View Full Version : Accidently Deleted My Documents Folder

02-09-2002, 08:29 AM
Hello, I don't know if I am posting in the right forum. But here goes. I was uploading files to my domain and deleting the files as I went. I thought I was deleting a file within My Documents but after I deleted it, it was My Documents folder and all its contents. I couldn't find it in the recycle bin, it is not on my hard drive under C: and the shortcut folder for My Documents won't open up. Is there anyway that I can get My Documents folder back or is it lost for good? Thank you for your help.

02-09-2002, 08:44 AM
What OS are you using?

02-09-2002, 09:01 AM
Thank you for replying. I am using Windows 98 second edition.

02-09-2002, 09:21 AM
Please help Mama3chick, she is a good friend of my wife and I.

I went thru the basics that I could with her, but I was not there, and deemed it better to just send her on to the pros...

Please help!!!

02-09-2002, 09:42 AM
Well, There are programs out there that can let you browse your empty hard drive space for what you have deleted.... I have one that only works for W2K, and I think someone will be able to help you, BUT if you want the best chance of getting the stuff back, DO NOT USE THE COMPUTER. Browsing the internet will download images and whatnot and these images will be written to the places your DOCUMENTS WERE.

Do not download anything, and if someone here has a program for 98SE, you will want to delete EVERYTHING you can before installing it, in hopes of NOT installing it over your precious documents....

DO not defrag... If you have defragged or download 50 megs or more since, I'd say your documents are history.

02-09-2002, 10:10 AM
Thank you for replying. I haven't been doing anything except trying to figure out how to get the files back. I knew I didn't want to reboot my computer, but didn't know about downloading or defragmenting until I could see if I could get back this folder. I don't have the program that you were talking about but I will most definitely be getting it now.

02-10-2002, 07:35 AM
There use to be a few software programs that could search ya drive for deleted files but atm I can't find any. :smokin:

02-10-2002, 02:39 PM
Ok, let me clarify a bit....

W2K = windows 2000
You can reboot the computer all you want. The hard drive does not require electricity to remember its contents.

If someone here knows of a program to browse for your deleted files, then what I meant in my last post was... You will want to delete old files and uninstall programs you do not use. What this will do is free up physical space on the hard drive, and so when you get the program (that browses for deleted files) it WILL NOT install OVER the stuff you want to keep....

02-10-2002, 03:19 PM
Sorry, but if you turn off the power chances are very high that Windows will write over the data that has been deleted, making recovery (almost) impossible..... when a file is deleted it doesn't get rid of the data - the "free space" flag on the sector is set to yes, so that anything can overwrite it :cry:

02-10-2002, 03:54 PM
hmm... you would think that windows would put some safety non-delete able thing on the folder

02-11-2002, 02:40 AM
Albinus, that is a pretty silly comment from what knowledge I have....

If you delete something, Windows doesn't protect it or something, it just updates the FAT tables with the deleted data no longer existing, allowing the space to be used on other things. Restarting has Nothing to do with that.....

And thast why I say go into add/remove programs and start uninstalling programs you don't need, this way if Windows does need some space to write to (which is not uncommon!) that it will write to a blank space that you just created by doing some un-installations...

And of course when she attempts to instal a program that will let her find her lost programs, I would hope that by uninstalling a bunch of programs, you would decrease the likelyhood of writing over open spaces that contain the stuff she wants...

02-12-2002, 08:12 AM

Thank you everyone for the replies to my post. I have been unable to find the program that would let me recover My Documents folder. I don't know why it let me delete it in the first place because I thought I was deleting a file within it but it did and it is a lesson well learned from this mistake that I will now learn to back up and double check what I am deleting.

02-17-2002, 03:05 AM
Erm.......... did u just remove it from the desktop?

anyway here is how to get it back SHOULD work

1) Open My Computer
2) Open C drive
3) Their should be a folder called My Documents
4) Right Click it
5) Select Add item to desktop!

All done ;)

Sammy :afro:

02-17-2002, 03:10 AM
Oh .... didn't read properly

Well try what i said

If it isnt their then Create it... or get someone who else is on windows 98 to upload it through FTP or somthing to your desktop then create the folder in C:\

Well Good luck

Sammy :wave:

02-17-2002, 10:21 AM
Albinus, that is a pretty silly comment from what knowledge I have....

Well, from what knowledge I have it is a perfectly valid comment.

During system startup, Windows uses oodles more virtual memory than it normally does. This is to facilitate correct loading of the system drivers and the like. If a file is deleted, it sets the flag bit to "free". Guess what? Windows isn't picky on which area of the disk it writes to - it goes towards the beginining of the drive (because the transfer rate is faster).

This is how disk fragmentation occurs - when a file is deleted near the start of the disk, Windows puts something else in there when needed due to the extra speed gained by placing it there. When this occurs several times, it creates, you guessed it, file fragmentation.

I have been unsuccessful recovering lost data many a time because the machine was rebooted - when I have been able to recover deleted files it has always been when the user turned the machine OFF and left it off. Then start off a Windows 98SE boot disk and run the drive diagnostics/recovery utility.

Also remember that NTFS partitions index all files - you remove the index, NTFS doesn't have a clue where the recovered file goes :cantfocus

So every time you reboot - you're overwriting old deleted data more than likely - sorry ;)

Mr. C
02-17-2002, 02:00 PM
Here's a URL for a freeware program that claims to recover deleted files in Windows95, 98, ME, NT, 2000 and XP (that is, XP not using NTFS - NTFS support is promised soon.).


Here's the description of the program, as stolen from the site:
Begin cut & paste
What Drive Rescue can do for you:

Find any lost and deleted data on your drive (e.g. hard disk) even if the partition table is lost or the drive has been quick-formatted
Lost Data, that is the result of a system crash can also be recovered

What Drive Rescue can NOT do for you:

Find any data on a physically damaged drive

End cut & paste

I just made a quick test using the emergency version "rescue disk.zip" as it would seem handy to just keep a copy on a floppy for future use.
I conducted the test at the optimum time, ie. before I did anything on my system.
I deleted 9 .jpg files, and using this program, I successfully recovered 6 of them.
Not a stellar rating for sure, but it's free - and in an emergency, any data that it can retrieve is sure to be appreciated.

LOL - there is always the possibility that if I had read the help files, and tweaked the options, I might have had a higher success rate.
I don't know?
But at this point I would still think everyone should DL a copy, and keep it in their warchest - just in case.

10-19-2005, 04:31 PM
I suggest you download a DataRecoveryWizard to use.
Homepage: http://www.easeus.com

10-20-2005, 07:21 AM
If you had of suggested it 3 years ago it might have been worthwhile...

10-20-2005, 07:28 PM
Closer to 4yrs more like than 3yrs though more than 4yrs ago would've been better in this case.