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when you empty your recycling bin, can you get it back?

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when you empty your recycling bin, can you get it back?

Old 03-13-01, 09:21 PM
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a friend of mine accidentally deleted his entire "My Documents" folder, then emptied the recycling bin. no, he doesn't have a norton-protected recycling bin.

?
Old 03-13-01, 09:48 PM
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This depends on several things, but most important on whether he kept writing stuff on the partition that contained the deleted files. Norton Utilities or the likes (FixIt, etc) contain some utility called Unerase/Undelete that will attempt to recover the files. There may be smaller stand alone tools that do that as well.

To better understand the process, when a file is deleted the data is not actually removed from the disk, but only its entry in the file allocation table is marked as being free for reuse together to the disk space that it used to occupy. If you write something on the partition, after you deleted the file, there is a good chance to overwrite the data previously held by the deleted files. This was at least the principle used some years ago on FAT/FAT16 systems, but I don't think FAT32/NTFS are a lot different in this aspect.
Old 03-13-01, 09:50 PM
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Not to confuse: the tools I'm talking about are different from Norton Protect kind of thing which is, basically, just a different (possibly enhanced) "Trashcan" system.

Here's a shareware tool like this, that I just found on Tucows: Directory Snoop (I haven't used it myself, but looks good)

[Edited by Gandalf on 03-13-01 at 08:05 PM]
Old 03-14-01, 12:51 AM
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It's also worth noting that even after you do a defragmentation or a fast format on a drive, it might be possible to recover some files. With a fast format, again the files are all still there, it's just their entries in the file allocation table that get cleared, so you still stand a chance of recovering some files. Ditto for defragging; unless you use a defragmentation program which wipes the free space when it's done, there are still fragments of programs floating around which a program like Norton Utilities' UnErase can salvage. Chances aren't very high, but it is possible.

Basically as long as you haven;t run a program that writes zeroes to "empty" space, there'll very probably be at least partial files recoverable. Some of the data will be lost, but it's better than nothing.
Old 03-14-01, 12:58 AM
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Okay, thanks all. I went to Tucows and found a demo software that's supposed to be able to solve my friend's problem. I tried to contact my friend, but we're on spring break so I won't be able to reach him, probably not until next week.

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