Why can’t Recuva recognize and/or scan my drive?

For Recuva to recognize and scan the drive or storage device you are needing to recover files from, all of the following conditions must apply:

  • It must be accessible in Windows.
  • It must have a drive letter assigned to it in Windows, such as C: D:, or E:.
  • It must have a valid partition table.
  • It must be formatted with: NTFS, FAT, exFAT, Ext2, or Ext3.
  • It must be connected to the computer via IDE, SATA, eSATA, or USB.
  • It must not be connected via a network connection.

Note: You must also have a valid drive (i.e. not a “Recovery” partition or similar) selected when using the Recuva Wizard and/or while in Advanced Mode. Otherwise if you opt to “Search everywhere on this computer” or select “All Local Disks” for scanning, certain drives or partitions that are impossible to scan may be included in this, preventing you from being able to scan the actual drive you need to recover files from. Oftentimes, this results in a “Failed to scan the following drives: \\.\HarddiskVolume[number]” error message, but these can often be ignored due to not affecting the media you intended to scan.

To prevent this from occurring, please start Recuva again and, on the ‘File Location’ screen, use the ‘In a specific location’ option, or alter your search parameters in the Advanced Mode configuration.

Otherwise, it’s possible that Recuva will not be able to recognize the drive or memory card you are needing to recover files from, and you may receive an error message such as “Failed to determine file system type”. 


You can find out if there is a drive letter, and what filesystem is being used, as follows:

  1. Open the "Run" dialog in Windows (On the keyboard, hold/release the "Windows" ( ) and  R  keys simultaneously)
  2. Type: diskmgmt.msc > click OK


The Disk Management window that appears will show you detailed information about the drives, partitions, and memory cards that are attached to the system, allowing you to identify any potential issues, and see other detailed information, such as the file system, along with the assigned drive letter, if one exists.


Disk Management window showing detailed information about the drives, partitions, and memory cards that are attached to the system

You can find an overview of Disk Management at https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-server/storage/disk-management/overview-of-disk-management

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