Undelete after a copy/paste error?
August 26, 2008 1:40 PM   Subscribe

I lost a big file in a cut-and-paste snafu. Help!

Yesterday I did an interview for my radio show, which generates a big (600+ meg) wav file. Today, I was getting ready to upload it to my FTP server so my editor can edit it. In FireFTP (FTP client for firefox), I cut the file along with another related file, and pasted them into a folder. It asked me if I wanted to overwrite the existing file (there was no existing file), so foolishly, I clicked yes. I got an error that said "error copying file" or something along those lines... and my files were gone. Not in the new folder, not in the old folder. I downloaded a file recovery program to another HD and am running it now. Is there anything else I can do? I'm using XP.
posted by YoungAmerican to Computers & Internet (14 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
did you check for an 'undo' option? might be too late now.
posted by lester at 1:49 PM on August 26, 2008

Response by poster: I did, and couldn't find one. And it wouldn't let me paste again.
posted by YoungAmerican at 1:54 PM on August 26, 2008

You're screwed -- likely you cut the file and then accidentally uploaded it to the same location. So when it went to start writing the file "poof" the original is gone due to fireFTP trying to write to the same file it was reading.

Here's a serious pro tip. For any files larger than like 100megs especially ones that are really important to you, copy the file first, then verify it. Then delete the source. The real "end around" here is just safe practices.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 1:59 PM on August 26, 2008

Response by poster: Well shoot.
posted by YoungAmerican at 2:09 PM on August 26, 2008

try a data recovery tool . May or may not work on a large file; worth a shot.
posted by theora55 at 2:14 PM on August 26, 2008

It should still be around. This isn't an uncommon occurrence, so there are plenty of ideas online. This looks like a good starter. If it's still intact, a 600mb file is big enough that it should be easy to find.

/stares at serious pro tip. in my pants.
posted by yerfatma at 2:33 PM on August 26, 2008 [1 favorite]

Well, first off it's a solution that can only come after the problem. It doesn't fix the problem. Moreover, you asserted the file was gone, even though that's not how file systems work. On top of that, even with the monster rig I have, copying and pasting files over 100 megs is slow enough that the idea of doing it twice everytime makes me ill.
posted by yerfatma at 2:45 PM on August 26, 2008

If this was Vista (no help to you know, but maybe to someone else) you can get "previous" versions of a file back even in cases like this. It has saved my bacon a couple times now.

Small chance, did you check your Trash?
posted by bottlebrushtree at 3:13 PM on August 26, 2008

yerfatma -- his description suggests that there was an overwrite situation, making a complete recovery unlikely at best.

please don't be a dick, and then cover it up with more dickery.
posted by judge.mentok.the.mindtaker at 6:43 PM on August 26, 2008

really try a data recovery program. If you have not done too much try to reeopen the forlder and hit control+Z, also try searching for any information you knew was in the file, tags etc.. It is guaranteed that file is still there, just DON'T change anything. I believe you can find it. start looking. Try recuva. I have my fingers crossed.
posted by phllip.phillip at 8:53 PM on August 26, 2008

his description suggests that there was an overwrite situation

On the folder he sent it to perhaps, but not the location he had it previously.
posted by yerfatma at 6:25 AM on August 27, 2008

Look around for those weird ~D107SSTS.TMP that are hidden. You might find an older quick save version.

(I'm a mac user, it's been a while since PC. However, I did this a few months ago for a friend's grad school paper.)
posted by Outis at 9:37 AM on August 27, 2008

Ignore that, wasn't thinking. Only works with Office files.
posted by Outis at 9:38 AM on August 27, 2008

http://www.recuva.com Try that
posted by deezil at 3:34 PM on August 27, 2008

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