A common problem among users is that they think they can just send a program's directory to the Recycle Bin to delete it--they don't understand the process of uninstalling an application. Deleting a program in this manner can cause a lot of problems if shared .dll files are involved.
In addition, if you use the command prompt or a client over the network, NT doesn't send the deleted files to the Recycle Bin. In these cases, recovery can be very difficult.
Timing is the problem. After users delete a file, NT reallocates the clusters that the deletion frees up. Once the reallocation is complete, recovery of the deleted files is almost impossible. However, you can overcome this problem with Executive Software's Undelete utility.
This utility lets you scan a local or network drive to recover deleted files. The interface for this utility is actually a simple search tool that allows you to sort results by filename, date, location, and size.
Once you find the files in question, select them, click Undelete, and then point Undelete to the directory where you want to save the recovered files. You can download a trial version of the Undelete utility from Executive Software's Web site.