Before performing the search process, scan the drive to reveal areas that contain damaged or deleted files and folders. Follow the steps below to locate individual deleted files and folders:
In Windows, check the Windows Recycle Bin to see if the file or folder is there. If it is, use standard Windows Restore command to recover it from there. If not, continue with step 2.
If working in DOS, restart your PC in DOS mode with the UNERASER bootable floppy. If working in Windows, start Active@ UNERASER (Windows Console).
If you know exactly where the files or folders were located before being deleted, use Performing a Drive Scan procedure.
After drive has been scanned go directly to the folder where you know the files or folders should be.
If you do not see your files where they should be, look under the !!!EXTRA DELETED!!! tree node. If the parent of the file or folder has been deleted or damaged, most likely the item you are looking for will be in this virtual folder.
If you are still unable to locate your data, proceed to the next step.
Note: If you see !!!EXTRA!!!, use [Shift]+[Tab] to change the file name display from 8.3 to Long File Name (LFN).
If you cannot find the deleted file or folder by viewing this list, try Search mode.
Position marker to the Drive or Folder and press [F9] > Scan > Search for Files or press [Ctrl]+[F]. The Search dialog box appears. Specify the search criteria here:
Use the [Tab] key to move from field to field. Use the spacebar to select or uncheck each item. An "X" indicates the item is selected. Use the descriptions below to help configure the search parameters:
Enter Mask — Define a search pattern, for example type "*.doc" to find all Microsoft Word files (with doc extension). For help with this, see Searching for Files by Name, below.
Match case — Case sensitive or non-sensitive search.
Size — If you know the size range for files to be searched, you can reduce the length of the search time by eliminating files larger or smaller than the sizes you indicate here.
Attributes — Each selected attribute will be included in the search. If you know, for example that the file you are looking for is not hidden, then uncheck that attribute. Search will ignore that attribute in all files.
Exclude Existing — With this item selected, search will not report on files that presently exist on the drive. Only deleted or damaged files and folders will be reported.
Exclude Deleted — With this item selected, search will not report on files that are known to be deleted. It will report on damaged files. Press [Enter] to run the search. After the search is complete, examine the list of matched files and folders.
If no files were found after Basic Drive Scan, run an Advanced Drive Scan to look more closely at all the drive's surfaces. After the Advanced Scan, repeat Step 4, above.
If, after completing all five steps above, your files and folders still cannot be found, it is likely that the physical drive space has been completely overwritten with other data. If this is the case, no recovery tools can help you.
Overwriting a drive's physical space can happen when a lot of writing operations occur on a drive (for example, during software installation). As well, Windows operating system sometimes creates temporary files for different processes. This might affect an area with deleted data as well.