Any way to recover an overwritten file

Through 2 quick accidents; (putting a file in the wrong folder, then automatically clicking yes when the dialogue box came up) I’ve overwitten an important file with another one with the same name. :smack: Is their any way to recover this, without buying expensive software or getting expensive repairmen involved? I’m running XP SP2

You could try system restore if you have a restore point that wouldn’t undo a lot of other stuff. Don’t try it until others more knowledgeable than I have posted though. Someone else may know of a better way.

If it’s just a document, system restore probably won’t revert it - it only works on system files such as applications, libraries, etc.

The first thing to do is to stop using that disk completely - anything you do on that machine, including stuff completely unrelated to the files, could write over the bit of disk you want to retrieve.

The data might still be there intact - the file system isn’t necessarily obliged to overwrite the same section of physical storage when you logically overwrite a file - it may just delete the location record for the old file and write a new one for the new file (this is especially likely if you overwrite by moving from one place to another on the same disk, rather than copying).

One point of note is your operating system. Windows Vista has the capacity to show stored older versions of the same folder (from previous days). I don’t believe XP can do that.

If you’re running Time Machine you might be able to retrieve it. Not sure, though; I think that would depend on whether the system had dome its hourly backup after you saved the first version.

Hmm. What we need is a filesystem with true versioning.

Real world you’re probably screwed. You can try an undelete utility like this and cross your fingers or stop using the disk now and pay disk recovery company a few hundred to see if they can locate it and both these options are iffy re full recovery.