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Installation and Run

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Attention! If in doubt about the physical health of the disc it is recommended to appeal to specialists. Further work with the disk (including starting up) may worsen the problem or cause complete inability to recover data. If device size is detected incorrectly.

Attention! Do not write anything to the source disk/partition where lost/removed/damaged data is located. Use another disk to load operating system, install or run the software, and to recover data otherwise the data may be erased irrevocably. It is highly recommended to load a system from the removable media (LiveCD/USB, bootable DOS disk, etc.).

To install and run the program just extract entire software package into a single directory (may be on removable media) and run dmde.exe or dmde depending on a version. You need Administrator/Superuser priveleges to access devices in Windows NT+, Linux. To run the software without Administrator rights add the parameter notadmin=1 to the file dmde.ini. To uninstall the software just remove the extracted files and directories.

Operating Systems

Windows 98/ME

Attention! Without special patches Windows 9x/ME handles 128GB and larger drives incorrectly.
To avoid the problem reload computer in MS-DOS mode and use DMDE for DOS to access such drives via BIOS or ATA-interface or load another OS.

Windows 2K/XP

To use the program you should login as Administrator.
Attention! To work with 128GB and larger drives you need Windows 2K SP4 with LBA48 support manually switched on in the registers or Windows XP SP2 (LBA48 is switched on by default).

Windows Vista/7/higher

To run the program as Administrator right-click the program icon and use the corresponding command in the context menu or confirm UAC elevation request.
Attention! To work with drives larger than 2TB the most recent versions of controller drivers must be installed.


At first go to the Root Terminal or run Terminal emulator (Konsole, Gnome-terminal, etc.). Go to the software directory and type ./dmde. You should run the software as a superuser to access devices. Please, refer to your operating system documentation for this information (e.g., run sudo ./dmde in Ubuntu, go to root with su command in Debian at first, etc.). You may also need to set execution permission for the file dmde (type chmod 755 ./dmde). To run 32-bit software versions on 64-bit operating systems you may have to install additional 32-bit shared libraries (e.g., run sudo apt-get install libc6-i386 in Ubuntu to install libc6-i386 package).


You may use DMDE on a regular partition supported by DOS or use DOS bootable disk. This may be helpful when there are problems using specific disk. SATA disks must be switched to IDE-compatible mode in BIOS settings for direct ATA-access. SCSI, USB, and other devices may be accessed via special DOS drivers or using BIOS functions if they are supported.

Some files for creating DOS boot disks are available on the software site in the section Additional Downloads.

Bootable Floppy

To create bootable floppy download and unpack FDD image. You may use the function Copy Sectors to write the image to a floppy disk. Use the image as a source file and fdd as a destination device. ISO images for bootable CD may also be created on the base of boot FDD images with the help of different software.

DOS Bootable Disk

Loading from the specific disk must be supported by BIOS (see BIOS boot menu). To create bootable USB/HDD you need a freshly formatted primary FAT16/FAT32 partition on the disk. Non-standard disks/partitions are not supported (non-MBR, 3TB+, etc.). You may probably need to zero the disk to properly create compatible primary FAT partition using standard OS means.

1. Download the FreeDOS Package and unpack files into the root of the FAT partition.
2. Open the disk as physical device in DMDE and use the command Write Boot Sectors... in the Partitions menu to make the device bootable (specify the location of unpacked files as a source of boot sectors). Apply changes and close DMDE.
3.   Download DMDE for DOS and unpack into the FAT partition.