File Recovery


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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 / NTFS5 / NTFS+EFS
  • Microsoft FAT12 / FAT16 / FAT32 / exFAT
  • Apple HFS+
  • Linux Ext2 / Ext3 / Ext4 / BtrFS
  • FreeBSD Unix UFS
  • CD/DVD/Blu-ray UDF & ISO9660

It works under all Windows family operating systems:

  • Windows XP
  • Windows Vista
  • Windows Server 2003, 2008, 2008 R2, 2012
  • Windows 7
  • Windows 8
  • Windows PE (embedded Windows environment loaded from CD-ROM or USB disk)

Active@ File Recovery supports:

  • IDE, SATA, SSD, SCSI hard drives, External USBs, Floppy and USB Flash Media, 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

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

  • Word Documents (*.DOC, *.DOCX)
  • Excel Spreadsheets ( *.XLS, *.XLSX)
  • PowerPoint Presentations (*.PPT, *.PPTX)
  • Adobe Documents (*.PDF)
  • Access Databases (*.MDB)
  • Crystal Reports (*.RPT)
  • Visio Diagrams (*.VSD)
  • Outlook Data Archives (*.PST)
  • JPEG Images (*.JPG)
  • Bitmap Images (*.BMP)
  • Corel Draw Files (*.CDR)
  • Canon Raw Images (*.CRW;*.CR2)
  • Nikon Raw Images (*.NEF)
  • TIF/TIFF Images (*.TIF)
  • AVI Files (*.AVI)
  • WAV Files (*.WAV)
  • MPG/MPEG Files (*.MPG)
  • Video Files (*.MTS)
  • ANI Files (*.ANI)
  • Zip, RAR and other archives (*.ZIP, *.RAR, *.ARJ, *.LZH, *.CAB)
  • QuickBooks Files (*.QBW)
  • MP3 Music Files (*.MP3)
  • Digital Negative Images (*.DNG)
  • Olympus Raw Images (*.ORF)
  • Leica Raw Images (*.RAW)
  • Pentax Raw Images (*.PEF)
  • Sony Raw Images (*.ARW .SRF .SR2)
  • Sigma Raw Images (*.X3F)
  • Fuji Raw Images (*.RAF)
  • Konica Minolta Raw Images (*.MRW)
  • Simply Accounting Databases (*.SDB)
  • Rich Text Format Documents (*.RTF)
  • XML Documents (*.XML)
  • HTML Documents (*.HTML .HTM)
  • DJVU Files (*.DJVU)
  • File Maker's Files (*.FP3, *.FP5, *.FP7, *.FMP12)
  • Apple QuickTime (*.3G2, .3GP, .CDC, .DCF, .JP2, .JPA, .JPM, .JPX, .M4A, .M4B, .M4P, .M4V, .MOV, .MP4, .MPG, .MQV, .SDV)

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 Active@ File 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.

File Organizer

The file organizer functions allow you to create folders based on information contained inside the file and outside the file system it is stored in, and move / copy the file to these folders. This is useful when you detected and recovered files by signatures, but recovered files have abstract names. The file organizer is primarily used to open files of a chosen extension, look at data contained within that file, create a folder structure that matches the data contained within the file and move / copy the file to that folder.

New in version 13

  • Added "Last Chance" recovery method for detecting files by signatures
  • Added recovery of files from Linux BtrFS file system
  • Added recovery of 26 more pre-defined file signatures: eBooks, Adobe Flash, Real Audio, Archives, ... (MXF, MKV, GIF, LIT, RMF, WVC, OGG, RB, ARC, AIF, FB2, PSD, AU, 7Z, FLIC, FLAC, APE, MEF, AAC, ZOO, TAR, PCX, F4V, FLV, MMF, SRW)
  • Improved processing of internal attributes for signatures: MID, MRW, RAF, X3F, PDF, RA, RM, RMVB
  • Ultimate package now includes linux-based bootable Active@ LiveCD, being able to boot all the latest UEFI secure boot systems

