FAQ

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions about GetDataBack

Should you have any questions that are not answered here, please don't hesitate to contact technical support.



GetDataBack Simple, classic GetDataBack for FAT, GetDataBack for NTFS

What are the differences between GetDataBack Simple, GetDataBack for FAT, and GetDataBack for NTFS?
Can fragmentation of the disk affect the result of the recovery?
Can I investigate the quality of my recovered files before I buy the software?
Can I use GetDataBack to recover data from CDs, CDRs and DVDs?
Can I use GetDataBack to recover data if my hard drive is not recognized by the BIOS of my computer?
While running GetDataBack I received a disk error. What does this mean?
How can I optimize the quality of the recovery?
I cannot open the recovered files. Why?
I don't know which file system I had on my drive before it crashed. What do I do?
Is it safe to run GetDataBack on my crashed hard drive?
The software only runs in a Windows environment, as my computer is a laptop, I cannot have more than one hard disk.
Will GetDataBack work on large hard drives?
What is your update policy?
How do I recover files I deleted with Windows Explorer?
Why don't I see any drives?
Does GetDataBack support Unicode character sets?
What is the difference between a regular and a technician's license?

See more FAQs in the GetDataBack help files.




Q. What are the differences between GetDataBack Simple, GetDataBack for FAT, and GetDataBack for NTFS?

A. GetDataBack Simple is the newest and recommended recovery software for FAT and NTFS file systems. GetDataBack for FAT and GetDataBack for NTFS are our classic recovery products and should be used if the recovery with GetDataBack Simple was not successful.

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Q. Can fragmentation of the disc affect the result of the recovery?

A. GetDataBack is searching your hard drive to find one of the FAT (File Allocation Table). If no FAT is found GetDataBack will attempt the recovery without this information. In this case the possibility of bringing fragmented parts from all over the drive together gets smaller.

Fragmentation in NTFS should not effect the results of the recovery. Information about a file's allocation is stored in a MFT entry (other than with a FAT file system, where this information is stored in the FAT). If the file shows up in the recovery tree, it should be recoverable. If it does not contain the expected data, you should review your selection of the file system.

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Q. Can I investigate the quality of my recovered files before I buy the software?

A. Yes, GetDataBack contains a build-in viewer which lets you investigate the quality of your files and you can also open the files with their original application before you have to register the program.

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Q. Can I use GetDataBack to recover data from CDs, CDRs and DVDs?

A. No, GetDataBack is a software for hard drives, SSD, floppy drives, Jaz drives, Zip drives, Memory Sticks, Smart Media, Compact Flash, Secure Digital and Multi Media Cards only.

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Q. Can I use GetDataBack to recover data if my hard drive is not recognized by the BIOS of my computer?

A. No, if the BIOS is not recognizing the hard drive, our software is not able to perform a recovery. Please make sure that the connections, jumper settings and controllers are okay. If the hard drive is still not recognized, try to connect it to another computer and see if it gets recognized there.

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Q. While running GetDataBack I receive a disk error. What does this mean?

A. GetDataBack is a solution for software related problems, it cannot help you with failed hardware. A disk error is a sign for a hardware problem. We recommend to stop working with the corrupted drive until you make a disk image. (Every try to access data can increase corruption!) After successfully creating an image you can use the image file as an input for GetDataBack.

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Q. How can I optimize the quality of the recovery?

A. What did you choose in the first step? We recommend choosing the physical drive for your recovery.

In Step 2 be sure to choose the file system which contains the most applicable information to perform the recovery on. You can compare the file system quality by viewing the details in the right window. Pick the file system with the highest number of "data matches". Another indicator for better file system quality is the percentage rating on the right side of the graphic below. Before you register, please test enough files to be sure you are satisfied with the results of the recovery.

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Q. I cannot open the recovered files. Why?

A. There are three possible reasons for the inability to open the recovered files.

  • GetDataBack is searching your hard drive to find one of the FATs (File Allocation Tables). If no FAT is found GetDataBack will attempt the recovery without this information. In case of fragmented files, the chances of bringing all parts together gets smaller. However, only a fraction of the recovered file is usually affected by this problem. Another FAT related problem can occur if GetDataBack find a FAT that is not the file system's FAT. In this case GetDataBack uses misleading allocation information.

  • Another possible reason is that your files were overwritten by other data. In this case there is no way to retrieve the data.

