Jameser's Tech Tips

Monday, July 03, 2006

Tip #6: Recovering Deleted Files

Today's tip is on recovering deleted files from your hard drive... Accidentally deleting files is something we all try to avoid, but it can happen on occasion... Emptying the recycle bin before checking its contents, performing a Shift+Delete on a file or folder, or deleting a file from the command line can all render your data invisible to XP, and seemingly lost forever... This can be quite upsetting if the data in question was something you've spent a lot of time working on... Fortunately, your chances for recovery of deleted data are actually quite good, especially if you take immediate action...

Windows XP does not ship with any application for assisting you in recovering your data, so I would recommend using a free application called Restoration (mirror)... This program is very effective at recovering deleted files from your hard drive... The application does not require installation either, so it is a handy application to carry on a USB flash drive as well...

Below is an example of recovering files using Restoration:




Simply select the drive you'd like to restore from in the pulldown menu at the upper right, then click on the "Search Deleted Files" button... After the search is complete, select the files you'd like to restore and click on the "Restore By Copying" button...

It is important that you try to restore your files either to another drive or partition, so as to avoid overwriting information on your source drive... So if you only have one drive/partition, try to restore the data to diskette, USB flash drive, or a network drive...

Hopefully you'll never need to put today's tip to use, but if you ever need to undelete files, now you'll be prepared...

30 Comments:

  • At 7/03/2006 11:58 PM, Blogger TheCurt said…

    I wish I knew of this 6 months ago. Could've saved me a lot of trouble.

     
  • At 7/04/2006 12:01 AM, Blogger Lysol said…

    I use that program and it's excellent. It really comes in handy, and I keep it with all my little programs on my 512 mb key. It's amazingly small, yet so powerful. Good job referring everyone to it.

     
  • At 7/04/2006 12:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    It doesn't work as well on NTFS as it does on FAT.

     
  • At 7/04/2006 12:56 AM, Blogger Manikantan said…

    Angel, thats what you are. And I have cut my arm twice after doing this kind of a delete and looking around for something that can save me. Though was not useful for me this time (Disk was defragmented you see), Am sure this will aid in future.

     
  • At 7/04/2006 3:29 AM, Anonymous egeniuses said…

    I have problems restoring from ntfs drives with restore.

    Freeundelete works better for me. Here it is:
    http://www.officerecovery.com/freeundelete/

     
  • At 7/04/2006 4:26 AM, Anonymous web design uk said…

    Great! I've always wondered

     
  • At 7/04/2006 4:44 AM, Anonymous increseo said…

    I use PC Inspector ( http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/uk/welcome.htm ). Work without a hitch. And it's free too.

     
  • At 7/04/2006 5:08 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    nice one cheers :d

     
  • At 7/04/2006 5:30 AM, Anonymous egeniuses said…

    I just tried the new version of Restore and it works with ntfs. I spoke too soon. You can still check out FreeUndelete.

     
  • At 7/04/2006 6:54 AM, Anonymous bb said…

    ill give it a try :)\

     
  • At 7/04/2006 12:50 PM, Anonymous Simon said…

    Good stuff. Much obliged!

     
  • At 7/04/2006 5:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I can use one of my forensic tools, works on all OS.... works a bit better then most.

     
  • At 7/07/2006 4:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    "I can use one of my forensic tools, works on all OS.... works a bit better then most."

    Nice to brag, but would be nice if you could share the name of that forensic tool you use so others can do the same...

    Im guessing your talking about a bootable linux disc???

     
  • At 7/08/2006 10:22 PM, Anonymous mrtech said…

    Smart Data Recovery is free and is somewhat like freeundelete and seems to work just as well.
    http://www.smartpctools.com/data_recovery/

     
  • At 8/05/2006 3:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    The link to Restoration does not work. The page is in Japanese and the software is also not there!!

     
  • At 8/05/2006 9:36 AM, Blogger Jameser said…

    I've added a link to a mirror... I'm not certain what happened to the original page, or if it is just a temporary error... mirror

    James...

