe Photoshop Document (*.psd)
  • Adobe Shockwave Flash File (*.swf)
  • Adobe Effects Projects (*.aep)
  • Adobe Illustrator (*.ai)

Apple iWork Files

  • Apple Pages Document (*.pages)
  • Apple Numbers Document (*.numbers)
  • Apple Keynote Presentation (*.key)

Camera Raw Files

  • Canon Raw CIFF Image File (*.crw)
  • Canon Raw Image File (*.cr2, cr3)
  • Digital Negative Image File (*.dng)
  • Fuji FinePix Raw Image File (*.raf)
  • Hasselblad 3F Raw Image File (*.3fr)
  • Kodak Photo-Enhancer File (*.kdc)
  • Kodak Raw Image File (*.der)
  • Konica Minolta Raw Image File (*.mrw)
  • Leaf Aptus Raw Image File (*.mos)
  • Leica Raw Image File (*.raw)
  • Mamiya Raw Image File (*.mef)
  • Nikon Raw Image File (*.nef)
  • Olympus Raw Image File (*.orf)
  • Panasonic LX3/LX5 Raw Image File (*.rw2)
  • Pentax Raw Image File (*.pef)
  • Samsung Raw Image File (*.srw)
  • Seiko Epson Raw Image File (*.erf)
  • Sigma Raw Image File (*.x3f)
  • Sony Digital Camera Raw Image File (*.arw)
  • Sony SR2 Raw Image File (*.sr2)
  • Sony SRF Raw Image File (*.srf)

Compressed Archives

  • 7-Zip File Archive (*.7z)
  • ARC File Archive (*.arc)
  • ARJ File Archive (*.arj)
  • BZ2 Compressed Archive (*.bz2)
  • LZ4 Compressed Archive (*.lz4)
  • XZ Compressed Archive (*.xz)
  • GNU Zipped File Archive (*.gz)
  • LZH File Archive (*.lzh)
  • TAR Archive File (*.tar)
  • Windows Cabinet Archive File (*.cab)
  • RAR Archive File (*.rar)
  • Zipped File Archive (*.zip)
  • ZOO File Archive (*.zoo)

Electronic Books

  • DjVu eBook Image File (*.djvu)
  • Fiction Book 2.0 File (*.fb2)
  • Microsoft eBook Format (*.lit)
  • Rocket eBook File (*.rb)

File System Metadata

  • CDFS Disk Image File (*.iso)
  • FAT Directory Record (*.$dir)
  • NTFS File Record (*.$file)
  • NTFS Index Record (*.$indx)

FileMaker Platform

  • FileMaker Pro 3.0 File (*.fp3)
  • FileMaker Pro Database (*.fp5)
  • File Maker Pro Document (*.fmp12)
  • File Maker Pro Ver.7 + Database (*.fp7)

Formatted Text Files

  • Compiled HTML Help File (*.chm)
  • Extensible Markup Language Document (*.xml)
  • Hypertext Markup File (*.htm)
  • Rich Text Format File (*.rtf)

Microsoft Office & OpenOffice Documents

  • Crystal Report (*.rpt)
  • Microsoft Access 2007 Database (*.accdb)
  • Microsoft Access Database (*.mdb)
  • Microsoft Excel Open XML Document (*.xlsx)
  • Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet (*.xls)
  • Microsoft OneNote Document (*.one)
  • Microsoft Outlook Message (*.msg)
  • Microsoft PowerPoint Presentation (*.ppt)
  • Microsoft Publisher Document (*.pub)
  • Microsoft Word Document (*.doc)
  • Microsoft Word Open XML Document (*.docx)
  • OpenDocument Text Document (*.odt)
  • Other OLE-container (*.ole)
  • Outlook Offline Folder Files (*.ost)
  • Outlook Personal Information Store (*.pst)
  • PowerPoint Open XML Presentation (*.pptx)
  • Visio Drawing File (*.vsd)
  • XML Paper Specification File (*.xps)
  • OpenOffice Text Document (*.odt)
  • OpenOffice Spreadsheet (*.ods)
  • OpenOffice Database (*.odb)
  • OpenOffice Formula (*.odf)
  • OpenOffice Graphic (*.odg)
  • OpenOffice Presentation (*.odp)
  • LibreOffice Text Document (*.odt)
  • LibreOffice Graphic (*.odg)
  • LibreOffice Presentation (*.odp)
  • LibreOffice Spreadsheet (*.ods)
  • LibreOffice Formula (*.odf)
  • LibreOffice Database File (*.odb)
  • WPS Office Document (*.docx)
  • WPS Office Spreadsheet (*.xlsx)
  • WPS Office Presentation (*.pptx)

