DiskDigger for Android!

DiskDigger is now available as an app for Android devices! You can find it on the Google Play Store by searching for "DiskDigger".

Please keep in mind that this app is still in the Beta stage, and nowhere near as powerful as the original DiskDigger for Windows. For now, the app will only recover (carve) .JPG, .PNG, and .MP4 files from your device's memory card or internal memory.  This is, of course, still quite useful for recovering photos or videos that were accidentally deleted, even if the memory card has been reformatted.

Also, the app will only work on rooted Android devices, since the app requires very low-level access to the memory card, and only rooted devices can allow such access.

The app is compatible with any device (tablet or phone) that uses Android 2.2 (Froyo) or higher.

Using the App

Using DiskDigger for Android is very simple. After launching the app, it will display all the system devices (including the memory card) that you can scan for lost files.  For now, it will list them using their Linux device names (not very visually appealing, but this will be improved in the future).  The memory card should appear as "/mnt/sdcard" or something similar.

If you're using an Android device without a memory card, you will probably want to scan its internal memory, which usually appears as "/data".

When the program starts, you may see a Superuser request window; make sure to press "Allow" in order to grant DiskDigger root access.

If you don't see any devices in the list, try pressing the "Refresh list" button. If you still don't see any devices, make sure you allowed the Superuser request. (Also make sure your device is actually rooted!)

You can also manually type in the device name, if it doesn't appear in the list.

After you select the device to scan, press the "Scan device" button to proceed.  You will then see the main DiskDigger window, which shows you the progress of the scanning, as well as the recoverable files that have been found so far:

You can click on any of the recoverable files, which will show you a preview of the file on the right:

Filtering files

Pressing the "Filter" button will allow you to filter the recoverable files based on file size, and file type. If you want to impose a minimum size on the files shown, press the checkbox next to "Minimum file size", and enter the minimum number of bytes below. By default, a minimum size of 100000 bytes is enabled, to filter out most other (non-photo) images that may be on your memory card (from browser cache, bitmaps from other apps, etc).

Similarly, you can press the checkbox next to each file type (JPG, PNG, etc.) to hide or show them in the list of recoverable files.

Saving files

DiskDigger provides three different ways for you to save the recoverable files: email, FTP upload, and save locally, each which are discussed below.

To recover one or more files, click the check mark next to the recoverable files you want to recover, and press one of the buttons in the lower right corner.

Optionally, you can "select all" files by clicking the topmost checkbox in the upper left corner (uncheck the box to unselect all files):

Saving by email

The "Email" button lets you send one or more recoverable files directly to an email address. DiskDigger will automatically launch the default Email app on your device, and create a blank email with an attachment that contains the recovered files. The attachment is a single Zip file (DiskDiggerFound.zip) that contains all the files you selected for recovery.

Your device may show a prompt for you to select the app to use for processing the attachment.  If you have a service such as Dropbox installed on your device, you may also see a choice to add the attachment to Dropbox. Make sure to select the correct app for emailing or uploading the file.

Saving by FTP uploading

The "FTP upload" button lets you upload the recoverable files to an FTP server. In order to do this, you need to have access to an FTP server that is online, with the correct credentials for accessing and uploading to the server. After clicking the "FTP upload" button, DiskDigger will display a dialog for you to enter the FTP server's host name, and your user name and password for logging on to the server:

You can also enter an optional subdirectory on the server where the files will be uploaded.

Click "OK" to begin the uploading process. If the login to the server is successful, you will see status updates at the top of the application, until all files have been uploaded. The files will be named based on the sector number where they were found.

Saving locally

Finally, the "Save local" button provides the option to save the recoverable files to the local device (to the internal memory or SD card of the same device from which the files are being recovered).

After you press the "Save local" button, you are prompted to select the directory where the file(s) will be saved. The directory defaults to the location of the memory card on your device (most commonly "/mnt/sdcard"). The file(s) will be named based on the sector number where they were found.

Important note: You should use this method only if you can save the files onto a different partition than the one from which the files are recovered. For example, if you're recovering files from internal memory, you should save the files onto an external SD card (not internal memory).  It is not recommended to save the files onto the same partition from which they were recovered, because that would risk permanently overwriting the very same files that are being recovered!  You should attempt to use the first two methods of saving the files (email or FTP upload) before resorting to saving locally.

Inner Workings

The app works very similarly to the "deeper" mode found in the original DiskDigger for Windows, meaning that it searches each sector of the memory card for traces of recoverable files (read more about how DiskDigger works here). This also means that it will "recover" files that haven't been deleted, in addition to files that have.  Because of this, you may have wade through a large number of files before seeing the file(s) you're looking for. This will surely be improved in future versions of the app.


Again, remember that this app is in the Beta stage, and not meant to be as powerful or complete as the original DiskDigger application for Windows.

Of course, all constructive feedback and requests for features are appreciated!

© Dmitry Brant, 2012-2013