Another file disappears into the ether.
May 3, 2010 11:21 PM   Subscribe

Long-shot filter... recovery of an AbiWord file that has disappeared while being transferred to a flash drive?

I took minutes at an AGM tonight, using my husband's laptop which was running Puppy Linux, booting off a disk, and AbiWord. All was fine, and frequently saved.

When we went to move the file to a usb flash drive, however, something happened. The file was copied, not moved, but copied, onto the desktop, and then dragged onto the flash drive. It appears that the file never "landed" on the flash drive, even though the file icon appeared in the flash drive's directory, and it's gone from the laptop.

I've searched all files modified on today's date. I've used a data recovery program on the flash drive. I've gone into Windows to see if it's saved somehow there. I'm thinking it's hopeless at this point, but any other ideas?

Thank you.
posted by Savannah to Computers & Internet (4 answers total)
I'm a bit confused why you are using words like "moved" and "copied" then switch to "landed".

How did you remove the flash drive from the computer? i.e. did you unmount it first?

Run Photorec on the flash disk.
posted by devnull at 1:13 AM on May 4, 2010

I've had some good results with foremost.
posted by CautionToTheWind at 2:31 AM on May 4, 2010

The flash drive was unmounted before removing it. What makes me crazy is that I was standing right beside him, watching, because I'm not that familiar with Linux (this is Puppy Linux). I saw him definitely *copy* the file from the directory it was in onto the desktop and then drag that *copy* of the file onto the USB drive. We were deliberately leaving the original file on the laptop. He unmounted the USB drive; I watched him.

But when I put the USB drive in my computer, the document wasn't there.

Ran back to the laptop, and the file no longer exists on the laptop, either. It has an icon, but it's changed to an orange triangle displaying an exclamation mark, and when clicked on, it Puppy Linux says that file does not exist or "I can't find it".

I've run a file recovery program on the flash drive itself, which found lots of deleted files, but not mine.

Sorry about the use of "landed". It's like the file disappeared from all three locations, was shown as being copied onto the USB stick, but never actually was.

I've searched for every file modified on yesterday's date on the laptop, searched for *.bak files, and even booted the laptop into Windows and looked at all files modified yesterday. No luck. I suspect I'm screwed, but will try anything with the laptop I used to take the minutes booted into Puppy Linux again.
posted by Savannah at 6:26 AM on May 4, 2010

So he copied the file from the directory it was in to the desktop, then copied that desktop file onto the usb drive.
So there should be three copies of the file: the original location, the desktop copy and the flash copy.

But there isn't: there is no copy left.

Which makes me think he didn't copy the file: he moved it. You only get a copy if you drag a file to a different filesystem. If you drag the file to the same filesystem you get a move. And if the usb disk wasn't mounted, this would explain why the file is gone: it's probably still on the mountpoint for the usb disk under /media, because the usb disk wasn't mounted when he tried to do the copy.

Check for the file under /media. If it's not there check everywhere.
find / | grep -i NAME
where NAME is a part of the filename.
posted by devnull at 2:08 AM on May 7, 2010 [1 favorite]

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