Deleted a ton of stuff on accident - and cleared the trash - am I totally screwed?

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by shoelessone, Mar 30, 2011.

  1. shoelessone macrumors 6502

    Jul 17, 2007
    Hello all!

    I just accidentally went through and deleted a BUNCH of stuff that I thought was garbage, in various folders on my hard drive (not just a single directory, but a bunch of different directories in various places). I thought they were all garbage, but it turns out I had a bunch of stuff that I still want/need in the folders.

    What's the best way of recovery my stuff? Is there any way? I've looked at a program like "FileSalvage", but that seems like mainly geared towards external drives, SD cards, etc?

    Any help would be very much appreciated!

    Also, FWIW, I looked in the "software recommendation threads" sticky, but I didn't see anything related.

    Thanks for any help!! <3
  2. stridemat Moderator


    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2008
    If you have emptied the trash the chances of recovering the files are minimal. Especially if you are still using the machine, as it could write over the space. No Time Machine backup?
  3. Gregg2 macrumors 603

    May 22, 2008
    Milwaukee, WI
    Well, it sounds like you didn't do this accidently. You just didn't know what some of the things were that you deleted. You can buy expensive software, or pay even more to have things recovered, but, with what you've got, you're out of luck.
  4. MuDPHuDStudent macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2009
    Hanover, NH
    Do you have a Time Machine backup?
  5. sero macrumors member

    Aug 28, 2008
    1. If you're still using your computer, stop immediately

    I used the program called "data rescue" once, it worked pretty well. Ideally you'd do this from another computer...
  6. McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    The files might still in the hard disk drive. Other macrumorsemeber with more expertise might be able to tell you how to recover them may be via the terminal. As I understand the files are simply removed from the "index" to be shown in the finder, until they are actually deleted from the hard disk drive (If you securely emptied the trash) or when the space is needed.
  7. mmcrunchy macrumors newbie

    Mar 30, 2011
    Data Rescue 3

    I used data rescue 3 to recover someones files. It was easy, has a good interface, and cheaper than paying someone to do it for you. It costs 100$ but for me it was worth it. It was fairly quick too and I bought the windows version but the support was kind enough to switch the serial to a mac one.

    but what ever you do, stop using this computer because as you use it it is writing over your deleted files and the less use, the less chance there is that the desired file has been overwritten.

    If you used secure delete you might be screwed though.

    Good luck. This situation sucks and it depends how much you are willing to pay or spend time on
  8. tcador macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    Good luck. This should be a reminder to start backing up regularly...
  9. cerote macrumors 6502a


    Mar 2, 2009
    And not delete a ton of things that you think may be junk.
  10. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    If you boot the computer off an external drive or a DVD or CD then the system disk will look like an "external" disk.

    I hope you are not using the computer now. Every second you do reduces the chance of file recovery. The files are really not gone but the space they use is now on the "heap" of space available for re-use when creating new files. As new files are written they will over rights bits of your deleted data

    People say use Time Machine but even that is not fool proof. A nearby lightening strike will zap everything that is plugged into the wall outlet. Theft of equipment is another common way to loose data. Time machine will not help you if you have a house fire. You need, in addition to time machine a remote copy of the data in another building and another copy maybe in a file drawer in another room.

    Remember EVERYONE who has lost data to a fire or theft at one time said "fire or theft is unlikely".

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