I am trying to recover files from a backup disk that got formatted. I didn't use the drive at all after it got formatted.

When I use DMDE with a full scan, and use "Virtual FS / all recovered files", and "++" maximum filesystem reconstruction, it basically shows the full directory structure with all of the files still there.

However, the files won't recover successfully. Even when it says there isn't an error, the recovered files are mostly all corrupted.

Am I missing something? The drive wasn't used at all after formatting it. The files should mostly all be recoverable.

  • I hope you haven't been writing to the actual partition you want to recover, and have a copy of it somewhere to play with (maybe even a backup copy to try playing again). You can try again with different settings, or try some different tools if you haven't overwritten the only copy (the original). I'm not familiar with DMDE, or if it's trying to read files or recover/repair the whole filesystem, apparently it has a free version with limits... Testdisk can sometimes recover a whole filesystem or browse the original tree, or it's photorec could find individual files.
    – Xen2050
    Dec 18, 2023 at 5:24

1 Answer 1


Most utils I tested just claim to support ReFS but actually just know basic data structures and have no idea about the actual file to block mapping and file system features. UFS, WinHex, DMDE - all fail the same way.

Try native tool refsutil with -m flag.

Do that on separate disk and also check file log (and recovery log if it fails). It is also not perfect - it fails completely if file is damaged (overwritten) and checksum does not match, but at least can recover "full" files which span multiple disjoined clusters.

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