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Author Topic: 2 My documents folders, deleted one, both gone! How to recover files?  (Read 907 times)

jenniferlizit

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I noticed I had two copies of the My Documents folder, one in my user folder where I want it, and the other buried deep in my pictures folder (I think I accidentally dragged and dropped it there once when I was trying to change the order of icons in the navigation pane). I deleted the one in my pictures folder, and both folders disappeared!

What happened?

I closed the screen out, re-opened "my computer," and see both My Documents folders back, but empty.

1) How can I recover my files? My last backup was last week, and I've written quite a bit since then. I was actually about to back up again when I saw the annoying second folder and deleted it, not realizing they were linked. The folder was too large and bypassed the recycle bin.

2) How can I fix the two folders issue? I have the same problem with my music folder also, and have had problems with the folders under my username seeming to disappear, reappear, and move for no apparent reason.

Curt

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Re: 2 My documents folders, deleted one, both gone! How to recover files?
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2015, 04:12:16 AM »
if you have not not yet done anything else, simply right-click and find "Undo delete".

If that is too late, you will need a more specialized tool, search for "Undelete". Recuva is normally the first answer, and a good one. (see next post)
« Last Edit: September 07, 2015, 08:01:02 AM by Curt »

Shades

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Re: 2 My documents folders, deleted one, both gone! How to recover files?
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2015, 06:09:17 AM »
NTFS supports junctions. Junctions are a link to folder in a different location than you currently are.

For most intends and purposes Junctions can be very helpful with saving storage space, as now you have one location where files are stored, with more than one way of accessing these files.

However, if you don't know you are working with junctions ('My Documents' folder is a junction) you have a problem and it appears data is gone from 2 folders. But rest assured, you have thrown the files from just one location.

Clipboard01.png2 My documents folders, deleted one, both gone! How to recover files?

A decent file manager (Directory Opus in the example image) indicates if you are working with a junction or folder.

Whatever you do, do not restore the files you want to retrieve back into the folder where they came from! If you do, you are seriously sabotaging your recovery attempt!

Preferably use a different location in a different partition on the same hard disk, if you have more than one partition. If you don't, restore your files to a portable hard disk or pen drive. This way you significantly increase your chances of retrieving files you lost.

Recuva is indeed decent software for retrieval. TestDisk is another capable piece of software, but its interface might be daunting. UndeleteNTFS is  very capable, but comes with a quite hefty price tag.

Stoic Joker

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Re: 2 My documents folders, deleted one, both gone! How to recover files?
« Reply #3 on: September 09, 2015, 06:51:17 AM »
It helps if you mention which OS you're using.

1) How can I recover my files? My last backup was last week, and I've written quite a bit since then. I was actually about to back up again when I saw the annoying second folder and deleted it, not realizing they were linked. The folder was too large and bypassed the recycle bin.2)

Try the simplest options first. Right click pictures, select properties, then go to the Previous Versions tab to see if the system made a backup for you.

How can I fix the two folders issue? I have the same problem with my music folder also, and have had problems with the folders under my username seeming to disappear, reappear, and move for no apparent reason.

There is a high probability that you are looking at the Library view in the Explorer navigation tree that is designed to display the combined view of both the Public (All Users), and the Private (Your Actual Stuff) files. It just gives you a visual clue about the combined Library view by showing the 2 source folders in the navigation tree.