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Problem in Data Recovery

vidhubhushan

Alakh Niranjan
using Windows 10 64 bit.

deleted a folder having around 300 files - screenshots (jpg & png), pdfs and 1 text file
immediately stopped writing on the disk.

tried stellar but it shows no files.

tried recuva and minitool.
both showed deleted folder and files.
both recovered all files but all recovered files are unusable, doesn't open.
only 1 file - the text file is recovered properly. even a 13kb image is corrput.

bitlocker is not on.
no other encryption is on.
what could be the reason? i am too curious as in the past i have recovered files after days even entire partition after formatting and reinstalling windows 2000 once. (all this during pre windows 10 days in 2000 prof., xp and 7).
 

patkim

Cyborg Agent
Just curious...
  • Was it the system drive (C: where Windows is installed) from where you deleted the bunch of files or any other non-system partition?
  • Is your Windows 10 installed in Legacy (MBR) Mode or UEFI (GPT) Mode?
  • In the past when you recovered the entire partition even after reinstalling Windows 2000, was it a primary partition or logical drive ( Do you remember by any chance!!)
 
OP
vidhubhushan

vidhubhushan

Alakh Niranjan
1. Windows 10 is on SSD (C Drive). WD Blue 2TB is D Drive. The deleted folder was on D Drive.
2. UEFI Mode
3. Many files from Primary Partition - C Drive. Once a complete second partition as well but don't remember whether it was primary or logical.
 

patkim

Cyborg Agent
While very obvious but still I ask, I assume you recovered the files elsewhere and not on D:
Generally you can't go wrong because the tool warns you if you attempt to do so.
 
OP
vidhubhushan

vidhubhushan

Alakh Niranjan
There are 2 HDD drives both 2TB WD Blue. Sometimes I have used a partition in the second HDD, sometimes I have used a 4TB Seagate External Drive and sometimes I have used a 16GB HP USB Drive. Since I have been doing this data recovery task for over 21 years, I know all these basic rules.
 

patkim

Cyborg Agent
Generally, the reason why data recovery works in theory but fails practically especially for individual files is that while they are being recovered, their partial pieces space is sometimes overwritten at the same time by something else.
However, if time permits, someday I will try to simulate your situation! In past I had great success in recovering lost data from Pen drives but not much from fixed drives even if I did not write anything to affected non-system drives by myself. Also, I found that Primary partitions where relatively easy to get back as compared to logical drives (back in MBR days) but still I cannot generalize this!
Did you use all Free recovery apps or was any Paid one?
 
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OP
vidhubhushan

vidhubhushan

Alakh Niranjan
tried both - free as well as paid.
as said earlier, it almost always worked for me in the past in my old setup till windows 7 even with free apps. may be it has some problems with windows 10.
 

patkim

Cyborg Agent
My simulation results

On Windows 10 20H2, Recuva and Steller both were able to recover all deleted files about 200MB in all from the non-system partition. However as soon as I copied a tiny 50KB file to the root of the partition the game changed. Once it failed to recover more than 70% of the files. Other times when I repeated the steps, it recovered about 50% of the files and once nearly 70%.
Using Resource monitor I could see that there were a few background write cycles to the affected non-system drive when Indexing was set to ON, even though I did not write anything to the partition, otherwise.

I do not know the size of the partition in question, amount of free space, if indexing was ON, the time between delete and recovery and if the drive was still powered ON or OFF after deletion of folder. So, it’s not a reliable simulation though.
All I find is there are background write cycles without users’ knowledge. As such nothing is conclusive here!
You may try to simulate yourself and see if you still get consistent results.
 
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