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«Help System Table of Contents 1 INTRODUCTION 2 GETTING STARTED! 2.1 Installation 2.2 Wizard 2.3 Browse Method: 2.4 Search Method: 2.5 Surface Scan ...»

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Compressed files are displayed in blue and encrypted files are displayed in green. Pandora Recovery allows you to recover all kinds of files from volumes formatted using NTFS, including compressed, sparse and encrypted files.

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Why some files are displayed in red color?

Overwritten deleted files are displayed in red color. When a file has been deleted, the disk space occupied by the file can be reused by file system. The file system can reallocate this space for data of newly created files. So the deleted file becomes overwritten. There are more chances that an overwritten file is corrupted and can not be recovered successfully. Pandora Recovery can determine if given deleted file is overwritten. It displays overwritten deleted files in red.

Note, this feature is not available with Surface Scan How can I determine how much percent of a file data was overwritten by other files?

You can hold your mouse pointer over the file for a second or two until popup tip is displayed. The tip contains information about how many percent of the file were overwritten by other files. Example: "Overwritten: 50%". The more percent were overwritten, the less chances the file will be recovered successfully.

Note, this feature is not available with Surface Scan

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How to find and display all deleted files located on disc drive?

Enter asterisk (*) in file name field and press Search button. It will display all deleted files and folders How can I search for files containing video and images in Search tab?

Use following filename patterns:

1. For video: *.avi;

2. For images: *.bmp;*.jpg;*.gif;

What is the difference between 'Exactly' and 'Like' search criteria?

If you use 'Exactly' it will find the files having the exact same name as you've entered in filename field. But if you use 'Like' it will find the names that match search pattern you've entered in filename filled.

What will happen if I recover deleted files to the disc drive containing less free space than needed for complete recovery?

Some files won't be recovered. Ensure that the destination disc has enough free space for complete recovery.

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It displays my deleted file in the Search tab, but when I choose 'Open Containing Folder' context menu item it doesn't go to file's original location and doesn't show the file in Browse tab. Why does that happen?

This can happen when Windows doesn't grant you permission to view contents of certain folder, for example of System Volume Information folder. You still can recover found deleted files from such folders from Search tab.

Why don’t I ever see 'Orphan Folders' in Search tab?

Orphan Folders are not displayed in Search view, because they do not physically exist, but deleted files contained in them are displayed in Search view.

I cleared my Recycle Bin. I've tried Search but I can't find them. Where did the files from Recycle Bin disappear?

In Browse tab, open the folder called RECYCLER on the disk drive where your files were located before they were deleted. There, you will see files named like Dd123.xyz. The files you have deleted may be there. Windows automatically renames files when placing them to Recycle Bin. The problem is you can't determine the original names. Now select all files in RECYCLER folder and recover them to another disk drive. Open each recovered file to determine its content.

I removed files located in My Documents folder. How can I find and recover them?

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1. In Browse tab, open "C:\Document and Settings\your_user_name\My Documents" folder. Your deleted files may be there.

2. Try searching drive C:.

I removed files from desktop. How can I recover them?

–  –  –

1. In Browse tab, open "C:\Document and Settings\your_user_name\Desktop" folder. Your deleted files may be there.

2. Try searching drive C:.

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What types of files can I preview in Quick Viewer?

Currently you can preview files having several image file types (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG, ICO,TIF, TGA, PCX, WBMP, WMF, JP2, J2K, JBG, JPC, PGX, PNM, RAS, CUR) and several text file types (TXT, LOG, INI, BAT, RTF, XML, CSS). Quick Viewer allows you preview file contents as text if it can't find appropriate viewer for it.

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I want to preview deleted file(s) that are supported by Quick Viewer, but it doesn't show file contents and only allows you to view file as text. Why?

The deleted file(s) you are trying to preview may be overwritten. In such a case “Quick Viewer” can not display its content.

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What is disk surface scan and how does it work?

Disk surface scan enumerates all unused clusters on the disk drive and searches for disk areas probably occupied by the data of removed files. Using this method of search, we do not use information contained in the file allocation table.

So, it can work even on reformatted disk drives (except in) the case when low-level formatting was performed).

Almost each type of files has its unique features, for example the beginning of a JPEG file always contains JFIF magic word. Using this information we can determine what areas of the disk may contain deleted files data. Knowing the structure of a file (which is common within one file type) we can determine the length of the file and then recover file data.

File name and file attributes information are stored separately of the file data in file allocation table (FAT in FAT32 file system, MFT in NTFS), so we cannot determine the name of the file, its attributes, file path and recover data of file alternative data streams.

