Data recovery--please help

By Elina Niemela
Sep 15, 2005
  1. Dear all,

    Last night my friend accidentally deleted everything in the folder My
    Documents from my laptop and emptied the recycle bin afterward. I am trying
    not to panic and trying to find out what is the best way to recover the data.
    My friend said that there is one last step needed to completely wipe out the
    information and that he did not do that. If you have any suggestions for me I
    would be eternally grateful. Here is more detailed information from my friend
    about what happened:

    I think the disk is FAT32, but it could be NTFS
    The OS is WinXP-Pro
    The Drive is a Hitachi DK23CA-15 (15.103 gb)
    The files we care about are only
    .DOC, .XLS, .JPG, .JPEG, .GIF, .BMP, .CSV, .TXT.

    I sold my own laptop computer to someone a few months ago, then last
    evening I discovered that I'd left just over half a gigabyte (3342
    files) of my own old files on the system, so I deleted the folder and
    zapped it from the recycle bin.

    It turned out that the buyer had been storing new files she cared about
    there instead of the Windows Default:
    C:\Documents and Settings\a\My Documents

    FixIt 5.0 was not able to locate or recover any files that she cared
    about or for that matter any of the files in the entire directory tree
    that I'd zapped, which was:
    C:\My Documents

    FixIt 5.0 found pointers to thousands of deleted .dll and other system
    files, but all that could be recovered that we cared about was a few
    .lnk files, which may be worthless, or may point to where files we care
    about might reside.
    C:\Documents and Settings\a\Recent\

    Thank you so much!
    --Elina Niemela
    Portland, OR
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Look at this:

    Be very careful with the PC you deleted that folder on! Anything else that you install on that PC will OVERWRITE links to your 'deleted' files!
    Best way would be to take the laptop-harddisk out, put it in a normal PC and do the recovery from that other PC.
    For a laptop harddisk, you need to get a 2.5"-3.5" adapter first, so it will fit in a normal PC.
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