Recovering the Unrecoverable


As you know, if you try to delete files on a windows machine, you will receive a warning (unless you are a shift+delete user, like me).

“Are you sure you want to send <this file> to the recycle bin?”

Like this it is less likely to delete files by accident. However, and that is again a royal pain in the #!@, this does not work for USB drives, network drives, SD cards, etc…

If you hit delete and click “okidoki” the file is gone. It is not moved to the recycle bin. Now, I’m sure that Microsoft has good reasons for this. But it’s really a pain when you by accident hit delete and remove pictures you don’t want to remove.

But have no fear, technology is here to save us from our mistakes we make as puny humans.

There is a small tool called recuva (from the same producer as crap cleaner by the way) which allows you to UNERASE files. Yes indeed, it is possible.. Magnificent and creepy at the same time!

You can download this tool here.

  1. Install recuva, you really don’t need my help for this since it is so incredibly simple. The only thing you need to mind is that you do not install the optional google toolbar or yahoo toolbar.
    Well, unless you really want it. Which I honesly doubt.
  2. Now to recover files. Open recuva and just hit next on the first screen. Which is an intro screen.
  3. The next thing you need to do is define what you would like to recover. Pictures, music, mails, whatever.
  4. Next is to select WHERE the tool should start looking. And they added this nice feature “I’m not sure”. This is for people like my mother for example :-D.

    – “I need a backup of all my pictures…”
    “Okay where did you save them?”
    – “I… don’t.. know..?”
    … -_-‘

    Anyway! On with the show… Select the location where the tool should start looking for recoverable files and hit next.

  5. The next screen allows you to start the scan. Enable the “deep scan” checkbox if a previous scan failed. Perhaps you may still find your lost files this way (when everything else is lost). Hit start when you’re done.
  6. The scan will now… scan .. du’h. When it’s done it will give you a report of all the files it has found and are recoverable.
    Green means recoverable, yellow means poor quality (so I suppose you won’t be able to fully recover them) and red means unrecoverable. (And yes, I have a lot of files with strange names. These are cache files people ;-)).
  7. Select the files you like to recover and hit recover. You will have to point out where you want to save the files. And that’s that. Your file(s) are now recovered.

Thank you technology!

PS: this is just 1 example of a tool. There are many more, like diskdigger for instance.

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