PhotoRec is a data recovery tool for severely damaged digital media. It was originally designed to recover pictures from dying digital camera memory but has since been extended to work with over 480 different types of files on nearly any kind of digital media. PhotoRec works by scanning the entire disk from beginning to end looking for files. This approach, referred to as file carving, is why PhotoRec can work even when the underlying media is severely damaged, when the filesystem metadata has been corrupted, or even when the media has been reformatted. The How PhotoRec works section on PhotoRec's website goes into more technical detail on this process. The PhotoRec step by step section gives a detailed walkthrough of the recovery process with screenshots and explanations of each step. The PhotoRec site provides executables for Windows, macOS, and Linux. PhotoRec is free software, distributed under the GNU General Public License, with source code available alongside the executable downloads.
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