Create a Disk Image

With Advanced NTFS Recovery, you can start recovering lost or deleted files directly from the affected drive. However, the file recovery process may take some time, and it is not always possible to avoid using the drive in question. For example, Windows routinely creates recovery points, defragments HDDs, etc. This means that even if you do not save any files to the drive, some system routine can do that for you, thus damaging valuable information that otherwise would be recoverable.

Fortunately, there is an easy way to protect your deleted or lost files. You can create a disk image, thus preventing any further degradation of deleted data. Such disk image can be mounted into Advanced NTFS Recovery at any moment. The program will work with it in the same way as it works with a physical disk or a logical drive.

The downside of this method, otherwise perfect, is that it requires another drive with sufficient free space. This is not a problem with memory cards and USB sticks, but creating an image for an entire HDD may require having a bigger HDD available and ready.

To create an exact disk image, close the recovery wizard of Advanced NTFS Recovery and select the drive you want to recover. Then click the "Drives" menu item and select "Create Image":

Drives - Create image

The "Save as" dialog will pop up. Select a location for your disk image file.

Choose where to save your disk image

As a matter of course, it is not possible to save such file to the same drive that you create an image for.

After you click "Save", the program proceeds to the following window:

Start creating a disk image

Here you can adjust the path and filename for your disk image manually or click the "Browse ..." button to return to the "Save as" window. In the lower part, there are three options:

  • Entire disk contents (default). This creates an exact disk image of all contents of the selected drive. Required free space is equal to the size of the volume / disk. An appropriate file system (like NTFS) will be required for files bigger than 4 Gb.
  • Boot sector. This creates a backup copy of the selected disk's boot sector, a very small file.
  • Selected region. Here you can specify a range of sectors that have to be copied to the disk image.

In most cases you would use the default option (the entire disk contents).

Click "Save" to start creating the disk image.

Creating a disk image is in process

When the progress window disappears, you will find the created disk image in the specified location. To mount it into Advanced NTFS Recovery for the purpose of scanning for lost and deleted files, use "Drives" - "Mount image".

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