.PNF File Recovery

Have files been deleted due to a user’s error or software error? Have you formatted a disk by accident and need to know how to recover the files? Read our .PNF file recovery guide for Windows, MacOS, Android and IOS in 2024.

PNF File Recovery

What is a .PNF file?

A PNF file is a system-maintained configuration file that is created when an .INF file is run. It is stored in the %Windir%Inf or %Systemroot%Inf folder in Windows.

What Are Common Causes of ".PNF" Files Lost or Failure?

There are several common causes of ".PNF" files lost or failure, including:

  1. Accidental deletion: Users may accidentally delete ".PNF" files while trying to clean up their system or free up storage space.
  2. Software or hardware issues: Issues with software or hardware components, such as a sudden system crash, power failure, or software malfunction, can lead to the loss or corruption of ".PNF" files.
  3. Virus or malware attacks: Malicious software can infect and corrupt ".PNF" files, making them inaccessible or causing them to be deleted.
  4. File system errors: Errors in the file system, such as file system corruption or bad sectors on the storage device, can result in the loss or failure of ".PNF" files.
  5. Incompatible software or driver updates: Installing incompatible software or updating device drivers that are not compatible with the operating system can cause ".PNF" files to become inaccessible or fail.
  6. Improper file handling: Improper handling of ".PNF" files, such as forceful termination of programs or improper shutdown of the system, can lead to file corruption or loss.
  7. System upgrades or reinstallation: Upgrading the operating system or reinstalling it without proper backup can result in the loss or failure of ".PNF" files.
  8. Physical damage to storage devices: Physical damage to hard drives, SSDs, or other storage devices can lead to the loss or corruption of ".PNF" files stored on them.

It is always recommended to regularly backup important files, including ".PNF" files, to prevent data loss in case of any unexpected events.

How to recover lost ".PNF" files?

Sometimes while working with a computer, laptop or other stationary or mobile devices, you may encounter various bugs, freezes, hardware or software failures, even in spite of regular updates and junk cleaning. As a result, an important ".PNF" file may be deleted.

Go to view
🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

🧺 How to Recover Files and Folders After Sending Them to the Recycle Bin and Deleting? (Windows 11)

By no means should you think that the only way to recover a ".PNF" file is always to create it once more.

Use programs for recovering ".PNF" files if a file was lost after accidental or deliberate deleting, formatting the memory card or the internal storage, cleaning the storage device, after a virus attack or a system failure.

Programs to recover ".PNF" files

Looking for a way to get files back? In cases when files were deleted and they cannot be restored by using standard operating system tools, use Hetman Partition Recovery.

Partition Recovery™ 4.9
The tool recovers data from any devices, regardless of the cause of data loss.

Follow the directions below:

  1. Download Hetman Partition Recovery, install and start the program.

  2. The program will automatically scan the computer and display all hard disks and removable drives connected to it, as well as physical and local disks.

    File Recovery Software
  3. Double-click on the disk from which you need to recover ".PNF" files, and select analysis type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Analysis Type
  4. When the scanning is over, you will be shown the files for recovery.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Files that Can be Restored
  5. To find a file you need, use the program’s interface to open the folder it was deleted from, or go to the folder "Content-Aware Analysis" and select the required file type.

    Hetman Partition Recovery - Deep Scan
  6. Select the files you have been looking for and click "Recovery".

    File Recovery Software - Files List for Recovery
  7. Choose one of the methods for saving the files and recover them.

    Saving recovered files in Hetman Partition Recovery

How to open file with ".PNF" extension?

Looking for how to open a stereo precompiled INF File image file file?

Programs that open ".PNF" files

HEX Editor HEX Editor

Additional Information

  • File type: Precompiled INF File

  • File extension: .PNF

  • Developer: N/A

  • Category: System Files

  • Format: N/A

  • HEX: 01 01


We will be happy to answer your questions!

Comments (1)

  • Hetman Software: Data Recovery
    Hetman Software: Data Recovery 18.12.2019 13:44 #
    Leave a comment if you have any questions about Recovering lost .PNF files after deleting, cleaning or formatting!
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Vladimir Artiukh

Author: Vladimir Artiukh, Technical Writer

Vladimir Artiukh is a technical writer for Hetman Software, as well as the voice and face of their English-speaking YouTube channel, Hetman Software: Data Recovery for Windows. He handles tutorials, how-tos, and detailed reviews on how the company’s tools work with all kinds of data storage devices.

