Data Recovery Software
User Guide & Tips
Thanks for considering/purchasing Total Recall Data Recovery Software (DRS). Our goal is for you to have a successful recovery. If you take the time to read this user guide, it will likely help you in your challenge to recover your lost data.
What does Total Recall DRS recover?
Total Recall has 5 modules at the top of it's interface. It's designed to be easy to use. Total Recall can recover deleted files, lost/damaged partition tables, deleted partitions, formatted drives, lost photos on camera cards, sometimes older versions of files that you need (if they haven't been overwritten) and much more. Total Recall also recovers optical disks and local deleted emails from Microsoft Outlook® of Mozilla Thunderbird®.
Will Total Recall recover ____________________ ?
The #1 question we get asked is will Total Recall recover my (insert problem here). It's very difficult to answer this question, as we don't know. Total Recall can recover nearly anything that is letter mountable in Windows. It recovers all types of media, hard drives (including RAID), flash/memory cards, most removable media, USB sticks, CDs, DVDs. Total Recall even recovers Macintosh Volumes formatted with HFS or HFS+. Total Recall will not recover tape drives.
The best thing to figure out if Total Recall can recover your drive is to run the demo. Download the software from our website and pick the corresponding tab and follow the prompts. It's really easy!
Deleted Files / Folders
Total Recall can recover deleted files and folders from nearly any media as mentioned above. However, realize that once you delete a file, the space in the media is then usable for other files to be written on to that space. Often, deleted files are one of the most difficult recoveries. If you have deleted a file, it's very important you don't save or download anything on to that drive/media. The more you save to it, the less chance you have of getting the deleted data back. Another concern is fragmented or partial data. If your drive is heavily fragmented (unoptimized), then you could recover only partial files which may or may not open in your software application. This is NOT a flaw with Total Recall DRS. Total Recall will recover only what's there. There's no magic software that will recreate missing parts of your files. We can't guarantee that Total Recall will recover you data and it will be usable. It will only recover what is available to be recovered. It's not physically possible to recover anything more.
Getting Familiar with the Interface
This "help" button (located in the upper right of the interface) will take you to our support center website. From the support center you can download this manual, search our knowledgebase of common problems, look up account details and also ask for help from a live person. We ask that you do your best to find the answer to your question before contacting us. This way we don't have to answer the same question over and over and we can get to real questions much faster. Remember that Total Recall DRS is a do-it-yourself product. When you purchase it, we're not going to do the data recovery for you. We're providing a tool to help with your problem. Just like a hammer is to a carpenter, we're not going to build you a house.
We recommend that tech-savvy people do recoveries. If you are a novice user, this product may not be for you. However, your IT person will likely love Total Recall DRS and we'd love the recommendation.
If you don't have a registration number, the software will run in DEMO mode. In demo mode, the only limitation is that you can't save the recovered data. However, this should give you a really good idea that Total Recall DRS can recover your data. You can also preview your data by double-clicking on files and even photos to make sure they are good.
The "Register" button is the place you go to enter an Activation Number (Serial Number) to the software.
If you've already purchased an activation key at our website, then this is the place where you enter the key. Once you click the "register" button, the software will perform a check to make sure the key is valid.
For over 20 years, we've recovered more than 100,000 hard drives from our data recovery service centers all over the world. Total Recall is committed to your privacy and security. Please note that a live internet connection is required to activate the software and also to save files. This is a tamper-proof system to stop illegal sharing of our software. We do not transmit any personal data between you and us and we aren't interested in your data and we respect your right to privacy.
This screen also offers options to purchase a key, lookup a lost key number and also to view your account details.
Once you have activated your software, the button will change to "Registered" with a Green checkmark. If you need to change your key, you can click the button again.
Getting the best results!
Treat your data like it's a crime scene. You don't want to disturb the environment once the data has been lost. Don't keep using the computer. For best results, we recommend booting to a different hard drive or even better, connecting your hard drive to another working computer. This is how profesisonals recover data and we recommend you do the same. Don't save more files to your disk, you could overwrite the very data your trying to recover.
If the disk isn't mounting, first inspect it. Smell it for burns. Listen for clunking noises or continuous clicking sounds. If it doesn't sound right, don't do anything else with the disk as it likely has physical damage. Do not run this software on a physically bad hard drive. Send it to our in-lab service instead. We don't want you to make the problem worse.
Recovering Partitions & Complete Drives/Disks
The first tab of the software is the disk and partition recovery module. Most people use this module when you have an entire disk, partition or formatted drive that needs to be recovered. This is a general purpose recovery module that covers most items. The other tabs are more specific types of recoveries.
In this screen you will see a list of available disks to recover from. You can also continue a previous recovery. Your hard drives will likely be represented differently than the ones in this list. You will also see what types of drives they are, the size and their partition type. If the drive IS NOT listed here, then be sure you have it connected properly. If it still isn't showing, then Total Recall can't recover that volume. You may need to send in your drive for Full Service In-Lab Recovery. See our website for more details at http://www.totalrecall.com/.
Select a volume/drive from the list and click "Continue"
Now Total Recall will scan your volume. The estimated time will vary depending on the size and type of media. If the progress bar is not moving, and/or the time just keeps going up, there is likely something wrong with your media. You should cancel the recovery and seek professional in-lab service. See our website for more details.
A typical 120GB hard drive may take between 20 and 45 minutes to scan depending on how full and other factors. If it's taking hours, something is wrong. We recommend a professional. Don't risk doing more damage to your disk or you can easily make your data unrecoverable.
If you stop the recovery part of the way through, you can continue with the data found so far or stop and go back to the main menu. Stopping part way through can get you poor results and fragmented data. We don't recommend doing so unless it's your only option.
Once the scan is completel, you'll be presented with a list of partitions found...
The ones in green are the recommended partitions. Each partition has a weight value. If you accidentally ghosted a drive, formatted a disk, or did a "clean install" of your operating system over the top of your data, then the first partition is probably NOT what you are looking for. You can select multiple partitions at a time if you want to see all the data from each, but you may get several different versions of files.
Now you should see a familiar list of files and folders. You can double click on photos and also text files to see the contents. Place a check mark next to each file you wish to recover.
Make note the the toggle button at the bottom, you can switch between preview mode to see previews of photos. If you're looking for a photo and don't know the name, this can be helpful.
Double clicking on a photo will show a photo preview. This is helpful to get an idea that the data you are recovering is good. If you click a lot of photos, and they all look good, then you know your data is likely also good. (Not always, but it's a sign).
The "text" tab lets you see data in Hex view.
A little about preview here...
How to save files and about FTP information.
Proxy Settings (if FTP can't connect, this box is an option).
The save is complete!
Deleted File Recovery
The Red "D" symbol means it's a deleted file....
Examples of deleted files....
Photo view preview mode. Toggle button at the bottom to see...
Quitting the Software...