Back2Life 2.9 Recovery

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why do some files appear unreadable after recovery and why can't I use them?
This means those files are unrecoverable - the original file data was partly or totally overwritten by other files.

2. Why is my old registration key not accepted by my newer version of Back2Life?
By design every new version of Back2Life will require a new registration key. Registered users can get a free update by request - please look at Program Update help topic.

3. Why can't I select some files to recover them?
You can select only recoverable files. Existing files cannot be recovered, so they cannot be selected.

4. How do I unformat a drive?
Back2Life doesn't support direct unformatting, however, you can access files and folders on a reformatted drive by scanning it with Deep Scan method. Then you can recover them to another drive.

5. What is the difference between Standard and Smart recovery methods?
The Standard method reads a continuous sequence of clusters whether they are reused or not, while the Smart reads only the free clusters of this sequence. The Standard method may be useful when you are sure that the file was not fragmented. Otherwise, use the Smart. The Smart method gives the same result as the Standard method for files with 0% damage.

6. Why isn't the Smart recovery method available for NTFS disks?
Since NTFS file system (unlike FAT) keeps the record of file cluster sequence even after deletion, there's no need to guess about cluster locations. So only one recovery method is available.

7. What should I do immediatly after accidental erasure to ensure that I can recover those files?
The most important thing is to prevent the erased file from being rewritten. To do so, avoid any use of the disk where the file was erased, until after the erased file is recovered. Also, remember that Back2Life should not be installed to this disk. Install it to a floppy disk if no other disk is available.

8. Can I do something in advance to increase my chances of file recovery?
Yes, keep your disk in good shape by regularly defragmenting it.

9. Why is recovery to the same disk not allowed?
Recovery to the same disk may overwrite the very files you're trying to recover. That will not leave you another recovery chance.

10. What can I learn from a file cluster map?
The Cluster-Use-Map can tell you what parts of a file are damaged. It may help to save at least some of the file contents.

11. Why would I need to recover existing files?
This can be usefull in several cases:

  • When existing file name has international charactecrs that are not supported by the system
  • When existing file is unreadable (has some dead clusters)
  • When existing file is locked by Windows and is not accessible from Explorer

13. Can I see my disks properties with Back2Life?
Yes, right-click the appropriate drive button in toolbar and choose Disk Properties.

14. Can I scan for erased files with Windows Explorer or any other file manager?
Yes. Set Shell extention enabled in Back2Life Options menu. Then you can select in Explorer context menu of any folder command Undelete with Back2Life

15. How do I know with what file system my disk is formatted?
Right-click the drive button in drive bar and choose menu Disk Properties.