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Windows directory junction disaster

Jo Hita

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I created a directory in which I placed shortcuts to directories that I need to copy onto my portable when I go away from home. The intention is to avoid forgetting something.

I still have to go to each directory and actually copy it, however. Alternatively I could create a batch file.

Anyway, I had the bright idea of using directory junctions instead of shortcuts, thinking that I could simply copy my 'master' directory and all the referenced directories and their contents would be copied. Easy peasy.

However, in playing around in File Explorer with these junctions and moving them into subdirectories in order to organise them, I deleted one of them and to my horror discovered that I had deleted the original data! Gone! I was thinking that deleting a 'shortcut' would do no harm! I have now learned the hard way that operating on a junction is operating on the real thing.

I hoped Recuva would rescue me, even though I have never used it before. I naively expected to see the folder that had been deleted and be able to get it back.

Not so. All I get is a long list of files found on my hard drive, not even organised into directories. And worse, it is massively incomplete and I don't even see the individual files that got deleted.

I should say that I do use deep directory levels and this could be something to do with it. I really hope not! Also there were lots of files and subdirectories in the directory that I accidentally deleted.

I can't find any documentation that might help, and the links on this site don't go where they say. 

Can anyone offer some advice, either using Recuva or anything else! The Recycle Bin doesn't even show any of the files.

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Further to my initial post, I am now clearer in my mind what actually happened.

I moved (dragged and dropped) the junction into a subdirectory that I had created, and I saw it copy all the file structure of the junction into a normal directory in that subdirectory. I expected it would just move the junction icon. I didn't want to make a copy of that file structure, I just wanted something like a shortcut. So I deleted the copy that it had made of the original directory.


The file structure must have been MOVED from its original place and put there! But now it is gone and I can find no trace of it.

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