How to perform Data Recovery

TechTool Pro's data recovery routines consist of three parts:

  • Protection—recover files/folders based on previously saved Directory Backup files
  • Drives—recover files/folders based on scavengeddirectory data
  • Trash—recover deleted files based on the Trash History

These options are covered in detail below.

Protection

Use this data recovery option to try to recover files or folders from a corrupted volume when TechTool Protection had been configured to save Directory Backup files for the volume.

To display the Data Recovery Protection configuration window, choose Data Recovery from the Tools category and then click the Protection tab.

The left side of the configuration window shows the Directory Backups list. Each recognized volume along with its associated Directory Backup files indented beneath the volume name is listed here. The Directory Backup files are identified by the date and time they were created. Typically, you would select the most recent available Directory Backup file since it will most accurately represent the state of the volume contents. TechTool Protection saves a maximum of three Directory Backup files for each volume, deleting the oldest one when necessary to save a new one.

Drives

Use this data recovery option to try to recover files/folders from volumes for which no Directory Backup files are available. It will be slower since the entire hard drive (not just an individual volume) must be scanned for directory information.

To display the Data Recovery Drives configuration window, choose Data Recovery from the Tools category and then click the Drives tab.

The left side of the configuration window shows the Drives list. Each recognized drive is listed here.

Search

Once you have selected a drive or volume from which to recover data, enter the search options on the right side of the configuration window. Enter a search string in the "Folder or file name to locate" field (the search is not case sensitive). Then select the desired Search Criteria from the bullet list. The options are:

  • Contains—search for file/folder names containing the specified string
  • Starts With—search for file/folder names beginning with the specified string
  • Whole Words—search for file/folder names that exactly match the specified string
  • Ends With—search for file/folder names ending with the specified string

NOTE When searching for a file using the Whole Words option, you must include the file's extension (if present) as a part of the file name. This is a three or four letter identifier (which is normally hidden by the Finder) following a period at the end of the file name. If you don't know the extension for the file, you might consider using the Contains search criterion instead. Press the Locate Files button to begin the search.

As the search is performed, progress will be displayed on the stage. When complete, the Data Recovery window will appear listing all files and folders that were found based on the search criteria, as well as other data about the found item.

Select the file or folder of interest from the list. If the item is displayed in black, it is still available on the volume via the Finder. Click the Show button on the upper right to display it in a Finder window. If the item is displayed in red, it is not available via the Finder (the item has been deleted, the volume is not mounted, etc.). In that case, click the Restore button on the upper right to copy it to a folder on the desktop named TechTool Pro 6 Recovered Files. The item will be located in a subfolder whose name is the date and time of the recovery. (When booted to the DVD, a save dialog box will appear letting you choose a destination for the recovered items folder.)

Trash

Use this data recovery option to recover deleted files/folders. This will only work to undelete items from volumes for which Trash History was active prior to the deletion and which were deleted within the time frame configured to record deleted files. . Trash History is configured in the TechTool Protection pane of System Preferences. You must run the installed copy of TechTool Pro when un-deleting files, since the Trash History is maintained by the current startup system. This option will not be available when booted to the TechTool Pro DVD.