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Resolves sector problems on a damaged file or a defective disk. (Beginning with v6.0, this program is no longer available; in v6.0 and later, use the ScanDisk utility.)


Defective disk:

RECOVER drive:

Damaged file:

RECOVER [drive:][path]filename

drive: (v2.0 NT3.5)
Specifies the defective drive letter to attempt recovery on.
path ( filename v2.0 NT3.5)
Specifies the name of the damaged file to be recovered.
You cannot use wildcards (* and ?).




Check Disk - check and repair disk problems: CHKDSK command.
Equivalent Linux BASH commands:
cksum - Print CRC checksum and byte counts (can detect problems but not fix them)

Fixes sector problems

If a disk develops problems, you can use this command to attempt to fix sector problems. You can recover either the file containing that sector (but without the bad sector) or the entire disk (if there were sector problems in the disk directory area).

Partly readable is better than none

Recover is designed to help in the case of hardware failure. When a drive fails the failure is not always total, in other words you may be able to read some of the files but not others, and some files will be only partly readable.

The data on a disk is stored in tracks and sectors in an almost random manner. Data stored in a bad sectors cannot be read.

RECOVER reads a file sector by sector and recovers data from the good sectors.

Recover will not allow you to undelete a file.

Recover files one at a time; move each file to a good disk before editing to re-enter missing information. In the case of complex documents you will probably lose formatting/graphics but will retain raw text.


To recover the file NEWFILES.TXT, enter:


The program will read the file, sector by sector, skipping the bad sectors. When a bad sector is found, the sector is marked and DOS will no longer allocate your data to that sector. To recover the disk in drive A, enter:


Each recovered file will be listed in the directory in the form FILEnnnn.REC, where nnnn is a sequential number starting with 0001.

If there is not enough room in the root directory, a message will be printed and the program will store information about the extra files in the file allocation table. You can run RECOVER later to regain these files (after you have removed files to make more room in the root directory).



v2.0 v2.01 v2.05 v2.10 v2.11 v2.11R v2.12 v2.2 v2.25 v3.0 v3.20 v3.05 v3.1 v3.21 v3.25 v3.30 v3.3A v3.3R v3.3T v3.31 v3.40 v4.0 v4.01 v4.01A v5.0 v5.0A v5.00.02 v5.001A v5.01 v5.02 v6.0 v6.10 v6.2 v6.21 v6.22 v6.23
Windows NT
NT3.5 NT4 NT2000 NTXP NT2003