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Flashdrive recovery of files?

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by icedtea15, Apr 17, 2010.

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  1. icedtea15

    icedtea15 Thread Starter

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    I save everything, pictures and all of my schol documents, onto my Toshiba 16GB flashdrive. Thursday my Gateway laptop crashed but luckily I had my flashdrive. Friday I went to the library at school to prin a paper off of my flashdrive, the school computers I believe are Windows Vista. All of the documents on the flashdrive came up in symbols with saved dates 80 years into the past and future. It wouldn't allow me to open any of the documents, so I safely remmoved the flashdrive and put it back in and then it said it was empty, however when you go under computer it still shows there is space taken up on it but those documents don't show up. It will allow me to save new documents to the flashdrive and open them but none of the old ones will show up. I know I probably need to restore it but I don't have the money to pay someone to do it for me and my school's IT help desk is closed today so I would prefer to get it done as soon as possible if it can even be done. I hope someone can help
    Thank you!

    PS: My laptop that died was Windows Vista, the current netbook I'm on is an hp with windows 7
     
  2. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    Have you tried showing hidden and system files and folders? I've come across a few flashes with viruses on them that set a bunch of folders to hidden and system. Likewise if you've run chkdsk it sets its found folder (with all the recovered file fragments) to be hidden and system.

    If you haven't run chkdsk don't do so, as it may be possible to get your files back with file recovery software, but a side affect of running chkdsk is that any fragments can't be recovered by anything else.

    Were the files all on the dead computer. If so it may be possible to get them from there if you can't get them from the flash, using a Linux live CD or another method.
     
  3. icedtea15

    icedtea15 Thread Starter

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    how do you show hidden and systems files and folders?
     
  4. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    Open Windows Explorer, and select Folder options in the tools menu (which will appear when you press the Alt key. Click the View tab, and UNCHECK hide protected opperating system files while CHECKING show hidden files and folders.
     
  5. icedtea15

    icedtea15 Thread Starter

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    Well it kind of worked, there are recovered files on it now but I can't open them. Thank you though for your help
     
  6. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    What do you mean by "recovered"; you can simply see the files that were there now?
    And what happens when you try to open them?
     
  7. icedtea15

    icedtea15 Thread Starter

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    When they showed up they said they were recovered files and it said I couldn't open them because there was no program to open them
     
  8. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    These are fileXXXX.chk files in the Found.000 folder then? There are programs that can figure out what they were originally, but I've just had a bit of a bad experience with such programs so I daren't recommend any.
     
  9. bree1818

    bree1818

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    I don't know if this helps much, but I'm a graphic design student, and I've had this happen a few times before. I had to redo the same assignment over 4 times because of it. I finally just stopped using flash drives altogether and started using a portable hard drive.

    Just remember, flash drives are just portable storage. You want to drag your files to the desktop before you do any changes.
     
  10. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    Remember that external hard drives are also portable storage. Although external drives don't get corrupted as often as flash drives they can also have problems from rough handling and defective enclosure adapters.

    Never depend on an external hard drive as a single backup solution.
     
  11. bree1818

    bree1818

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    That is what I was getting at. However, the thread is about a flash drive.

    I personally keep a portable hard drive and drag files to the desktop. I also have a folder on our school's data drive where I keep things. So I have things backed up to 2-3 places at all times.
     
  12. win2kpro

    win2kpro

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    I realize the thread was about flash drives, however you were the one who brought up the subject of external hard drives.
     
  13. bree1818

    bree1818

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    That is true. That was my choice to go to from a flash drive. Just offering suggestions.
     
  14. Ent

    Ent Trusted Advisor

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    Could we please return to Icedtea15's comment. While very true, talk about flashdrives failing as a backup mechanism isn't exactly going to help get the files back.

    The way I see it, the files needed presently exist in two places: on the flash and on the damaged laptop hard disk. From the hard disk you could retrieve them with a Linux live CD, simply copying the files onto the flash.

    Getting the files off the flash if they are recovered chkdsk fragments should be as simple as renaming them with the correct extension, but it can be hard to know which extension to use for a given seemingly random file based only on its size and content. As I've said I daren't recomend any program which automates the process.

    I presume that with the monday your school help desk will be openning; they might be able to help.
     
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