need a genius: help with losing files

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by swingerofbirch, Jun 2, 2006.

  1. swingerofbirch macrumors 68040

    Oct 24, 2003
    The Amalgamated States of Central North America
    I have some questions.

    OK, so I once again accidentally wrote over a file. It's sort of a long story. To keep it short and simple: During the day I take a lot of notes--I have up to 80 text-edit files open at a time. To save time while saving the files I create a new folder, and just keep hitting return as I save the files. So essentially I have a lot of "Untitled 1, 2, 3 . . . " files in a folder, and in that folder another folder with more of the same, as I keep creating a new folder then quickly saving the documents by hitting return over and over.

    So, today I started to save the notes, and must not have created a new folder, and I started quickly hitting return and as the computer accepts the return messages in advance of the dialog boxes appearing, I saved over a file, because when the warning came up that I was writing over a a file of the same name (in this case Untitled 6).

    My first question relates to my attempt to save this file...and since I have already been so lengthy..I will start by JUST asking this question as not to complicate things.

    I downnloaded a program that says it can undelete files. It is called File Savage ( )

    I downloaded the trial version. It scans your hard disk. It found 29,764 files it says are salvageable. I believe it only searched free space, so I assume that a large number of those files must have been from before I initialized my hard disk and reinstalled Tiger. For instance, it says there are 446 encrypted iTunes songs which can be recovered. Since initializing my hard disk and installing Tiger I have not downloaded any iTunes songs. So I figure that MUST be from before I initialized and reinstalled (and apparently zeros weren't written to the hard disk).

    It says that it found 5,805 RTF files--which is of interest to me, as this file (and ones I have previously accidentally written over) are RTF files. I believe because this is the trial version and not the paid one each file is listed as "File.rtf". Also, I cannot recover them until I pay.

    So, my question is: is it possible the file I want is one of those? Is there a program to recover said file that is free? THANK YOU!
  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Yes (though very unlikely), and no.

    That said, download the demo of Data Rescue X:

    I'm more familiar with it as a data rescue application, and I know it can work. Furthermore, the demo version shows you everything it can get to, and will let you recover one file of less than 500K in size, so you might even be able to salvage your file without paying. You should at least know whether it's saveable or not.

    Now for one more bit of info: If you want to have any hope of salvaging the file, STOP USING YOUR COMPUTER! The OS is constantly writing scratch files to disk, and furthermore the automatic disk defragmenter will be grinding away in the background every time you open a file. So on the slim chance the block of your hard drive that contains the data from your accidentally overwritten file hasn't yet had other data dumped into it, every minute your computer is on and working you increase the chance that it will.

    I'd shut down right now, go to another computer, and attempt recovery from there using the app I linked above and target disk mode. If you're very, very lucky, you might be able to recover it. If not, bummer, but at least you saved yourself some money.

    Maybe you should try a note-management app to prevent stuff like this from happening in the future (there are several--Yojimbo, perhaps?).

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