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Old 01-02-11, 04:11 PM   #1
Snicklefritz
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recovering "lost" files?

My dad bought my mom a Mac Airbook for Christmas and one of my siblings helped her transfer the files over from her PC, but erased some files on the PC in the process.

My mom hasn't created or modified any files since she discovered that some of these files got erased. How do you recover this stuff? I've heard that even when you "delete" a file, it really isn't gone, that computer forensic people can find this stuff. So how do regular joe's do this?
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Old 01-02-11, 04:29 PM   #2
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As long as you don't overwrite the deleted file by saving a new file on top of it, you can typically recover it. I've had very good success with Paragon EasyRecovery Pro software. I've recovered things as simple as an accidentally deleted file to stuff from hard-drives that were formatted and re-partitioned.

Here's the process I would use:

1. remove hard-drive with data to be recovered from computer and put in safe place (like a vault).

2. install new hard-drive into computer

3. load clean Windows OS

4. install Easy Recovery Pro software

5. re-install old hard-drive as secondary data-drive on computer

6. run recovery software and scan entire data-drive, may take a couple hours

7. sort through list of files and pick the ones you want to recover

8. save recovered files to different drive than original, perhaps a USB disk to bring them over to new computer.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:42 PM   #3
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Hi DannoXYZ, thanks for the quick response. Would you necessarily have to take the hard drive out and replace it in order to use the software? If she had to recover most of what she had on there, I'd go that way, but I think she's talking about maybe 1/2 dozen files.
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Old 01-02-11, 04:51 PM   #4
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If the PC happened to have Win7 Pro or Ultimate, or Vista Business or Ultimate, then you could also recover the files by going to the folder where they were (using Windows), right-clicking in the empty space, and choosing Properties > Previous Versions.
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Old 01-03-11, 12:51 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
Hi DannoXYZ, thanks for the quick response. Would you necessarily have to take the hard drive out and replace it in order to use the software? If she had to recover most of what she had on there, I'd go that way, but I think she's talking about maybe 1/2 dozen files.
Well, simply booting up the computer and installing anything can and will likely write over those half-dozen files she wants, thus making them less likely to be recoverable, depending where they sit on the hard drive. Not necessarily impossible, but less likely.

Another idea is to take the hard drive out of the old computer and connect it to another PC with one of those $15 adapter thingies that will let you connect a SATA/IDE hard drive to a USB port. I have had success with those. They aren't super fast, but they work and they are cheap.
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Old 01-03-11, 01:54 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
Hi DannoXYZ, thanks for the quick response. Would you necessarily have to take the hard drive out and replace it in order to use the software? If she had to recover most of what she had on there, I'd go that way, but I think she's talking about maybe 1/2 dozen files.
Yes. Or at least removing it and putting it in a computer that has the software necessary. The more you use the drive, the higher chance you have the operating system writes data to the blocks the files were.
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Old 01-03-11, 05:59 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Snicklefritz View Post
Hi DannoXYZ, thanks for the quick response. Would you necessarily have to take the hard drive out and replace it in order to use the software? If she had to recover most of what she had on there, I'd go that way, but I think she's talking about maybe 1/2 dozen files.
I guess it comes down to the value of those files. If they are highly desired, I would immediately pull the power-plug on that computer to preserve the hard-drive contents. Don't even go through shutdown because that updates and writes numerous files to the disk; one of which may overwrite the deleted file you want to recover. Then go through the process of installing that drive as secondary drive on another system with recovery software.
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Old 01-03-11, 08:33 PM   #8
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Another simple solution/question. You began by stating transferred files from the PC to Mac, but erased some files on the PC. Perhaps too obvious, but are they on the Mac? Transfer a copy back - or even email those specific files to yourself from the Mac and open the email on the PC.
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