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Recovering deleted artwork


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#1 Ross TPO

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:15 AM

Hey guys,

I do alot of digital artwork which is saved as pdf and jpg files. My girlfriend accidentially deleted a couple of folders containing my artwork. Is there any way of recovering the artwork now that it has been deleted? I checked the Recycle bin but it isnt there.

Thanks in advance.

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#2 Platypus

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:27 AM

Where were the folders located?

It's important not to write any more data to the drive where the folders were located.

That's difficult to avoid if they were on the same drive (volume) as Windows, but if this is where they were, as a start, avoid booting up the computer again until you decide what recovery technique(s) to try.

There are a few capable freeware recovery programs, eg:

http://www.recuva.com/
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk_Download
http://www.webattack.com/get/restoration.html
http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recov....htm?language=1

If the files were located on your system drive, installing recovery software could obliterate the files you want to recover. In this case the recovery software should be installed on another computer, and the drive containing the deleted folders accessed from that computer. Not everyone feels comfortable removing a drive from their system and attaching it to another computer though.

An alternative is a bootable recovery disk, but again, folk are often unsure about creating and using such. It would probably be best to try the Restoration program first if you want to use this approach. Please let us know more about how you'd like to be further advised.

Edited by Platypus, 03 January 2009 - 08:32 AM.

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#3 Ross TPO

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:32 AM

Thanks for getting back to me.

The files were stored in a folder on D: drive but I believe something has been downloaded onto D: drive since. Does this mean that recovery is now impossible?

#4 Platypus

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:43 AM

Not necessarily. The space occupied by the files will have been made available for re-use, but that's not to say it will have actually been used yet to store something else. But if the files were deleted because the drive was getting full, and what you've subsequently saved onto the drive has rather filled it up again, that's bad. The less empty space there is to choose from, the more likely fresh stuff is to go over the top of where recently deleted stuff was. That then means you can't recover what was there before (with software).

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#5 Ross TPO

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 08:46 AM

There is about 100GB of free space on the D: drive so there is still plenty of space available.

Should I try using one of the four programs that you recommended but saving it onto the C: drive and seeing if I can recover them?

Thanks

#6 Platypus

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:04 AM

Yes, in that case you should be safe to install any of the programs onto the C: drive and see what you can do. Of course you can't save any recovered files onto the D: drive! But none of those programs should make any alteration to the drive when trying to recover copies of the files, so if one is unsuccessful or only partially successful, you can try another.

It's hard to say if any of them is more likely than another to succeed for you, as I seldom get to try several on the same task. I possibly lean a little towards suggesting Recuva, but mostly due to recommendations from others on forums I frequent...

Edited by Platypus, 03 January 2009 - 09:07 AM.

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#7 Ross TPO

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 09:24 AM

Of course you can't save any recovered files onto the D: drive!


Stupid question but why not?

Im downloading Recuva just now :thumbsup:

Thanks

#8 Platypus

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Posted 03 January 2009 - 10:04 AM

Of course you can't save any recovered files onto the D: drive!


Stupid question but why not?

No, not a stupid question... :thumbsup:

Because a file recovery program takes a copy of the data in the locations where a file was deleted from, and places that data into a duplicate of the file in another location (on another drive). That way if the recovery is unsuccessful, the source drive is still in exactly the same condition if you want to try a different recovery technique. In other words it won't be any worse than it already is. But that new file can't go on the existing drive, as it might overwrite an as-yet unrecovered file.

If the program seeks to restore files to their existing location on the same drive, what it is trying to do is reinstate the correct file directory entries and link them to their matching file table entries, so that each file "reappears" where it was before on the existing drive. This is similar to what is done when a file is restored from the Recycle Bin, but when a file is in the Recycle Bin all the necessary information to do the restoration correctly is retained, and the file location is not made available to be re-used (until the file is emptied from the Bin). If a file restoration fails because the program gets the reconstruction wrong, it can create a mess that another recovery program may not be able to undo. So a recovery that "pulls" copies of the recovered files off onto another drive is the safest way to do it.

It mightn't always be clear what approach a program is using, or if it offers you the choice, so reading up on the instructions is a good idea.

Edited by Platypus, 03 January 2009 - 10:22 AM.

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#9 Ross TPO

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Posted 04 January 2009 - 12:09 PM

Hey man,

Thanks for all your help, much appreciated. I managed to recover all but one of my designs so a great success.

Thanks again :thumbsup:




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