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Recovering Deleted Files

By benjaminderhodes ·
Okay, so first a bit of background:
Several papers that I had written in college were saved as PDF files on my old computer (I prefer to save my finished word documents that way after I no longer need to edit them). I thought that I had the PDF files in backup, so I deleted them from my hard drive (turns out that they weren't ugh...). Then, five months later (during which time I used the laptop pretty regularly, though without defragmenting, if that helps), I ended up getting a new computer and reformatting the hard drive on the old one. I gave the old hard drive to a friend, so he could convert it into an external drive (he refurbishes computers in his spare time and was happy to have the extra drive to use for his work). It has been two years since that time.

Now, I'd like to get the old papers back, since I need to submit some past work for a portfolio. I'm curious if this is even possible now, some two and half years later? Should I even bother to ask my friend for the hard drive back and go about getting file recovery software? Or are the files probably long gone by now (or at least likely too corrupted to open)?

I'd prefer if someone would just give it to me straight, as I'd rather not invest in false hope at this point. I mean, if something is potentially possible, great, but if my chances are pretty much zero by now, I can accept that.

Thanks :)

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