  • The third possible reason is that you have chosen the wrong file system. Be sure to choose the file system that contains the most applicable information to perform the recovery on.
Recommendations:

Regarding point 1 you should check the beginnings of the bad files with a hex viewer (you can use DiskExplorer for that)). Compare these file starts with the starts of the same type of files that are readable. The file starts should look "similar". If they do there is a chance of putting together the files manually using a disk editor, e.g. Runtime's DiskExplorer. The file info option in GetDataBack shows you the clusters it uses for the recovery of the certain file. If GetDataBack was using a false FAT, check the "Ignore Fat" options in the options dialog and re-run the scan. Check point 3. Try other file system entries, that come close in size and position to the partition you want to recover. We will gladly assist you in determining which entry to choose please contact our Technical Support Department for more information.

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Q. I don't know which file system I had on my drive before it crashed. What do I do?

A. You use GetDataBack Simple.

If you want to use one of the classic GetDataBack versions, here are some suggestions: If you don't know which file system you had on your drive before the crash, you can use both of our demo versions of GetDataBack to explore your drive. First of all, you have to download the demos to a working Windows computer and install the software, than connect the crashed drive as the second hard drive and make sure that the BIOS is recognizing the drive. Now you can use the FAT and the NTFS demos to explore your drive. You cannot destroy anything, as long as the drive is not physically damaged, because GetDataBack is a read-only software. After you followed the instructions, with the right version you will receive a recovery tree with your files and folders. You can evaluate the quality of the recovery by clicking Recovery->Open in the main menu. If your files look okay, you can copy them to a safe location on another drive (full version only).

A little hint if you are inexperienced with different Windows versions:
Windows 3.11, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows ME use a FAT based file system. All other Windows versions can have both file systems: NTFS or FAT. However, they usually use NTFS, unless it is a removable Media or a USB drive.

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Q. Is it safe to run GetDataBack on my crashed hard drive?

A. Yes, as long as your drive doesn't have a physical problem, it is safe to use GetDataBack. The program will not change anything on the crashed drive, since it is a read-only software. Install the software on a working Windows computer and attach the hard drive which contains the lost files as a second hard drive to this computer. Make sure that the second hard drive is recognized by the BIOS. Then run GetDataBack and select your bad drive (usually this is DISK1, or HD129 in the classic GetDataBack). Let the program scan your drive. Depending on the size of the drive this will take some time. As soon as the scan is ready you will see a list of possible file systems the program has found. Usually you should select the first file system on the list. In classic GetDataPress click 'Next'. Now the program will create the tree of the recovered files. After a while you will see a tree with your recovered files and folders. If the files are found you can evaluate the quality of the recovered files. Just select a file you are interested in and press F3 or Enter. If the files look okay, they most likely will be okay after you have copied the recovered files to a safe location on another drive.

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Q. How can I recover files from my Notebook/Laptop drive?

A.

  • One option is to remove the drive and connect it to the internal cable of a Desktop computer and run GetDataBack from the Desktop computer.
  • Or remove the drive and connect it to another computer using a USB connector.
  • Another option is booting your Notebook with and running GetDataBack from the Runtime Live CD.
  • Or consider creating a WinPE/BartPE boot disk and running the recovery software from the boot CD-ROM. Instructions on how to create such a boot disk and how to integrate the required plug-ins for GetDataBack can be found on our website. Keep in mind that you will still need enough space on a different drive to copy the recovered files to.

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Q. Will GetDataBack work on a large hard drive?

A. Yes, GetDataBack generally will work on any size of hard drive. There might be restrictions imposed by your BIOS or operating system, though.

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Q. How do I recover files I deleted with Windows Explorer?

A. In GetDataBack Simple, check "Deleted" underneath the recovery tree.

In classic GetDataBack, check "Recover deleted files" in the Options screen. Then run GetDataBack as usual until it has build the Recovery Tree.

"Permanently deleted" files can be found in their original folder (if still available). Files from "emptied recycle bins" can be found below the RECYCLE directory. Note that these files have lost their original file names, but still have their original extensions. It is also a good idea to use the Search feature.

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Q. Why don't I see any drives after starting GetDataBack?

A. Make sure that the drive is connected correctly and that is was detected by the BIOS.

You must have administrator rights to access drives or partitions.

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Q. Does GetDataBack support Unicode character sets?

A. Yes it does. You can recover files whose names are encoded in non-standard character sets. This includes all Unicode character sets, such as Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Russian, Greek... We recommend to perform the data recovery on an NT/XP computer because Win9x/ME does not fully support Unicode.

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Q. What is the difference between a regular and a technician's license?

A. A regular license can be used to recover data from computers owned or controlled by the licensee. Only the licensee can use the software. The software must be installed on only one computer at any given time. A technician's license can be used for all purposes of a regular license. In addition it can be used to perform commercial data recovery services on computers not owned or controlled by the licensee. Only the licensed technician can use the software. The software must be installed on only one computer at any given time.

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