Deleted files in Windows 2000 and they're not in recycle bin

Discussion in 'Computer Support' started by qwerty, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    The short of this problem is that I deleted a large bunch of critical
    files and folders from a Windows 2000 computer, need to restore them,
    and they're not in the recycle bin. I'd like to recover them, and I'd
    also like to understand how this could have happened.

    The long of this is:

    - I deleted the files/folders by "lassoing" them then pressing the
    delete key. But I often delete files this way, and they show up in the
    recycle bin.

    - I immediately realized my mistake and clicked on the recycle bin, but
    the files weren't there. Thousands of other files were there, dating
    back six months or longer, and some other files from yesterday (the day
    I made the mistake) were also there.

    - This happened one day after I had set up a new PC in my house,
    connected the new and old computers by a network, mapped the drives of
    the computers to each other, etc. I had successfully copied all the My
    Documents folder from the old computer back to the new one - except for
    one subfolder and its contents, which wouldn't copy for a reason I don't
    understand (kept getting a "file is in use" or "file sharing violation"
    message). I *think* this occurred when I was TRYING to delete the
    successfully-copied folders from the NEW computer, so that I could just
    copy again. But I don't understand networking, mapping, etc., well
    enough to know exactly what occurred.

    Everything else aside, I *know* these files and folders were on the old
    (Windows 2000) computer until around 10:00 last night, and they're not
    there now, and I am confident that with the right tool/technique, I can
    recover them.

    FWIW, the Windows 2000 computer is organized with the C-drive being
    mostly OS and program files, and the D drive, 80 gigs and about 40%
    occupied, being the data drive. The "lost" files and folders were on
    that drive.
    qwerty, Mar 7, 2006
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  2. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    Thanks. But are the deleted files recoverable with some kind of a
    freeware tool?
    qwerty, Mar 7, 2006
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  3. Take a look at the links given by Pegasus under subject "what the heck
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?Brian_H=B9=A9?=, Mar 7, 2006
  4. qwerty

    Plato Guest

    Not if you've using the pc in question. They have already been
    overwritten by internet cache files.
    Plato, Mar 7, 2006
  5. It is possible that they may be recoverable but by no means is this a
    guarantee. Too many factors can come into play. If the computer is heavily
    used on the internet and the internet temp files is on the same partition
    they may have already been overwritten by those. You can attempt to recover
    them using freeware that you can find on the internet but be prepared to
    sift though a lot of file information that may or may not be of any real use
    to you.

    Paul Lawrence, Mar 7, 2006
  6. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    I'll find out. Working in our favor are the facts that the deleted stuff
    was on a second data drive; I think the temp files, browser caches, etc.,
    are on the C: drive. Also, the drive was at least 50% free. I'm not sure
    how Windows 2000 NTFS writes new data - I'd hope it uses older "deleted"
    space first before writing to newly-freed space.

    I'm at work now but will tackle the problem tonight and post the results.
    qwerty, Mar 7, 2006
  7. qwerty

    qwerty Guest

    I used
    (freeware undelete) and successfully recovered all the missing folders and

    User interface and documentation were less untuitive than I'd liked, but
    some of this was probably because I was in a panicked rush to recover the
    data. It did the job and was free - good enough for me.

    The stuff bypassing the recycle bin happened either because I was holding
    down the shift key when deleting, or because I was deleting from a mapped
    qwerty, Mar 8, 2006
  8. qwerty

    paulmd Guest

    Last week I tackeled a problem like yours (not on my own computer,
    thank god). They waited about a week. There were only about 20 Word
    documents. After yanking the hard drive, and setting it as a secondary
    drive. I used a tool called handy recovery. Which basically found out
    where the files were stored last, and recreated them on my primary
    drive. 7 were perfectly preserved. One sustained minor damage. The
    remaning were variously overwritten, but at least I had a complete list
    of the deleted files. But i was able to recover a draft that had a .tmp
    extention. And Then I used a hex editor called 010, to open up the
    entire drive as a single file. I got back two more files that way
    (either they were drafts, or somebody defragged sometime between
    creation and deletion). It was a 30 gb drive, my searches took an hour
    each, and returned hundreds of results.

    It was a LOT of work for about 50 percent recovery.

    You have a MUCH bigger challenge.
    paulmd, Mar 9, 2006
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