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I have an image that I know somehow got renamed and does not have a normal image extension (i.e. it's definitely not .jpg .gif .png, etc) but rather some random non-image temp extension.

Is there a program or way for me to scan my drive to find all images based on the content-type of the files rather than the name or extension?

I'm thinking this has to be a deep-scan of sorts to really do this.

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6 Answers

If you're SURE you made it without an extension, there's not many files in the Windows directory that don't have extensions, so it should be easy to locate.

From a command prompt, run this:

dir c:\windows\*. /s /A-D /b > c:\files.txt

Then you'll have a list of every single file without an extension in a text file called files.txt in the root of your C:

You can probably ignore most of the really obvious directories.

Next time, how about a password protected .rar file? ;)

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Linux systems have a 'file' tool that can tell you if a file is a jpg file by content, not by extension. Look into cygwin, maybe it has this tool too.

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the image might have Exif data in to, so you could do a case-sensitive search for Exif.

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Thanks for the help. What would I use, windows search? Do I just search for "Exif"? –  Peter Feb 13 '11 at 16:11
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What OS are you using? If you're on Windows 7 and remember any other properties of the image such as date modified or size, you can just specify kind:=picture and supply values for the other properties, and Windows should run off and fetch a list. Set the view to be thumbnails so that you help you do a visual search of the image files on your drive.

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If you've accessed the file recently it could be amongst the ones listed under Documents in your Start menu (I don't know if there is Documents item on Windows 7 though). If it's there, you may at least see what its extension is if only the name has been renamed.

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  1. Install IfranView (it's free).
  2. Click Options and then go into Properties/Settings
  3. Tick the Other box, highlighted below: enter image description here

  4. Press Ctrl+F to bring up the search dialog box. Search within C:\Windows (or wherever else you think the image/photo was). You can tick the box to search subfolders. If you really have absolutely no idea where it is, you could theoretically search the entire C:\ drive, if you have a couple of hours to sift through the thumbnails for every single file on your computer.

  5. Click Start Search and let it produce a list of files
  6. Click the Show in Thumbnails button
  7. Simply scroll through the list and each subdirectory until you see the thumbnail of your image/photo. Easy peasy, if you have the time. enter image description here

I guess my secret love for monorail cat is no longer a secret :(

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