Active@ File Recovery makes no assumptions as to what is on the hard drive. It will not assume how many partitions the drive was divided into. In most cases it is just one partition but it is sometimes common to have a system manufacturers recovery partition followed by the actual partition which Windows ran from. Sometimes with a secondary hard drives, a user may have partitioned it into multiple partitions. So why is it then that Active@ File Recovery finds a couple of hundred randomly named files and claims to have found a lot of different partitions? Well, to answer that, you would need to realize that Active@ File Recovery is acting as a hard drive detective. It is examining every bit of data from two perspectives.
1. It tries to identify the RAW data by pattern matching or template. For example, a JPG picture file typically starts with a particular string of data that is common to all JPG files. When File Recovery sees a match to a pattern or template it knows, it takes a note of it and identifies it as a file. It does assign a random name because it does not know what the name would be, just that it is a JPG type file.
2. The other way that File Recovery checks a hard drive is to try an understand the whole logical makeup of the drive. Did this drive have only one partition or were there several partitions on this disk? File Recovery looks for special partition signatures on the disk. Once it finds one, it lists it as a possible and viable partition. File Recovery then tries to see if that partition contained a file table. The file table is where all the names are kept. So having said all that, you really have to look at the results of all those found partitions. Some will be -false positives- and contain no data what so ever. Others may have a STATUS of -Bad- or -Excellent-, present themselves with a correct -VOLUME LABEL- and are the proper size. You should double click on those partitions to see if any data is within them. You will notice File Recovery performs a second scan. This is where it checks the File Table and tries reading the big index of file names and locations. This process is quick and leads to a successful recovery most of the time. You should expect to see a listing of files with real file names. This is where you should be recovering from.