     
  • At 11/08/2007 3:21 PM, Anonymous Blu3duk said…

    Thanks for the info.... this morning my wife decided to shidt-delete a .wpd smal file i was working on cause she did not like it.... so ive been all day trying to recover the information, at least ifound the dis connected information on the disk itself, but thus far i aint got it back yet..... lots of proggy's out there but nothing touches it yet... at least in their trial versions....

    blu3duk

     
  • At 4/11/2008 6:21 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Awesome! It's a really handy application. I used it to recover a cut JPG file from my SD card. Much better than other commercial crapwares. - John

     
  • At 11/24/2008 9:48 AM, Anonymous scyther428 said…

    Thx sooooo much ... accidentally deleted all my games due to the uninstallation of just 1 game, now waiting for it to recover over 10GB of my games lol Thanks again for the info!

     
  • At 12/14/2008 8:37 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I am so happy right now! My kids just deleted the pics off my sd card and I now have all the pics back that I have taken for the last month!

     
  • At 1/20/2009 12:02 AM, Blogger ANURAG said…

    excellent product fantastic one i recovered my all very-2 important files .3 cheeres for this tools...

     
  • At 5/29/2009 8:20 PM, Blogger Michiel said…

    i CUT a folder on my sd card with pictures in it, went to paste it on my computer but the option was not there and when i returned to my sd card I found that my folder was not there anymore either..i tried this program but turned up zero results.

    Does this program work for this kind of situation? Is there any other program that might work?

     
  • At 9/20/2009 7:59 AM, Anonymous itgurl said…

    I got the same problem as yours. Unfortunately, I tried all the recovery software I could but none of them works for a cut file which is unsuccessfully pasted. :(

     
  • At 11/12/2009 5:07 AM, Blogger pacoperez said…

    Great!! it worked!!
    Thanks a lot for the advise!.

     
  • At 1/06/2010 5:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Very nice and light to use. Before I found this, I had downloaded another 'freeware' that wanted me to buy the program after I installed it and found the files (before restoring them). I hate it when they do that.

    This one saved my butt and 124 pictures I deleted.

    One comment: I can only seem to restore (copy) one file at a time. Is this the only way, or can I multi select some files to do them in a batch? (ctrl click doesn't work)

    Thanks, Mike

     
  • At 1/29/2010 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Worked great. Restoring 30 mp3 files to their original folder so ITunes could find them was time consuming but well worth the effort.
    Thanks
    Doug

     
  • At 2/15/2011 11:56 AM, Blogger Gsg said…

    ... It's still working in 2011, Windows 2000, sp4 ... ! I had used Win2K's MMC to check out some policies and auditing, came across the "user accounts". Noticed there were 4 "UNKNOWN ACCOUNTS" listed. One was using a gig of storage! So I deleted it. The unknown that I deleted was my "MY DOCUMENTS" directory. Years of work vanished, and it left no clues. Nothing in the recycle bin. I had used another utility, "Tweak UI" to point "My Documents" to a "safer, more secure" location on a NTFS drive.

    Found "Restoration". Thank goodness. I recovered all of my important stuff, some not-so-important stuff, and some fun stuff (a few offline webpages and humorous vids.) Plus, the experience taught me that I also had one heck of a lot of basically useless stuff out there. Out of the deleted gig, I saved 276 Megs of valuable data -- one quarter was important to me. Got almost 800 MB of free disk space out of the deal. well, that, and don't delete "unknown" quantities until it is KNOWN to me.

    --PsiberMage (aka Geo) ...

     
  • At 7/10/2011 3:22 PM, Anonymous John said…

    Worked Great!!! Really appreciate your help.

     
  • At 3/07/2012 12:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    This just saved my ass big time! Thanks very much.

     
  • At 6/07/2012 1:56 AM, Anonymous Sean Whittaker said…

    I was very pleased to find this site.I wanted to thank you for this great read!! I definitely enjoying every little bit of it and I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post.

     

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