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Pls help - Recuva shows my PST file deleted but says unrecoverable

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Hello All,


I accidentally deleted my Outlook PST File and used Recuva to recover it. Pls note that I did not overwrite on to that disk after shift deleting the files 2 weeks ago.


Good news is Recuva managed to identify the PST file and also shows the size as 3.08GB which is correct. it was indeed a 3GB file.


However Recuva says that the Files data could not be found on the disk (even though it shows that the file is 3.08 GB) and says that the file is unrecoverable.


I am fine even portions of my email PST is recovered. Is there any way to save what ever PST is available. I will then use a PST repair solution to repair the file and recover what ever I can.


Can some one help me pls?



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hi @sathya_sc and welcome to the forum.


just to identify some hurdles (sadly major ones) that you are up against.


3gig, although normal'ish for a PST file, is none-the-less a very large file, covering lots of drive surface, fragments, MFT etc.

add to that your Shift+Del, and 2 week period, and Windows still accessing that drive albeit if you weren't.


but your biggest stumbling block is the PST file itself.  it's an indexed database file and recovering portions of it may not be enough for any 'repair solution' to handle.

but of course, that will be a suck-it-and-see exercise.

definitely the MS supplied SCANPST, and any of the free ones I've used over the years, will not be up to the job.  they work on re-indexing the corrupted database.

a partially recovered PST portion would have no way to reference indexes or keys back to the database hierarchy.


do you have no archive PST or backups of that PST?

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File's Data Could Not be Found on Disk usually means that the cluster addresses have been set to zero or FF's. This is done on deletion by NTFS to files greater than 4gb, as can be seen on the larger files in the pic. On files under 4gb then it probably means that the cluster addresses in the MFT extension record (if the file is in many fragments there will be MFT extension records) has been set to FF's. NTFS does that on deletion as well.


Unfortunately it does not look as if this file can be recovered outside of data recovery specialists.

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