NTFS data recovery

NTFS is perhaps the most common desktop filesystem not only among Windows filesystems, but in general. Although Microsoft has already released a new filesystem – ReFS - designed to replace NTFS, there is no doubt that NTFS will remain the most used desktop filesystem in the world for a long time.

There are several situations when you need to do NTFS recovery:

  • you have accidentally deleted some files,
  • you have accidentally formatted an NTFS volume,
  • some filesystem failure has occurred and you cannot access the data stored on the NTFS volume anymore.

Before you start to panic and run to the nearest data recovery service you can try to recover the data yourself using special data software. Most likely you have high chances to recover data successfully. NTFS is old and well-studied filesystem; more than that, it is designed well from the recovery point of view, almost as if designers took data recovery into account from the very start. However, it is very important to stop using storage device once you realize that you need to recover data. This is because the original data can be overwritten. Furthermore, due to the same reason never install data recovery software on the device from which you are going to recover data.

How to recover NTFS partition using ReclaiMe

  1. Connect the device you need to recover data from to a PC.
  2. Download, install, and run ReclaiMe File Recovery software. Important: never install the software to the device you are going to recover.
  3. Select the device you need to recover data from in the device list of ReclaiMe.
  4. Double click the drive in the device list to start recovery.
  5. The files are displayed as soon as they are discovered. In most cases you do not have to wait before the scan completes. Usually, you need to wait till 3-4% of the scan.
  6. NTFS data recovery
  7. If you need a specific file or folder use the search feature of ReclaiMe.
  8. Click the Save button and start copying data if you are satisfied with the NTFS recovery result.

Myths about NTFS data recovery

When searching for "NTFS recovery" solutions, often you can see the tutorials covering NTFS partition recovery rather than file-by-file data recovery. Before choosing this route, you should clearly understand that unlike read-only data recovery approach, partition recovery software overwrites data on the NTFS volume. On the one hand, only small amount of data is overwritten – MBR or GPT partition table, on the other hand, it is still a modification of the data.

Another myth about NTFS recovery is so-called free NTFS recovery tools. Typically, such solutions have limitations either on the amount of data you can recover for free (something like 2 GB) or on the size of the files – up to 64KB.

Recently we have published a research aimed at determining the average volume of data and average number of files recovered from an NTFS volume. The research was based on our statistics gathered from 2015-2017 and covered about 80,000 cases.

According to our research, the average volume of data extracting in NTFS recovery is 2 TB and most of disks (92%) are disks larger than 100 GB. The average number of files is 600 000 which gives about 4 MB per file.

NTFS volume size

Average number of files in NTFS recovery

You can find the full text of the ReclaiMe’s research at this page.

You see that it is much more than 2 GB as to total amount of data and more than 64 KB as to file size - that's why for all real recovery tasks free NTFS recovery solutions do not make sense.

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