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Recuva deleted all of my stuff!


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Hello. On Dec. 9, 2023, I accidentally deleted 5 or 6 folder from my C drive. The folders contained photos. I downloaded Recuva to recover the folders, but the software gave back over 200k INDIVIDUAL files instead of the 5 folder with their contents in them. I used an external hard drive for the recovery and after the recovery, I noticed that the original contents from my external hard  drive (several folders) were deleted (I'm guessing to make space, but I wasn't notified). So not only are the 6 folders from my PC gone, the stuff in from external drive are also missing.


So it seems Recuva has made things worse. How do I get all of my FOLDERS back?

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There are a lot of previously deleted files on a C: drive, it's the System Drive so Windows is writing and deleting files there all the time.

You would have been better narrowing the search if you could rather than searching the whole drive for everything ever deleted.
eg. If they were in the Documents folder then just search the Documents folder not the whole drive.
(The second page of the wizard search 'In a specific location'. That wouldn't restore the folder structure but would find less individual files, see below for recovering folders).

I am not sure exactly what you have done here, but Recuva wouldn't overwrite existing folders on the Target drive (the one you are recovering to).
Are you sure that they aren't still there amongst the 200K recovered files?
(Or have you perhaps done a 'Select All' to remove the 200k files, and so deleted the folders yourself along with the 200k recovered files?).

Is there currently anything on that external drive?
Put it to one side and don't use it, we can get to that later.

I suggest that you proceed as follows:

Recuva can recover the folder structure, but it is an advanced setting and not in the wizard.

  1. Connect the (new) Target drive to the computer.
  2. Open Recuva and click 'Next' through the steps, setting the path to narrow the search, then 'Start' to start a scan.
  3. Immediately "Cancel" that scan - It's not what you are wanting to do here and will not recover the folder structure.
  4. The Recuva window will come back, ignore any results there and in the top right click on 'Switch to Advanced mode'.
  5. In Advanced mode the 4 boxes at the top should now show 'Local Disk (C:)', 'Scan', 'the path that you set in step 2', and 'Options'.
  6. Click on 'Options' and select the 'Actions' tab.
  7. You can untick most of the options there, (except maybe 'Deep Scan' but it will take longer if left ticked), they are not what you are looking to recover.
  8. At the bottom tick 'Restore folder structure', which will attempt to recover the folders as they were.
  9. Click OK, then Scan, and proceed with the recovery.



If you let us know what, if anything, is still on that original target disk that you have put to one side then we can think about how you need to work on that to get those folders back (if they aren't already still there).

*** Out of Beer Error ->->-> Recovering Memory ***

Worried about 'Tracking Files'? Worried about why some files come back after cleaning? See this link:


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