6. Starting the tools

6.1. Disk image

TestDisk and PhotoRec can be used on disk image:

  • raw files (.dd)

  • Encase (.E01)

  • splitted Encase files (.E01, E02…)

Splitted raw files are not supported. No administrator rights are needed to run testdisk or photorec on disk image.


  • photorec image.dd to carve a raw disk image

  • photorec image.E01 to recover files from an Encase EWF image

  • photorec 'image.???' if the Encase image is split into several files.

6.2. Running TestDisk, PhotoRec or QPhotoRec under Windows

Double-click on the executable (testdisk_win.exe, photorec_win.exe or qphotorec_win.exe) from an account in the Administrator Group. Administrator rights are necessary to get a low-level access to all medias (hard disk, USB key, Smart Card, etc.). Windows UAC (Vista and later) will ask you to confirm that you want to run the executable with administrator rights.


Windows users, if you see cygwin1.dll not found, c\\cygwin is missing, extract all the files from the archive before running TestDisk or PhotoRec.

6.3. Running TestDisk, PhotoRec under Linux

You need to be root to run TestDisk or PhotoRec, so they can access all your disks.

cd testdisk-7.1
sudo ./testdisk_static
cd testdisk-7.1
sudo ./photorec_static


If your Raid device (ie. Intel raid) is missing, run “sudo dmraid -ay” to activate it.

6.4. Running QPhotoRec under Linux X.org X11

QPhotoRec is a Qt5 application, it isn’t shipped with the official Linux binaries from www.cgsecurity.org. But it is available on most Linux distribution or can be compiled from source. To run it in a Terminal,

sudo qphotorec

6.5. Running QPhotoRec under Linux Wayland

To run QPhotoRec in a Terminal,

xhost +local:
sudo qphotorec

6.6. Running TestDisk, PhotoRec under macOS

If you are not root, TestDisk (i.e. testdisk-7.1/testdisk) or PhotoRec will restart itself using sudo after confirmation from your part.

If your administrator account has no password (a blank password), you must give that user a password before using the sudo command:

  • Choose Apple menu > System Preferences and click Accounts.

  • Click Change Password.

Terminal doesn’t show the password as you type. If you enter the wrong password or a blank password, the command isn’t executed and Terminal asks you to try again.

If no disk is listed when running TestDisk or PhotoRec, select System Settings –> Privacy & Security –> Full Disk Access –> Use + to add Terminal ( or TestDisk and PhotoRec themself)

6.7. Running Fidentify under Windows

Fidentify checks all the files from a directory with the same signatures than PhotoRec. It’s useful to check if PhotoRec is able to recover some file extensions/some file formats. Run cmd, Windows Command Prompt. cd is the command to change directory.

cd testdisk-7.1
fidentify_win.exe d:\directory

6.8. Running Fidentify under Linux or macOS

Start a terminal, go in testdisk directory and use fidentify to check if the files present in a directory are recognized. This identification is identical in PhotoRec.

cd testdisk-7.1
./fidentify_static /home/user/