What Does RECOVER Do? (67223)

The information in this article applies to:
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.1
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.2
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.21
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.3
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 3.3a
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 4.01
    Microsoft MS-DOS operating system 5.0

This article was previously published under Q67223


If a file or part of a file on a disk is located on a bad sector, the RECOVER command is designed to retrieve the undamaged portion(s) of the file. The data that was in the bad sector will be gone. To recover a file named A:\MYFILE.TXT, type the following from the C:\DOS> prompt:


If the root directory of a disk is damaged, RECOVER can also be run on an entire disk. DO NOT, however, run RECOVER on the entire disk unless the root directory IS damaged. When RECOVER is run on an entire disk drive, it assumes that the current root directory is damaged and useless. ALL of the files on the entire disk are recovered, renamed, and placed in the root directory. The entire subdirectory structure of the disk is destroyed by this process.

Each subdirectory is converted into a file that contains the data about that subdirectory and is placed in the root directory as well.

The root directory of a disk has a limit to the number of files it can contain, and on most hard disks this limit is 512. It is not always possible for all files to be recovered, and the nonrecovered files become lost chains. The 512 recovered files should be copied to floppy disks and then deleted from the hard disk, and CHKDSK can then be used to convert the lost chains into files.

The "Microsoft MS-DOS User's Reference" for versions 3.x and 4.x incorrectly states that RECOVER should be run if CHKDSK reports bad sectors. For more information on this topic and on using RECOVER on hard disks, query on the following words:

ms-dos and recover and chkdsk

Modification Type: Major Last Reviewed: 11/25/2003
Keywords: KB67223