How can I retrieve my files that have been deleted from the Recycle Bin?
The Recycle Bin is one the essential parts of our computer software which allows moving a deleted item to a different directory temporarily. When a file is actually deleted by emptying the Recycle Bin, the FILE ALLOCATION TABLE replaces the first character of the filename with a character”?” indicating that this space is now available. However, the file still remains on the drive until it is overwritten by another file.
Point to note~ File Allocation Table – “FAT” for short-form – is a “table of contents” of where all files are stored on the hard drive. When a user gives request to obtain a file then it is made from the computer, the FAT is first looked at, and then the file is loaded (allocated) from the listed location.
Before attempting to do anything else with the computer, which might overwrite the “now marked” empty space listed in the Recycle Bin, consider using a utility such as Norton Undelete. This program will show you a list of deleted files on the hard drive; each deleted file listed will have a missing character (a Question Mark “?”). If the file is healthy (being, that it was not yet overwritten by another file), you may attempt to “fill in the blank” with the Question Mark and try to retrieve the deleted file.
Depending on your flavor of Windows, there are Shareware / Freeware programs to undelete files – some require technical knowledge as they simply read whichever formula File Allocation Table you use – FAT, FAT32, NTFS(4) NTFS5, etc.
The recycle bin is really another folder where all your “deleted” files are stored in case you ever have a change of mind and want to restore them. When you empty the recycle bin, you “delete” them, but this only knocks the file markers down, it doesn’t erase the data.
Immediately after you delete a file it is still on the drive, the computer just cannot see it anymore and space is freed up so the computer can re-write over it.
I suggest downloading the freeware program “PC Inspector File Recovery” available from WebAttack; the download is about 2.9 MB. This program will recover anything — except erased or wiped files, of course.
Note: This is not Spyware / Adware. It’s really free! A few mouse-clicks and you will have your file back. There is a no-brainer short tutorial in the help file. You can recover the deleted file from the “Recycled” folder (it will have a different name), or even better from the original folder, if you can remember where you originally deleted it from (it will have the same name as the original). Save the recovered file where you want.
Now if you want to give a try and go for this extra information.
There are programs that do a sort of reverse process in which they first go to the physical hard disk and read the files. Then they record the files’ locations in the table of contents so that the files “exist” again and the OS knows of their “existence”. This is what “data” recovery is; re-writing the table of contents if it is accidentally erased.
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