Oleg Afonin

Editor: Oleg Afonin, Technical Writer

Oleg Afonin is an expert in mobile forensics, data recovery and computer systems. He often attends large data security conferences, and writes several blogs for such resources as xaker.ru, Elcomsoft and Habr. In addition to his online activities, Oleg’s articles are also published in professional magazines. Also, Oleg Afonin is the co-author of a well-known book, Mobile Forensics - Advanced Investigative Strategies.


Questions and answers

  • What is the significance of .PNF formats in computer systems?

    .PNF (Portable Network Graphics Network Format) is a file format used in computer systems primarily for storing and rendering network graphics. It is significant for several reasons:

    1. Lossless Compression: .PNF files use lossless compression, meaning they can be compressed without losing any image quality. This makes them ideal for storing high-quality graphics, such as logos, icons, and illustrations, where preserving fine details is crucial.
    2. Transparency Support: .PNF files support transparency, allowing images to have transparent backgrounds. This feature is particularly useful for web design, where images with transparent backgrounds can seamlessly blend into different webpage layouts.
    3. Wide Compatibility: .PNF files are widely supported by various operating systems, web browsers, and image editing software. This compatibility ensures that the files can be easily shared and viewed across different platforms without losing any data or quality.
    4. Metadata Support: .PNF files can store metadata, including textual information about the image, such as author, copyright, and description. This metadata can be useful for organizing and categorizing images, as well as providing additional information about the graphics.
    5. Scalability: .PNF files support both raster and vector graphics, allowing them to be scaled without losing quality. This makes them suitable for images that may need to be resized or used in different contexts without compromising the image resolution.

    Overall, the significance of .PNF formats lies in their ability to store high-quality, lossless graphics with transparency support, wide compatibility, and scalability, making them a popular choice for various applications in computer systems.

  • How do .PNF formats differ from other file formats commonly used in computer applications?

    .PNF (Portable Network Graphics) format differs from other file formats commonly used in computer applications in the following ways:

    1. Lossless Compression: PNF uses lossless compression, which means that the image quality is not compromised during compression. This is in contrast to formats like .JPEG, which use lossy compression and result in some loss of image quality.
    2. Transparency Support: PNF supports transparency, allowing for images with transparent backgrounds or partially transparent areas. This is particularly useful when overlaying images on different backgrounds or when creating graphics with non-rectangular shapes.
    3. Wide Color Support: PNF supports a wide range of colors, including truecolor and grayscale images. It also supports indexed-color images, which use a limited color palette. This flexibility allows for high-quality images with accurate color representation.
    4. Animation Support: PNF supports animation through the .APNG (Animated Portable Network Graphics) format. This allows for the creation of animated images with multiple frames, similar to .GIF files. Other common image formats like .JPEG or .PNG do not inherently support animation.
    5. Metadata Support: PNF files can contain metadata like text annotations, keywords, and copyright information. This allows for additional information to be stored within the image file, which can be useful for organizing and categorizing images.
    6. File Size: PNF files tend to have larger file sizes compared to some other formats like .JPEG, especially for complex or highly detailed images. This can impact storage requirements and network transfer speeds.

    Overall, PNF is a versatile and widely supported image format that offers lossless compression, transparency support, animation capabilities, and metadata storage. Its flexibility and high-quality image representation make it a popular choice in various computer applications.

  • What are some common applications or software programs that utilize .PNF formats?

    The .PNF (Precompiled Setup Information) file format is primarily used by the Microsoft Windows operating system for various purposes. Some common applications or software programs that utilize .PNF formats include:

    1. Device drivers: When installing a device driver on Windows, a .PNF file is often included alongside the driver files. It contains precompiled setup information specific to the driver, helping Windows to properly install and configure the device.
    2. Windows system files: Many system files in Windows, such as DLLs (Dynamic Link Libraries) or other core components, have associated .PNF files. These files provide setup and configuration information for the corresponding system files.
    3. Windows Setup and Installation: During the installation or setup process of Windows, .PNF files are used to store precompiled information about the hardware and software components being installed. This helps Windows to efficiently configure the system during installation.
    4. Windows Update: When Windows updates are installed, .PNF files may be used to store information related to the update package. These files help Windows to determine the compatibility and installation requirements of the update.
    5. Component-Based Servicing: In Windows, Component-Based Servicing (CBS) is used for managing system components and updates. .PNF files are used to store information about the components and their dependencies, aiding in the servicing and maintenance of the Windows operating system.

    It's important to note that .PNF files are typically not directly opened or manipulated by users. They are utilized by the operating system or specific software programs for internal purposes related to setup, configuration, and maintenance.

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