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Help with viewing old deleted text files that I just recovered.


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#1 aepaepaep

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:54 AM

Hi there, and thanks for viewing my post. I hope this is an ok place to ask, if not feel free to move the post elsewhere. I just recovered a lot of old deleted files from a laptop of mine from years ago. However some of the files I was really looking forward to checking out are only showing up as scrambled symbols and characters, rather than the actual text that was there. Im wondering, and praying, that there is some way to convert this back to original text in english. Files show up like the following...

"ƧŽ™`ZUR'Lx²¨ñÄõû?EýôÿŸý¾Ÿ5ºò=H’
nFÛqÀ“"‘‚}˜;Í‚ôrËyDÀ¹~=qÏ Å K¦Úiv[TKg¾^¨_ù6Ö™`Éu!œó@Øáƒö .t¢ ÄÚ‹1y‡¹Ì*¹E˜
ݬ{‹×ÿ×o§éÿå‘H•%ŽI  :#ăãlÅŠ:4±ZZœ¹r!ˆ"

Where instead that should be a list of names and passwords that I kept.

I have a few more, and would appreciate any input. Are these files just corrupted and lost forever? or can anybody help me with this. I have files that were just on notepad saved as .txt and others that were in microsoft word as .doc/.rtf

Thanks for you time and or help.
Alan/aepaepaep

Also attached is the main file id like to see.

Attached Files


Edited by aepaepaep, 20 November 2012 - 01:56 AM.


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#2 Platypus

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:24 AM

Do you mean deleted files were recovered using recovery software, or recovered from a drive with a damaged file system/partition table? If so, sadly there's not likely to be any solution to this.

If they were plain ASCII text files, (ie .TXT extension) the most likely cause for what you've found is either that after the text files were deleted, their locations had other files written over the top of them. Or the recovery software had incomplete file table data and had to recover the files on "best guess" basis assuming they were contiguous. This strategy may fail due to fragmentation of files, and you end up with at least some of the contents of a different file.

If there has been no data recovery process involved, and the files were simply copied from the drive using, say, a USB adapter and thus should be intact, then there could be other considerations involved. Please confirm what process(es) were involved so we can try to offer more directed advice.

Edited by Platypus, 20 November 2012 - 03:25 AM.

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#3 aepaepaep

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:10 PM

Thanks for your response Platypus, and yes they were recovered using software. I was using a program called Data Recovery Pro, which worked fairly well. I assumed the files were lost or damaged in the way you described. The files were from an old laptop which originally had Windows 2000 on it, which had been restored a few times, and then had a copy of windows xp installed to it. The laptop itself has a lot of physical damage to it as well, which im sure had some effect over the years also.

#4 hamluis

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

Not all data-recovery software...is equally effective. I've never heard of your choice...but, if I wanted to recover files, I would try at least two or three programs because results can vary by program.

It's not unusual for recovered files to be unreadable, IME...thus the need to try a couple of different programs and check the results before settling on one.

Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download - http://www.piriform.com/recuva

Partition Find and Mount free partition recovery software - http://findandmount.com/

Recovery Software, Partition Table Doctor - http://www.ptdd.com/

Recovery Software, Recover My Files - http://www.recovermyfiles.com/

Louis

#5 aepaepaep

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 02:12 PM

Ill give that a shot, hopefully today, and ill post back my results. Thanks Louis.

#6 Platypus

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 03:59 PM

I second hamluis' suggestion. In addition, I've successfully used PC Inspector:

http://www.pcinspector.de/Default.htm?language=1

and I've not used it myself, but I've repeatedly seen GetDataBack highly recommended by folk I trust, but it's software you can demo but then need to buy if the sample recovery impresses you.

As a final option, if other recovery systems still don't have success, is to try a manual sector by sector search. This would take a long time, but would give a final answer whether any of the text you can recall still exists. Recovery software may offer this option, or a hex editor can typically do it. By searching the entire drive for, say, one of the passwords, you may find sectors that are not overwritten. Because text is small, and the drive is written in clusters (blocks of adjacent sectors), if you do find some content of a significant file, you might get all of the text, or enough to be a result. Good luck.

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#7 hamluis

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:29 PM

I also have personally used Get Data Back successfully...but try the free alternatives before considering spending money on a program. In my case, I didn't care about paying for a program that would recover the files I wanted and it was several years ago (when free alternatives were not as abundant or reported as successfully used by members here).

I've also used Recuva successfully.

Louis

#8 aepaepaep

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 04:40 PM

I just tried again with Recuva, and only managed to recover the exact same files with the same problems. Ill give a couple other programs a try through the night and post back. Although its looking like my chances are very slim here. Eventually I supposed Ill give the manual search a try too, if all else fails. Thanks again, both of you.

#9 aepaepaep

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Posted 20 November 2012 - 05:30 PM

findandmount also did not work.

#10 aepaepaep

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 03:03 PM

Tried several other programs with no luck now, looks like my last hope is trying to recover it manually searching. Ill save that for another time to figure out. Thanks for all your help guys.




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