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File Scavenger Main Dialog

Look for

Click on the drop-down list to select one or more file extensions. Leave the default value "*" to look for all files (recommended). Note that after scanning you can use the View filters to display only certain files. Changing the view filter does not require a rescan.

Instead of selecting the check boxes, you can also type in a filename to look for, optionally with the pattern-matching character "*". For examples:

 Look for  Filename  Match? 
 myfile.txt  myfile.txt  Yes 
 myfile.txt  yourfile.txt  No 
 *.txt  myfile.txt  Yes 
 *.txt  yourfile.txt  Yes 
 *.txt  myfile.docx  No 
 a*.txt  a1234.txt  Yes 
 a*.txt  za1234.txt  No 

  • myfile.txt: only matches "myfile.txt".

  • *.txt: matches all files with the file extension "txt".

  • a*.txt: matches all files with the file extension "txt" and begins with an "a".

You can specify multiple matching criteria, separated by commas. For example:

 Look for  Filename  Match? 
 myfile.txt,yourfile.txt  myfile.txt  Yes 
 myfile.txt,yourfile.txt  yourfile.txt  Yes 
 *.txt,a*.docx  myfile.txt  Yes 
 *.txt,a*.docx  a1234.docx  Yes 
 *.txt,a*.docx  za1234.docx  No 

To exclude certain filenames or patterns, place them inside the angle backets "<" and ">". For example:

 Look for  Filename  Match? 
 *,<*.jpg>  myfile.txt  Yes 
 *,<*.jpg>  a1234.jpg  No 

  • *,<*.jpg>: matches all files except JPEG files with the file extension ".jpg".

In Quick Scan, folder names can be determined with certainty. You can supply a folder name as part of the scanning criteria. For example:

  • "mydata\*.txt": looks for all files with file extension ".txt" in the folder "mydata". For example, the following files will match: "e:\mydata\myfile1.txt", "e:\Year2001\mydata\file2.txt".

  • "\mydata\*.txt": looks for all files with file extension ".txt" in the folder "mydata" which is under the root folder. "e:\mydata\myfile1.txt" will match but "e:\Year2001\mydata\file2.txt" will not match.

In Long Scan, the folder names cannot be determined with certainty and only the filename will be compared.

Look in

Selects a volume or disk to scan.

For a mapped network drive, File Scavenger® must be run on the computer where the drive physically resides.

Quick or Long Scan

Selects a Scan Mode.


Starts scanning.

File List

Displays information and status of files found by the scan.


After scanning, the status can be Good or Poor, indicating whether the corresponding file is more or less likely to be recovered successfully. If the status cannot be determined, it will be left blank.

After recovery, the status can be one of the following.


The file was saved in the destination folder. However, there is no guarantee the content of the recovered file is still intact. You need to open the file to validate it.


The file was not saved because of an error that should be displayed in the status panel.


The file was skipped based on the selected Overwrite Mode. Empty files are also skipped if the filename already exists.


The volume this file is determined to belong to. See Volume Affiliation.

After scanning is complete, you can click on the tab "Step 2: Save" to move to the saving step. The following elements will be displayed:

Destination folder

You can type in a folder path or use the Browse button to select a folder to save recovered files to. This folder should not be on the drive holding lost data.

Use Folder Names

Restores original folder names. For example, if you search drive E: and save E:\dir1\file1.txt to "D:\recovery", the recovered file will be saved as "d:\recovery\dir1\file1.txt" if this option is checked. Otherwise the file will be saved as "d:\recovery\file1.txt".


Starts saving the recovered files.

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