New in version 12

  • Added 64-bit executable which scans disks much faster and optimizes memory usage on x64 platforms
  • Files detected by Signatures can be organized (sorted, viewed and placed in folders) by attributes before recovery
  • Added Virtual Disk option, to scan devices/disk images having different sector size
  • Increased memory limits (up to 3GB) for 32-bit executable to process larger data arrays on x86 platforms
  • Minor improvements is disk scan and recovery algorithms
  • New pre-defined file signatures added: *.GZIP Archive, *.MTS Video, File Maker's: *.FP3, FP5, FP7, FMP12

New in version 11

  • New Look and Feel: light color scheme by default
  • Improved integrated Disk Editor (HexViewer), including Linux & Unix iNode & SuperBlock templates
  • Custom file signatures can be defined via powerful scripting language
  • Display of file meta-data (title, date) for files detected by signatures
  • Sorting & recovery based on file meta-data (title, date) for files detected by signatures
  • Added new built-in signatures for file types: 3FR, RW2, ERF, KDC, DCR, MOS, ODT, OLE and XPS
  • Fixed minor bugs and improved scanning and recovery algorithms

New in version 10

  • Support for recovery from FreeBSD UNIX UFS and Linux Ext4fs file systems
  • Added an integrated Disk Editor (HEX Viewer) component being able to inspect disks and files on a low level (raw sectors)
  • Flexible application style: can be changed from Dark to Light color schemas
  • Convenient 'Go Back' and 'Go Up' navigation buttons and key combinations added
  • Custom file signatures can be defined via user templates loaded from a text file
  • Added RAR archive signature to the internally supported Signatures List
  • Improvements in recovery kernel: faster scans, more files and partitions can be detected...

New in version 9.5

  • Support for Apple HFS+ and Linux Ext2/Ext3/Ext4fs file systems recovery
  • Docked Properties window displays object's properties "on-the-fly" (dynamically changing context)
  • Added search by object's ID range, and full object's path is now displayed
  • Stores settings in INI file instead of Registry
  • Improved recovery files of MP3 type by signatures
  • File Preview allows to preview files up to 10MB in size, more shortcuts added
  • Improved software RAIDs (based on LDM) handling and re-construction

New in version 9.0

  • Support for exFAT file system recovery
  • Support for 4096 byte sector size HDDs
  • Support for RAW-Compressed images and RAW images manually composed from several chunks
  • Support for VMWARE & VirtualPC HDD images: open and work as with regular HDDs
  • New Signature files supported (Adobe *.pdf, Flash *.swf, DJVU *.djvu, QuickTime *.m4.)
  • Support for multi-tasking: user can QuickScan found volumes and recover data while SuperScan is in progress
  • SuperScan progress: displays of map of scanned sectors and found meta-data while scanning
  • Configuration parameters stored locally and re-loaded upon next use
  • Improved SuperScan algorithms - detects more deleted partitions and reveals more files for recovery
  • Scan speed increased 2 to 4 times, with significant reduction in system memory consumption
  • Keyboard shortcuts added - many operations can be performed without use of a mouse
  • Integrated Active@ Organizer utility
  • Search results displayed with full path and supports hierarchical structure
  • SuperScan process displays many details, including sector info, time elapsed and time remaining, displays found meta-data
  • Advanced filtering of volumes found by SuperScan
  • Full support for multi-language character sets (Unicode), recovers files and folders having names containing non-English characters (ex. Spanish, Chinese, Korean, etc.)

New in version 8.0

  • Fixed bug caused exception on hard disks > 2TB
  • Improved FAT partitions search
  • New improved Boot Disk Creator
  • Enterprise version now contains full installation bootable ISO (no additional download required)
  • Windows PE updated to version 3.0 (based on Windows 7)
  • Fixed minor bugs

New in version 7.3

RAID-5 of different types is being supported:

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


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.

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