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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Osaka
    Posts
    55

    Recover "overwritten" file

    Imagine the scenario.

    File A is incredibly important so is backed up once a night (or SUPPOSED to be).

    New guy comes to company, puts in month old backup disk and copies File A onto it. Except, he doesn't ... he copies the month old file from the backup disk OVER File A...

    Ok, they lose a days work, as they can just use the day before backup. Well, if they had been bothered to put in the new disk each night they would have been able to do.... but they didn't, so the month old copy is the earliest.

    We have a problem (or rather I don't, but a friend does)

    Anyone know of any good version recovery software that can help? Undelete software isn't working so far as the file hasn't been deleted, just a new version overwritten.

    Or should I just tell them, they are going to have to rework the month?

    Ideas gratefully received!
    Ben Griffiths
    iNETFX - Windows hosting since 2000
    resellercore - The ultimate domain reseller packages

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    San Diego CA
    Posts
    1,480
    Try the conventional file recovery softwares, when a file is overwritten, it is not really overwritten on the hard drive.
    Your chance of recovering it will be better if you had ample free space when it hits the fan. If the disk was almost full it is virtually impossible to recover the file, even with divine intervention.

    Good luck anyways!
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    South Daytona, FL
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    2,476
    Step 1 - Hopefully as soon as the error was discovered the drive was "cloned" with the cloned drive replacing the original, the longer the drive is used the less likely it becomes that anything can be salvaged.

    Step 2 - Decide how important the file is, your best bet is professional data recovery, send the original drive to someone like OnTrack or DataSavers, but these solutions are not cheap.

    I'm assuming this is not a share on Server2003 with shadow copy enabled (previous versions are easy to recover with shadow copy)
    Last edited by trau; 02-21-2006 at 12:34 PM.
    "Arms discourage and keep the invader and plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property... Horrid mischief would ensue were the law-abiding deprived of the use of them." - Thomas Paine

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Osaka
    Posts
    55
    Yes I've already tried that. Though the issue is the conventional software isn't showing older revisions of the file, as far as it's aware, the file is still there (but of course it's the old version) - so there is nothing to undelete....
    Ben Griffiths
    iNETFX - Windows hosting since 2000
    resellercore - The ultimate domain reseller packages

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Osaka
    Posts
    55
    Nope, shadow copy wasn't on.

    Ok, I'll pass the news one. It's a whole month worth of work they have lost, so data recovery might well be worth it. Problem is, they have been using the disk since (this happened yesterday I think)....

    Unless someone knows of a great piece of software that might be of use?
    Ben Griffiths
    iNETFX - Windows hosting since 2000
    resellercore - The ultimate domain reseller packages

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    The Woodlands, Tx
    Posts
    5,962
    PM your email address to me and I will email a program to you that can most likely recover it.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    303
    I saw this on The gadget show yesterday

    If something is deleted ( even from recycle bin ) its not REALLY deleted.
    It can be easily recovered using some recovery tools

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Woking, England
    Posts
    1,396
    step 1) No making 40Gb bitmaps
    step 2)get software to recover deleted files
    Web Handyman - Website and Internet Marketing Service

  9. #9
    Ben,

    I can send you very useful recovery software if you need it.
    http://www.advertise.rs

    Life is too short for 56k!

  10. #10
    Hi, Fulk and Webdude, and anyone else who was offering to send software:
    Would this software recover relatively small (around 2mb) files that have been overwritten in the past week? I am in pretty desperate need of something that could do this.

    Thanks.

  11. #11
    Best of luck, you'll need it

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,342
    I don't think you have any chance of recovering the file, even if you use professional service.

    Deleted files can be retrieved, however, when you overwrite a file, it uses the same address location as the old one instead of creating a new one.

    Not sure thou, try consulting a professional service to confirm my theory. I would doubt that file recovery programs will help, they'll just make things worse.

    Peace,
    Testing 1.. Testing 1..2.. Testing 1..2..3...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    The Woodlands, Tx
    Posts
    5,962
    Quote Originally Posted by azizny View Post
    Deleted files can be retrieved, however, when you overwrite a file, it uses the same address location as the old one instead of creating a new one.
    Not really. Keep in mind that if a file is deleted, it is also renamed (in windows). It also depend on if deletion went via the recycle bin, which moves it to a different space. However, if he created a file with the same name & size and then deleted it in the same method as the old one.... then I doubt you can recover.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    4,560
    Quote Originally Posted by Twinky View Post
    I saw this on The gadget show yesterday

    If something is deleted ( even from recycle bin ) its not REALLY deleted.
    It can be easily recovered using some recovery tools
    It can be recovered IF something else hasn't already been written over that area of the disk.

    As far as the OP's situation, it depends on how the file was overwritten. If the OS allocated new space and wrote the blocks to that space, then the old blocks may still be there. If it updated the blocks in-place, then there's nothing that can be done (except maybe by a couple government intelligence agencies).
    Scott Burns, President
    BQ Internet Corporation
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  15. #15
    i was wondering what programs i could use to try and find it though, instead of just downloading whichever ones pop up at random on a google search. don't know why Webdude had to be secretive about it. i haven't downloaded much if anything to the drive since the overwrite, so i'm thinking there's a chance.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    575
    When a file is overwritten, it is overwritten. The file can't just be "recovered" as it was never flagged as deleted (and thus able to unflag the portion still there) as it was never deleted in the first place, but overwritten.

    Therefore, I don't believe that you'll be able to do anything, but have lost work.

  17. #17
    Sometimes I use Recuva, a freeware, http://www.recuva.com/

    It helped me.

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