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Where do deleted files from a shared drive go?

By gkrew ·
A user deleted a file from a shared network drive and we do not know where the file has gone. Its a Windows 2000 server. The recycle bin is empty on the server.

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Its Gone

by dvadlez In reply to Where do deleted files fr ...

Unfortunately network storage does not support recycle bin like local storage does.
You can perform a "get back" recovery on the drive that the data was on to recover it.
Or restore from a backup.

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It's still there

by M_a_r_k In reply to Where do deleted files fr ...

How could it be "gone"? Where would it go? When you delete a file, the operating system just removes all links to the parts of the hard disk where the file was stored. (Unless a file is very small, it is not stored in one contiguous space on the disk. The OS keeps track of the broken up file using something like a linked list.) It would be pretty inefficient and unnecessary for the OS to totally erase a deleted file by overwriting its contents with some default value. So the data is still there. Finding all the sectors and clusters and so on where the complete file was stored isn't so easy. There are probably some utilities out there than can do it. I know that law enforcement agencies have tools to recover "deleted" files. Be forewarned. A deleted file is not removed from your hard disk.

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by noyoki In reply to It's still there

There was (once upon a time) a very old DOS util called undelete. It would display a list of every deleted file (it knew it was deleted because the beginning of every deleted file actually started with a _) and you would have to type in the first letter of the name. Don't quote me on that, it might not be 100% accurate, it may not even work with Win 2k... but it's worth a shot.

Fair warning, it may very well be gone if this happened days ago and the hard-drive is still in use. A hard-drive doesn't automatically delete the contents of the file from the platter even when you "empty the recycle bin", but it DOES eventually get overwritten with newer information.

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by triangle In reply to Where do deleted files fr ...


If the files are through the bin that doesn't mean there's no possibility to restore them. In such a sitation data recovery tools cah help. I've used Undelete, and can say it is reliable and never failed or corrupted files. If you need the files back you can try it to see if the trick can be done.

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