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Manual volume definition

ZAR has been discontinued
After about twenty years, I felt ZAR can no longer be updated to match the modern requirements, and I decided to retire it.

ZAR is replaced by Klennet Recovery, my new general-purpose DIY data recovery software.

If you are looking specifically for recovery of image files (like JPEG, CR2, and NEF), take a look at Klennet Carver, a separate video and photo recovery software.

The process of manually defining the volume seems pretty straightforward. However, there are some tricks involved, depending on the original volume placement.

  • The physical disk containing the single volume is the simplest albeit widespread case. A special option is designed specially for these cases and you should use it when appropriate.

When there are multiple volumes on a physical disk, the following considerations apply

  • The volume is at this stage defined by its two location parameters: offset and size. Offset is a distance from start of a physical disk (sector 0) to the start of the volume (boot sector). It can be expressed either in megabytes or in sectors. Take note that size-based specification (in megabytes) is imprecise (due to the rounding-off errors).
  • When exact data is available, just enter the appropriate values (sector-based) and you're all set.
  • If no exact data is available, compute starting offset by summing up sizes of all the volumes before the damaged one, then subtract 20MB to compensate possible rounding errors. If the result comes negative, use zero instead. Then, enter the resulting value as a starting offset.
  • Increment the volume size by 20MB to compensate starting offset shift, and enter this value as appropriate. If you do not know the volume size precisely, use lower values (for example if the size is around 4.5GB, enter 4400 MB).
  • The placement errors are almost inevitable. It is preferred that you shift the volume towards the "front" of the disk (lower offsets and sector numbers). ZAR does not always honor the boundaries you set, and will trespass them if deemed appropriate, e.g. when following the explicit file reference. However, lower (start) boundary is more "rigid" and has more impact on the recovery results than a higher (start + size, end-of-volume) boundary.
Measurement unit conversions
Unit conversion is influenced by the fact that binary, rather than decimal, numbers are used in computers. Hence the K (kilo) prefix is applied for 1024 units, rather than 1000:
  • 1 KB (kilobyte) = 1024 bytes
  • 1 MB (megabyte) = 1024 KB = 1 048 576 bytes
  • 1 GB (gigabyte) = 1024 MB = 1 048 576 KB = 1 073 741 824 bytes
  • 1 sector contains 512 bytes
  • 1 KB (kilobyte) contains 2 sectors
  • 1 MB (megabyte) contains 2048 sectors
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