The RECOVER command in Windows CMD is used to recover readable data from a damaged or defective disk (floppy disk or hard drive). Its primary purpose is to salvage data from problematic sectors of the disk and attempt to read whatever information is still accessible. This command is most effective on disks that are suffering from physical damage or disk corruption but still can produce partial reads.


The basic syntax for using the RECOVER command is as follows:

RECOVER [drive:][path]filename
  • [drive:][path]filename: Specifies the location and name of the disk or file that you want to recover data from.


  • It’s crucial to specify a file or disk, as omitting this target does not allow the command to function.
  • RECOVER does not alter files on hard disks that can be accessed. Use this command only for disks with genuine readability issues.


The RECOVER command does not have any specific flags or options. Its functionality is confined to the parameters supplied in the syntax (i.e., the file or disk to recover).


Example 1: Recovering a Floppy Disk


This command attempts to recover readable information from a floppy disk in drive A.

Example 2: Recovering a File on a Hard Drive

RECOVER C:\path\to\corruptfile.dat

This command tries to recover data from a file named corruptfile.dat located in the specified directory on the C: drive.

Common Issues

Problem: The command fails to recover any data.
Solution: Ensure the disk or file is still partially accessible. RECOVER cannot retrieve data from completely unreadable or physically destroyed disks.

Problem: Misunderstanding the command’s applicability.
Solution: Note that RECOVER is primarily effective only for disks with damaged sectors. It is not suitable for deleted files or system crashes.


RECOVER can be used in conjunction with batch files to automate the process of data recovery across multiple disks or files. For more complex scenarios, combining RECOVER with disk imaging tools or backup scripts can effectively safeguard data before a full recovery attempt.

Example Script with RECOVER:

@echo off
RECOVER C:\path\to\corruptfile.dat
echo Recovery Attempt Complete

This batch script runs the RECOVER command on a specified file and then informs the user that the recovery attempt has completed.

  • CHKDSK: Can be used to check the integrity of the disks and fix logical file system errors.
  • SCANDISK: Another Windows utility that is used to analyze and repair physical and logical disk errors.

For further reading and resources, consult the Microsoft Windows official documentation on disk recovery tools and commands.