This method works only with non-fragmented files. Data of non- fragmented file(s) are stored in contiguous neighbor clusters, while data of a fragmented file may be stored in different places of the disk.

Remarks: In NTFS small files (less than 1KB in size) reside only in the Master File Table (MFT), so we cannot find such files using the Surface Scan Method.

When should I use Browse Method (Indexing Hard drive) and when should I use the Disk Surface Scan Method?

You should try the Browse (Indexing Hard Drive) method at first. Using the Browse method you can recover much more information about deleted files than using Disk Surface Scan.

For example, the disk surface scan can not recover file name, file attributes or alternative data stream data while Browse method can recover such information.

If you just don't remember where the lost file was removed from, use Browse (Index entire drive) method.

In cases where Browse (Indexing entire hard drive) doesn’t give the desired results, you may try Disk Surface Scan. It works with deleted files that have no record in the file allocation table or with reformatted disk drives, where the file allocation table is empty.

What is better – Browse Method or Disk Surface Scan?

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It depends on what your circumstances are. Look at the following table comparing advantages and disadvantages of both methods.

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Is disk surface scan applicable to reformatted disk drives?

Yes, you can recover files even from reformatted disk drives, except in cases where low-level formatting was performed.

What file type’s can I find and recover using disk surface scan method?

Currently you can look for and recover:

- JPEG images (*.JPG).

- PNG images (*.PNG).

- GIF images (*.GIF).

- BMP images (*.BMP).

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Can I scan my FAT32 or NTFS disk drive?

Currently you can only scan NTFS disk drives. In a future version we will support FAT12/FAT16/FAT32 disk drives.

What information can I recover using disk surface scan method?

You are able to recover file data only using disk surface scan. File name, file attributes of file path can not be recovered using this method.

Why can't I see original file names using disk surface scan method?

Information about file names is stored in the Master File Table (MFT), separate from data files. The disk surface scan method enumerates all unused clusters on the disk and does not use information from MFT. Use Browse method instead if you need such information.

Why can't I recover file name, attributes and file path?

File name information is stored separately of the file data in file allocation table, so we cannot determine the name of the file, its attributes, and path or alternative data streams. The disk surface scan method enumerates all unused clusters on the disk and doesn't use information from MFT. This allows it to scan, even reformatted disk drives.

What do I do if I need to search for a file type, but I don't see it in the supported type’s tree?

Disk surface scan allows you search for several predefined file types (BMP, JPG, PNG and GIF). If you need to look for other file types you can use the browse method. If both “Browse” and “Surface” Scan have no effect, than your information was probably permanently lost.


Below is a list of status messages that you might encounter while using the software. ‘Error’ does not indicate an error in logic or implementation of the software. Instead, it indicates an unfavorable outcome.

Error message: The deleted file couldn't be accessed. File record is corrupted.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: The MFT record of the file is corrupted. File name can not be determined. File data can not be recovered.

Error message: The file couldn't be recovered. The $EFS attribute is corrupted.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: The $EFS attribute of the encrypted file is missing or corrupted. File contents can not be recovered.

Error message: The file doesn't contain $FILE_NAME attribute.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: The $FILE_NAME attribute is missing or corrupted. The name of file cannot be determined.

Error message: The encrypted file couldn't be imported.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: There was an error during the file import procedure. The encrypted can not be recovered.

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Error message: Error opening file for import.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: The EFS can not open encrypted file for importing to the file system.

Error message: The file has no $DATA attribute. The file possibly was overwritten.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: File has no data to recover.

Error message: The data stream couldn't be created.

Severity: Not fatal.

Reason: The alternative data stream can not be created. This may happen if you try to recover the file to nonNTFS drive.

Error message: The data stream was not completely recovered. It is possibly corrupted.

Severity: Not fatal.

Reason: Not all data can be recovered. Part of file data is missing.

Error message: The following file already exists. Do you want to overwrite it?

Severity: Not fatal.

Reason: The destination folder already contains such file.

Error message: Error overwriting file.

Severity: Fatal.

Reason: The destination file can not be overwritten. It is possibly locked by another process.

Error message: Target drive contains a file system that does not support alternative data streams. Only one stream will be recovered.

Severity: Not fatal.

Reason: The alternative data stream can not be created. This may happen if you try to recover the file to nonNTFS drive.

Error message: X of free space are available on disk while X are needed for complete recovery. Continue anyway?

Severity: Not fatal.

Reason: There is no enough free space on destination disc drive.

10 GLOSSARY Alternative File Stream Files in NTFS can have more then one stream. Alternative streams usually contain file related metadata. For example, MP3 music file may contain unnamed stream, where data are stored, and one or several additional streams where composition genre, album name and author name are stored.

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