Applies To: Windows Server 2008, Windows Vista

Recovers readable information from a bad or defective disk.

For examples of how to use this command, see Examples.


recover [<Drive>:][<Path>]<FileName>


Parameter Description


Specifies the location and name of the file that you want to recover. FileName is required.


Displays help at the command prompt.


  • The recover command reads a file, sector-by-sector, and recovers data from the good sectors. Data in bad sectors is lost.

  • Bad sectors reported by chkdsk were marked as "bad" when your disk was prepared for operation. They pose no danger, and recover does not affect them.

  • Because all data in bad sectors is lost when you recover a file, you should recover only one file at a time.

  • You cannot use wildcard characters (* and ?) with the recover command. You must specify a file (and the location of the file if it is not in the current directory).


To recover the file Story.txt in the \Fiction directory on drive D, type:

recover d:\fiction\story.txt 

Additional references

Command-Line Syntax Key