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Moving Folders and recovering files


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#1 bleeker33

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 05:48 AM

Hi all, first post here, so any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

I had a folder on my laptop called 'Holiday photos', within this folder I had a number of sub-folders, ie - Spain, Florida, Canada etc.

 

Before moving to a new computer I was cleaning up my laptop and deleted one of these sub-folders, (Canada) from the 'Holiday photos' folder accidentally.

 

I moved the 'Holidays photos' folder to my external hard drive (minus the 'Canada' sub-folder), then moved the 'Holidays photos' folder to my new computer. At this point I realised I'd accidentally deleted my 'Canada' folder.

 

My question is, is there anyway to recover my 'Canada' folder on my new computer? Is there any trace of it still remaining in the 'Holidays folder' or since it was moved out of here, is it lost forever? I don't have access to my old laptop so getting it back from there is impossible.

 

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

 

Thanks.



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#2 garioch7

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 06:27 AM

bleeker33:

 

If you deleted the "Canada" subfolder from your "Holiday photos" folder from your laptop BEFORE you copied the "Holiday photos" folder to your external hard drive, then the "Canada" subfolder should not have been copied ... because it was no longer there to be copied.  If the "Canada" subfolder was not copied to the external hard drive, then it would not be copied to your new computer.

 

You could always download Recuva from Piriform to scan for deleted files, but from what you have explained, there will be nothing for Recuva to recover, since it was never on the hard disk of your new computer, and as such, the "Canada" subfolder was never deleted from it accidentally.

 

If you did have access to the old laptop hard drive, then Recuva would be a worthwhile option to explore.

 

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  Have a great day.

 

Regards,

-Phil


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#3 bleeker33

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 06:50 AM

Yea I kind of figured this would be the case.

 

Am I right in saying that once the 'Canada' sub-folder was deleted, the 'pointers' to where the bits of images were 'dropped' on the laptop. The 'holiday photos' folder was then copied over to the external hard-drive without any information containing to the 'Canada' folder, thus there would be literally nothing on the new computer to 're-link' to?

 

Thanks so much for your reply.



#4 garioch7

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 07:09 AM

bleeker33:

 

You are quite correct in your assessment.  The subfolder and its files are only on the laptop hard drive, and even that is not certain because some or all clusters that the subfolder and its images occupied, might have been overwritten since the deletion.

 

When you deleted the "Canada" subfolder on your laptop, then folder directory was modified by Windows to show that the subfolder had been deleted, and then Windows marked the clusters occupied by the images in that subfolder as "free" for use for other storage.

 

Over time, those clusters would have been assigned to store other programs and data.  Recuva, and programs like it, work by finding the deleted folder name, which is not really deleted until overwritten by another folder name - it just has a special character as its first character to tell Windows that it has been deleted.  Recovery programs "undelete" the folder name and then go looking for the subfolder files entries, if it has not been deleted and overwritten, and from there to the starting cluster pointed to by each "deleted" file listed, and try to reassemble the cluster chain that makes up each individual file.

 

That is why it is so important, when doing a deleted file/folder recovery, to always recover to another drive, to avoid having your attempted recovery files overwrite the originals.  The longer the computer is in use after a deletion, the lower the odds of a successful recovery.

 

Once again, sorry to be the bearer of bad news.  You should always have at least one copy of your important data; or, better yet, a system image (backup) of everything.  If you only have one copy, you don't have a "copy", you have only the original.  Personally I image my computers weekly, and always four images on hand on an external hard drive.  Data files are also copied weekly to a big flash drive as well, stored "off-site".  One can never have too many backups.

 

Have a great day.

 

Regards,

-Phil


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#5 bleeker33

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 07:17 AM

Phil,

 

Thanks so much for your in-depth explanation, it makes complete sense and I really appreciate you taking the time to spell it out for me :)

 

Yea, from now on back-ups will be made as often as possible.

 

Once again thanks very much!

 

Have a great day.



#6 garioch7

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Posted 24 January 2017 - 08:45 AM

bleeker33:

 

Thank you for your post.  I am sorry that you had to learn about the importance of backups this way. :(

 

You are most welcome for my time and explanation.  On behalf of Bleeping Computer, please stay safe out there in cyberspace.  This article by Quietman7, one of the foremost computer security experts here at Bleeping Computer, might be of interest to you.

 

Have a great day, and thank you for choosing Bleeping Computer to answer your question.

 

Regards,

-Phil


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