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I'm sorting out some old files on my first 1Tb usb drive and accidentally hard-deleted a number of files I had yet to sort through. I used Recuva professional and recovered so many files (close to 1Tb)  I figured I'd save them all and sort them out later. So I created a file on a second usb drive, 4Tb with 3Tb available, called it "recovery," and selected it for the recovery file. Recovery took overnight and then some. Feeling confident, I didn't check my new "recovery" file. It seemed to have added a terabyte, but I wasn't really paying attention.

So just now, on that same 1Tb backup drive, I was moving a folder and it just disappeared. Evaporated. Gone. So I pulled out Recuva again. Again, more files than I want to sort through at the moment, and there were so many "file name too long" errors that I just set them to recover directly onto the 4T drive, no particular folder.

Just to see what the recovered files look like, I opened "recovered" number one. Empty. Nothing there. Zero. No recovered files.

So I checked the drive itself and though Recuva is zipping along recovering around 500,000 files, 6%, will take another 22 hours, nothing is showing up on the 4Tb drive.

What am I doing wrong? I don't want to be hugely disappointed in Recuva, but I'm getting there. I only have two usb ports on my laptop and I'd like to plug something else in for a while. I'd also like to recover what is left of my files. Help?

Thanks

P.S. Piriform, if you want to make Recuva great, make it so we can select or deselect numerous files at a time. Who has the time or patience to deselect all the red dots on a 1Tb drive recovery? Also, some of those unrecoverable files look fine in the preview pane (jpgs).

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Is this an SSD with TRIM enabled?

If so then although Recuva may see the filenames the data will be gone, so Recuva will just bring back the names on empty files.

SSD's work differently than mechanical drives.
A mechanical drive simply marks a deleted file as 'deleted' in the header but to save time doesn't physically remove the data, so it's still there to recover as long as it hasn't been over written.
A SSD TRIM however will result in the data being removed, so there is nothing left to be recovered.
Modern SSDs have TRIM enabled by default, older ones may not.

You can read more about it here: https://www.datanumen.com/blogs/possible-recover-deleted-files-trim-enabled-solid-state-drive/

(This is also a problem for law enforcement agencies wanting to gather evidence, and of course they are trying to find a way to recover deleted files from SSDs, but the advanced tools and techniques they are trying are not generally available to the consumer).

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If I could clarify, a TRIM'd file can be recovered, but will contain zeroes (which as far as Recuva is concerned is valid data). The deleted file's entry in the MFT will still contain the file's cluster addresses, and although those clusters have been Trimmed they will still return a page of zeroes when read.

'Just to see what the recovered files look like, I opened "recovered" number one. Empty. Nothing there. Zero. No recovered files.'

Initially I read this as there were no files in the Recovery folder. But reading it again I see that it could mean that there are files there, but with no user content. So the SSD theory could well be correct.

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Thank you both for your responses. I'm sorry I wasn't more clear.

I do not believe either of these drives are SSD. The one I've been deleting/losing files on is a 1 Tb Western Digital Elements circa 2015? A year earlier? A year later? I don't remember. I'm at the age where all the years sort of run together.

The one I'm recovering to is a brand new 4 Tb Western Digital My Passport.

The Recuva window shows my recovered jpg images in the preview pane, so I assume it's actually recovering the files. Everything looks good on that end. And it takes hours to "recover" all those files to the Passport, which is about right.

Except that they aren't on the Passport. Everything seemed to be going fine until I opened the "recovered" file on the Passport expecting to see hundreds of thousands of files, and found it empty. Same with the second recovery; the recovered files were sent from the Elements but never landed where I specified on the Passport drive.

Does that make more sense?

 

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2 hours ago, LaurieL said:

"recovered" file

When you say file do you mean folder (this may be the reason why we're a little hazy as to what happened)?

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15 hours ago, Nergal said:

When you say file do you mean folder (this may be the reason why we're a little hazy as to what happened)?

 

Oops. Sorry again. My brain said "folder" and my fingers typed "file."

I mean that the folder I created on the new 4 Tb Passport drive that I named "recovered" was empty. That was the folder I selected in Recuva to recover the files to when I accidentally hard-deleted a handful of folders. 

That was my first effort at recovery. I didn't open the "recovered" folder until after I had started the second Recuva recovery.

After having a set of files I was moving go poof on the Elements 1 Tb drive and using Recuva again (not knowing yet that there was a problem), because so many of the file names were so long, I just set them to recover to the Passport 4 Tb drive without a folder, so they should have showed up along with my few other folders/files on it. When I saw they weren't showing up there, I aborted the recovery.

Thank you for your patience.

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  • 3 weeks later...
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I'm still not sure what is happening with the original question here.

Nikg,

Please start your own thread and state just what problem you are seeing, give as much detail of what happened/is happening as you can.

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Nukecad, I'll try to state the problem more clearly.

I ran Recuva on a 1T Western Digital portable drive, a mechanical, not SSD drive. It listed several hundreds of thousands of recovered files, several hundred mb. I could see that files were successfully recovered as the preview pane showed the photos and texts. I selected the ones I wanted to recover and then selected a folder I wanted them saved to on another Western Digital portable drive, 8T, with plenty of space.

The saving to folder action took several hours.

Later when I looked in the folder, it was empty.

I tried again with a second Recuva recovery, smaller, and because of lengthy file names, saved them directly to the 8T drive, no folder. The Recuva application indicated files were being recovered to the drive, but nothing was showing up on the drive. I eventually aborted that recovery.

I don't know how to make this more clear. Everything seems to work fine except the recovered files never show up where they're supposed to be recovered to.

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Posted (edited)

Dammit, did it again. I meant it recovered several hundred gb, not mb. I'm dyslexic and have a major problem with substituting words. 

Edited by LaurieL
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Does the space used on the 8tb drive increase when the recovery is completed, or remain the same?

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Thank you for responding. I believe the space on the 8tb drive remains the same. The data is clearly not making it to the drive it is supposed to be being sent to.

I thought, on my first recovery effort, that the used space on the 8tb drive increased by the nearly 1tb that made up the recovered files, but I wasn't paying that much attention, and once I took a careful look at it, I don't think that was the case. On the second recovery effort, I was watching for increasing space used on the 8tb drive, and seeing none.

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Thank you very much for responding 😊 I'm working on the theory now that the data was just too big, so now I'm just recovering pictures--which is still a lot. Instead of selecting them all for recovery, which I did before, I'm selecting only the recoverable ones, now that I figured out how to select more than one at a time.

Fortunately, what I'm trying to recover was mostly a backup of a couple laptops I still have with drives intact (though dead otherwise) and files I think I have elsewhere, so I'm not desperate about recovering them--I'd just like to in order to make sure I haven't missed anything. I'm ordering a usb dock for the laptop drives. But I'd sure like to figure out how to make Recuva work so if I need it in the future, I'm on top of it.

It also occurred to me that since I have CCleaner/Recuva Pro, I can request support (yes, I am the original space cadet). If I get any answers there, I will share them here.

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