OMG! All my files are gone (accidentally)

Usually when I delete a large amount of data willingly, It takes the computer many seconds to completely get rid of it. But now when I accidentally deleted the folder that contained all my files and that occupied half the space of my drive, it deleted the folder in a blink. I didn’t even notice the folder was gone. I wasn’t sure until I checked the remaining space on my PC. I checked the recycle bin, but the folder wasn’t there(may be because it was bigger than the space allocated for the recycle bin to hold.) I tried to recover my files using the Check Desk utility, but I didn’t work. Now, I’m guessing my folder is not completely deleted since the computer hid it in a blink of an eye and I’m hoping there is a way to easily recover it.

Is it possible it wasn’t a folder, but maybe a shortcut to a folder?
In any case, if you can think of some of the file names within the folder, I would suggest doing a search on those names to see if the computer can find them.

First off, do not use the computer for anything! If you are posting to the SDMB with this computer, stop it.

When Windows deletes files and folders, most of the time it only changes the pointer to the file or folder, and nothing more. The data is still there, but the operating system has “permission” to write new data over the old data. That’s why if you accidentally delete files and folders and then have an OMG moment, you must stop everything you are doing on the computer to increase the changes you can recover the lost data.

See if this article helps —>

Seconded, if you nuked a file and got the “too large for recycle bin” prompt and said di it anyway you nuked them hard. Perfect world you need another machine to mount your hard drive to and recover to (or at least an external drive) and software like this to recover the files.

Strangely, I didn’t get this prompt and I didn’t find the folder in the recycle bin. It’s very confusing how it disappeared.

If you right-click in the top level directory where the folder used to be, do you get an “undo delete” option?

I just want to mention again that maybe your could try using Windows’ seach function and searching for one of the files (if you know one by name), you might find that the folder just got moved somewhere else.

Ditto what JoeyP said. Take a look at the free space in that drive. If you now have over 50% free, yeah, maybe it’s gone. But if the free space is similar to what you had prior to this incident, then you probably just moved it (=dragged it to some unknown folder) by mistake.

There are also plenty of freeware appz out there for file recovery. Windows doesn’t actually delete data - it breaks the references to it and makes the space available for use. Or, my practice offers recovery services… for a fee… [evil cackle]

I had a similar problem about a week ago. Here’s my panicked thread on it, and I did recover the files:

Just recover from your backup. Don’t have a backup? What a time to learn!

What OS is the OP using? If windows Xp or Vista, they may be able to roll the computer back to a previous state.

Doesn’t system restore only roll back the registry and stuff like that, not actual user documents and things like that?

Hmm you might be right, I haven’t used that feature in a while.