FindNTFS is a small effective free program to locate and recover NTFS (NT File System, The default method of storing files on Windows 2k/XP) files. It is available in several versions, including one that will run from a DOS boot, and thus can be used when the Windows OS is not bootable.
To use FINDNTFS, boot your system into DOS using a boot disk with the findntfs.exe file on it.
To obtain a list of NTFS files and directories on the drive you are attempting to recover from, type 'FINDNTFS # 1 1 1 c:\recoverlog.txt files' at the command prompt. The "#" should be replaced with the number of the hard drive you are reading from. If you have only one drive, it will be '1', if there is more than one drive in the system the physical hard drive with the 'c:' logical drive on it will be '1'.
This command tells The FindNTFS program to search the entire specified disk for NTFS files, and output the file list to a text file on the C: drive. Note that you can save the text file under any name on any drive, as long as it has the '.txt' extension. Do not save the log file onto a drive you are trying to recover data from however. If everything went well, you should have a reassuring, if somewhat jumbled list of the available NTFS files on the drive you selected. Search the document for the filenames that are most essential, and then scroll up until you see the directory that they are in.
You will need to do this, since the directory order that FindNTFS sees will not necessarily be the same as you had before the data was lost. Note down the number of the directory before proceeding on with the next step.
To recover files using FindNTFS, you need to use the 'copy' command. A limitation of the program is that it will only save recovered files into the directory where the FindNTFS executable is located, so make sure you have enough space available to hold your restored files.
Type 'FINDNTFS # (replace "#" with the drive you are recovering from, as before) 1 1 1 copy #'. This is the directory number holding the files you wish to restore. You may enter up to 10 directory numbers. If you do not enter a number, the program will attempt to restore and copy all NTFS files on the selected disk.
FindNTFS will copy the selected directories and files to the directory containing the FindNTFS.exe file. Check the recovered files to make sure they are not corrupted.
Sadly, FindNTFS has one major limitation. It cannot copy NTFS files onto DOS readable (FAT) partitions, and therefore is not able to recover files without an NTFS supporting operating system running (Windows NT/2K/XP). Thus it is not possible to recover files directly with this program using a DOS boot disk.
Developers’ website: http://www.partitionsupport.com/utilities.htm