Programs to recover files from hard drives often output thousands of files which are only identified by a rough classification (bin, exe, etc.) and given cryptic names like fb23404. Are there programs that sort though such a collection of files and find particular types of data files (like PDFs, MS-word documents etc.)?
I haven't faced this problem myself, but a friend has a collection files recovered from his broken MS-Windows laptop. He needs to find a few Quicken data files. If I think in terms of LInux, the solution would be to determine some strings that characterize this type of file, hopefully strings that appear in a header in the file. Then one could use standard commands (perhaps grep) to search through the files and find those that had the strings. However, given that this is such a common problem, I'd think that there is already software written to do such a task. In fact, I'd think that someone would have writen MS-Windows software to do it, but I haven't used MS-Windows in years.