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Recuva damaged file during recover + changed extension

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Have a 2TB backup drive on which I had stored thousands of FLV videos that played in many Windows OS players. The backup drive was less than 10% full. The wife accidently deleted the folder they were stored in. I used Recuva to recover them which it said it did, although during the process, it changed most of the .flv extensions to .mp4 and when I went to play them I got the message that they are undefined files and unplayable even in a MP4 player. I used Gspot to check this and it indicated they were undefined files. VLC said they were undf files too. Quicktime and many other players I tried either didn't do anything or indicated an error. I tried changing the extension on a few to .flv in dos, but I still could no longer play them. I even tried several flv recover/repair tools and they could not repair the significant damage Recuva has done.


I find it horrendous, that Piriform's Recuva has modified the extensions of files and their content when recovering video files. It now makes me very leery to use Recuva to recover any files as they have no integrity. The files that Recuva found and recovered was stated at 100% and no additional files had been added to the Backup drive prior to the recovery.


I would appreciate a repair utility from Piriform ASAP as they need to standby what they market to consumers. Their Recuva program stated it recovered my video files 100% and did not indicate any issues with the integrity of the recovery files which were modified by Recuva with no mention anywhere in their documentation that they modify files during recovery nor to not use Recuva to recover video files. It's one thing to change the extension which is easy to change back, it is another to also modify the file in such a way that it is no longer playable based on its initial creation format and content.


CAUTION: If you do not see a fix by Piriform in this forum or my update as to a fix that worked, then I would not use their neat tools like Recuva until they do fix it.

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Did you do a normal or deep scan? Did your wife delete to the Recycler first or do a shift/del? In a normal scan Recuva will use the file extension as held in the MFT. In a deep scan Recuva will use (for those files without an MFT entry) the file signature held in the first file sector. Are you sure that the Scan stage in Recuva showed the files as .flv and they recovered to .mp4? Recuva does not change any file extension.


Recuva will recover file clusters as they are listed in the MFT (for a normal scan). It does not modify the contents. Whatever the clusters hold on disk will be recovered. If the recovered file is unplayable it's because the deleted clusters are unplayable.


Are the files very large? I suspect they are, being video. Under certain conditions NTFS can, and does, alter the entries in the MFT when a large file is deleted. It tidys up the MFT entries, which results in most of the information pointing to the clusters being lost. Not lost to Recuva, but lost. NTFS can do this because deleted clusters, and MFT entries, are fair game for anything. What size are the recovered unplayable files? Are they what you would expect?


Recuva's deleted files ratings are presumably based on whether the file has a header, whether it's overwritten or not, etc. The file clusters may contain rubbish, but Recuva can't tell that.


In the end nothing can guarantee to recover data. Recuva does its best, and will return what it can from the disk.


PS I'm not a Piriformer, just some bloke in a shed. All the above is from use and experience, and a few assumptions.

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What connection to this 2 TB HDD ?

i.e. USB2, eSata, etc.


What did you use as the destination target for Recuva to place its output ?


What is your operating system and Service Pack Level ?

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