disc recovery renoise files lost HELP


i did a back up on my D drive then i formated the C in order to reinstal windows, on reboot, the letters switches and it installed on my back up drive… yes i suck…

Anyway, i did a recovery and it looks like the renoise files has been recovered as [4518].tar for example but when i rename them, it wont open in renoise.

Do someone has an idea?

Please im about to loose a year of work, 8 hours a day everyday so im gonna jump by the window as i m loosing my 2 next albums.

I guess you did a clean install since you lost any files at all?

And how did you recover the files - which software did you use? (there are a lot of data-recovery software, which I’m not too familiar with).

It’s worth noting that, since the Renoise file format is an open format (zipped XML song data + samples), there’s a good chance that running whatever files you can restore through a zip-repair utility could restore at least the song/XML component. Crossing fingers here. Then you might be able to sort-of recreate things manually…

Keep us updated and good luck!

yes in fact it s when windows installed on the drive that it erased all the backup, i used piriform recuva to try to recover, yes it recovered lot of wav and mp3 files but then i have a bunch of zip and tar files with no names which i guess to be renoise files! so you advise me to use a zip repair utility? i ll try that and post the results here

7264 screen recover 1.jpg

7265 screen recover 2.jpg

ok when i use a zip repair tool on one of the files, it gives me this:

7266 screen recover 3.jpg

Hmmm… I guess the question is how to identify which files are truly .xrns, when you have 100.000 to choose from :wacko:

It seems like the contents of zip files are OK? At least, file dates seem to be correct.

I would keep checking for files that have the approximate right size, to see if some kind of pattern emerges…

but then… what can i do with thoses pointless files? _30_156ddff154r1erg158434 ?

It requires skills that i dont have at all… all the xml files i could find are totally illogic, full of acii characters :frowning:

Man, i wanna jump by the window! music is my one and only job and this shit that happend means that i ve lost 1 year of my life :’( :’(

Yeah, I’ve been there too… nevertheless I managed to salvage some stuff.

I’m really no expert in these matters, but from the recuva screenshot I’m seeing mpeg files, pdf’s, all manner of formats.

So the program has attempted to restore these files, even if the original name is gone. Can you confirm that the some/all of these audio files are able to play, etc.?

If none of them can, it’s a tough one but it doesn’t mean that all hope is lost. The zip-repair tools often can extract things anyway, and there is no comparable mpeg-repair tool (well, there probably is, but I don’t know of it…).

If some of the audio files could play, PDFs are able to display, etc., then the question would be whether that zip file you mentioned (containing a jumble of strange names) was simply a zip file with …well, mysterious content?

I am pretty certain I have a lot of files on my HDD that would look like that, and that I would have no idea what their purpose was supposed to be.

My advice: keep sieving through the files, and keep a cool head… switch from coffee to tea, at least for a day or two :wink:

I had similar problem in 2009 but with usb stick. I think it was removed without ejecting and next time when i opened the stick all the files were scrambled and made out of some gibberish letters, and could not be opened.

I used software called PhotoRec and first it recovered all the files but not xrns files. But then I mailed the developer and in a week he released new version that recognized xrns files.

Software is at:


On that page is also software called TestDisk but PhotoRec sounds more like what you need.

Nowadays there is xrns in supported files list, and the newest version is only 2 years old.


Immediately stop using (mounting, booting, whatever) the disc partition where your lost data was on. If the partition table was changed during the accident, then don’t use the whole hard disc anymore at all. Any use of the sectors of the partition where your data once was on can potentially destroy the stuff you wish to recover, progressively with the time it is in use.

Then try to make an 1:1 image of it. Of the partition, if it is still within the same bounds, or if it was changed then the whole disc. I once did this by using a linux usb live stick using the “dd” tool, and a hdd that has at least 3-4 times the available space of the fucked up partition/disc, the amount of space so you can recover the broken data and work with it on the disc. You can use a usb hard disc, I used a normal hdd plugged into the pc extra.

Then take care of the image not to loose it, and run software like photorec on it. It is a good tool suggested, and you often already find it on linux live usb sticks, because it is a common use case for such sticks. There will be huge mess of scrambled files around, maybe also false records, files without real names, etc. Zip files would be what you are looking for, look at a known good xrns and you’ll see there are xml files inside the zip, and also folders with flac samples etc. Interesting info by raegae that photorec can detect xrns, though I’d look for anything that comes detected as zip file also.

When stuff was overwritten during the destructive act, nothing feasible will be able to bring it back to you. When you installed windows on the backup partition, it probably quick cleared the disc/partition meta data, replaced it with new, and just started writing windows shit over the data that was there before. If a place on the disc/partition where a xrns (or part of it) was before was overwritten during the installation, the xrns is quasi lost. When I once recovered some stuff after an incident (no xrns though, but other data), there was stuff with no filenames known, and I had to zoom through lots of stuff and broken files to find what I was looking for.

You might also want to go the the grocery store and buy a silly amount of coffee, and some heavy liquor for when you’re done after some sessions, either to celebrate the recovery of some files, or to help with forgetting the tunes you lost because of the incident. If there’s a special bargain usb drive in the tech section, buy it also and try to make it a habit to mirror all of your important stuff onto it every now and then. Harddiscs can sometimes just break and fail, and then its either expensive to have stuff recovered, or a nice feeling to have a not-broken harddisc with the versions from last month sitting in a cupboard…

ok guys! I just came back from my gig in russia, got 2kg of coffee, 1 bottle of Aberlour, 10 box of cigarettes and photorec

I will keep you informed!

Thank you all!

Hi! so i tried to recover with 3 different softwares

Recuva, Recover my files and On-track Easy recovery

The best results were thanks to On-track by far!! the only problem is that it did not recognised the file name nor the extension so i had to rename 1880 zip files (i used a script i am not masochist) and then try to open them one by one. So far i recovered most of my important tracks but still i am working on! i have 3x that screenshot to check to give you an idea of the work hahaha


It is normal that you have no filenames and have to look for your stuff - the filenames are stored in another part in the file system than the actual data, and this is swiped when deleting or reformatting.

And the coffee was worth it! Half your tunes already there. Congratulations!

Under Linux I’d speed it up a different way though. I’d write a shell script to first not only identify every zip type file, but then also look inside with a script using the unzip command with the “list files” option, if there’s a filename match to “song.xml” in it. Under Windows you most probably are able to do similar with the windows shell? Might save you some coffee. Yay!

thanks! but i could not find any script to look for xml files into zip! i d rather buy more coffee :smiley:

thanks all for your help :-* you rock!

I switched to beers finally

7297 renoise and beers.jpg

If you’re comfortable with scripting, you could do something like the following:

find . \( -name '*.zip' -o -name '*.xrns' \) -printf '7z l "%p" Song.xml 2>/dev/null | egrep "Song.xml" 1>/dev/null 2>/dev/null; echo "%p" $?\n' | bash

You’ll get output like this, where 0 is a Renoise song file and 1 is not:

./sd98 - little more compression.xrns 0
./sd98 - rc1.xrns 0
./sd98 - rc1.zip 1
./sd98 - rc2.5.xrns 0
./sd98 - rc2.5.zip 1
./sd98 - rc3.xrns 0
./sd98 - rc3.zip 1

Basically this is saying, "for each file in this directory named *.zip or *.xrns, list the contents, then search the contents for "Song.xml and report whether anything was found in the search.

Edit: The above is bash scripting, and you’ll need 7-zip. It could be done in PowerShell too I imagine.