Music & Audio Files

  • 4X Technologies Audio File (*.4xa)
  • Advanced Audio Coding File (*.aac)
  • Audio Codec 3 File (*.ac3)
  • Audio Interchange File (*.aiff)
  • Compressed Audio Interchange File (*.aifc)
  • Free Lossless Audio Codec File (*.flac)
  • MIDI File (*.mid)
  • Monkey's Lossless Audio Codec File (*.ape)
  • MP3 Audio File (*.mp3)
  • Ogg Vorbis Compressed Audio File (*.ogg)
  • Rich Music Format File (*.ra)
  • Simple Audio File (*.au)
  • Synthetic Music Mobile File (*.mmf)
  • WAVE Audio File (*.wav)
  • WavPack Correction Audio Stream (*.mvc)
  • Windows Media Audio File (*.wma)
  • Finale Notation File (*.musx)

Photos & Images

  • Bitmap Image File (*.bmp)
  • Corel Metafile Exchange Image (*.cmx)
  • Corel Draw Image File (*.cdr)
  • Graphical Interchange Format File (*.gif)
  • Icon File (*.ico)
  • JPEG Image File (*.jpg)
  • JPEG 2000 Core Image File (*.jp2)
  • JPEG 2000 Image File (*.j2c)
  • Maxon Cinema 4D (*.c4d)Multiple-image Network Graphics (*.mng)
  • Paintbrush Bitmap Image File (*.pcx)
  • Portable Network Graphics (*.png)
  • Scalable Vector Graphics File (*.svg)
  • Tagged Image File (*.tif)
  • Windows Animated Cursor (*.ani)

QuickTime Multimedia

  • 3G2 Multimedia File (*.3g2)
  • 3GP Multimedia File (*.3gp)
  • CDC Multimedia File (*.cdc)
  • DRM Multimedia File (*.dcf)
  • F4V Multimedia File (*.f4v)
  • JPA Multimedia File (*.jpa)
  • JPM Multimedia File (*.jpm)
  • JPX Multimedia File (*.jpx)
  • M4A Multimedia File (*.m4a)
  • M4B Multimedia File (*.m4b)
  • M4V Multimedia File (*.m4v)
  • MAF Multimedia File (*.maf)
  • Motion JPEG 2000 Video Clip (*.mj2)
  • MOV Multimedia File (*.mov)
  • MP4 Multimedia File (*.mp4)
  • MPG Multimedia File (*.mpg)
  • MQV Multimedia File (*.mqv)
  • SDV Multimedia File (*.sdv)

Video Files

  • 4X Technologies Media File (*.4xm)
  • Advanced Systems Format File (*.asf)
  • Anime Music Video File (*.amv)
  • Audio Video Interleave File (*.avi)
  • Autodesk Animation File (*.fli)
  • Autodesk Animation Pro File (*.flc)
  • Flash Video File (*.flv)
  • FlashBack Screen Recording File (*.fbr)
  • Material Exchange Format File (*.mxf)
  • Matroska Video File (*.mkv)
  • MPEG (RIFF) File (*.mpg)
  • MPEG Transport Stream (*.mts)
  • MPEG Video File (*.mpeg)
  • MPEG2 Video File (*.m2v)
  • Red Core Digital Cinema Camera (*.r3d)
  • Red Media Format File (*.rm)
  • Windows Media Video File (*.wmv)
  • Red Media Format File (VBR)(*.rmvb)

Miscellaneous Files

  • 3D Studio Max Model File (*.max)
  • Ancestral Quest Database (*.aq)
  • Autodesk 3DS file (*.3ds)
  • Drawing Exchange Format File (*.dxf)
  • Encapsulated PostScript File (*.eps)
  • QuickBooks Data File (*.qbw)
  • 3D Systems StereoLithography (*.stl)
  • FireBird Database File (*.fdb)
  • AutoCAD Drawing Database (*.dwg)
  • SQLite Database File (*.db3)
  • Visual Studio Project File (*.vcproj)
  • Visual Studio User Options (*.user)
  • Microsoft SQL Server Database (*.mdf)
  • Virtual Hard Drive File (*.vhdx)
  • Betacase Bancruptcy Client Info (*.bcb)
  • MySQL Data File (*.ibd)
  • MySQL Form Configuration (*.frm)
  • MySQL Index File (*.myi)
  • Oracle VirtualBox Image (*.vdi)

Custom file signatures can be defined via user templates placed into and loaded from text files. After you recover files by signatures, you can use Organizer to organize them in folders with readable (non-abstract) names.

The free evaluation version has full functionality of all features with a limitation only on maximum size of the file being restored.



Any program that writes data to the disk, even the installation of data recovery software can spoil your sensitive data.


While saving recovered data onto the same drive where sensitive data was located, you can spoil the process of recovering by overwriting table records for this and other deleted entries. It is better to save data onto another logical, removable, network or floppy drive.


A Disk Image is a single-file mirror copy of the contents of your logical drive. Backing up the contents of the whole drive - including deleted data - is a good safety precaution in case of failed recovery. Before you start recovering deleted files, create a Disk Image for this drive.

This document is available in PDF format,
which requires Adobe® Acrobat® Reader
(Free download):


Data Recovery

Data Utility

Data Security

Data Backup

CD/DVD Tools