Surely my file isn't gone forever (right?)

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by dotnina, Jan 22, 2005.

  1. dotnina macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2004
    I had a folder called "Psych Notes" and I made an identical folder called "Psych Notes." The new folder had some additional files, and did not have some of the files that the original "Psych Notes" folder had.

    Now, since the new folder was better organized with good file names, I decided that the new "Psych Notes" folder should become THE one and only "Psych Notes" folder on my hard drive. I dragged the folder to the correct directory in order to replace the old folder.

    I got the dialogue "Are you sure you want to replace ... [Stop] [Replace]" and I said yes, please replace. Now I realize I have a very important file -- two and a half weeks worth of lecture notes(!!!) in the original psych folder. Is it gone forever? It's not in my trash, and I already did too many things in order to use Finder's "Undo" ... yeah, I know.

    Please oh please tell me there's some way to get this file back? :(
  2. Duff-Man macrumors 68030


    Dec 26, 2002
    Albuquerque, NM
    Duff-Man says....maybe, maybe not....but you will need something like Data Recycler which will try recover.....oh yeah!
  3. N10248 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 11, 2004
    Essex, U.K.
    This is the ONLY advantage Windows has over macs and ive made this mistake a few times too

    on windows same-name folders get merged and each file replace gets promted for a yes/no. whereas on os x it replaces the entire folder with the other one after 1 prompt.

    Could be bad if someone copied a folder called "Music" to my home directory and it would delete all my music for me

    hope this get fixed in tiger
  4. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    And the longer you go on using your Mac, the lower the chance of successfully retrieving your files is.

    This is because the Mac 'sees' the space on the HD as unused and will write over it given enough time.
  5. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Your chances of recovering deleted files are slim under OSX.
    "Q: Can Data Rescue recover a file I just deleted (I'm running Mac OS X)?
    A: No, there is no tool on the market that can recover deleted files without being loaded ahead-of-time. OS X (UNIX) writes over your deleted file immediately, impeding recovery (this was different in previous operating systems that were not based on UNIX). Our other product, Data Recycler can prevent this from happening by protecting you from this type of data loss in the future."

  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    DataRecycler is a utility that must be running on the machine PRIOR to the deletion. DataRescue X (also from ProSoft) is the tool for after-the-fact recue attempts.

  7. Peterkro macrumors 68020


    Aug 17, 2004
    Communard de Londres
    DatarescueX may get it back.I don't know where you can get a copy but its your best bet.(well actually I do know where you can get a copy but its 5 megs and I probably can't just email it).
  8. dotnina thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2004
    Shoot ... it's not looking good, huh. :(

    Thanks for the tips, everyone. I'm going to look into the DataRescue program mentioned.

    I didn't realize what a HUGE mistake I was making. I guess I was assuming that, like Windows, it'll just replace files with the same name and NOT delete any other files in there. It's kind of depressing, because that was 2 weeks worth of written and audio notes for a class of mine. :( I also hope this gets fixed in Tiger ... you should know what's going to happen with the "replace folder" function.
  9. stubeeef macrumors 68030


    Aug 10, 2004
    It would be nice if you had an old backup to grab it from. :(
  10. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003
    Yes, but the dialog said Stop / Replace, not Merge.
  11. dotnina thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 19, 2004
    Well yes, thank you Captain Obvious for that revelatory statement.

    I still think it should be made clear that you are LOSING FILES FOREVER, as in, they don't even go into the Trash or anything. Just, poof, just a casual drag and you're screwed. When you're sitting in a coffee shop just casually moving things around on your hard drive, you do not think about such things.

    DataRescueX charges WAY too much for me. As much as I would like my notes back, $100 for 1 gig is over the top, and it doesn't seem you can get a smaller plan for just, say, a 20MB file. It doesn't look like it found my file anyway, since the "gibberish" header it displayed didn't match the gibberish of similar files.

    I think I'm going to have to chalk up the loss, re-read everything we've done in the class and make new "class notes" of my own. Unfortunately, I hadn't done a backup since we're just two weeks into the quarter. Fortunately, I did find an audio file of a few of the lectures, so I have a little something to go off. :eek:

    Anyway, thanks everyone. I knew if there was some way of getting the file back, clever Macrumorians(?) would know. ;) Thanks for your advice.
  12. rozwell macrumors regular

    Apr 17, 2004
    saying you cant recover under os x is bull, i have done it, and it finds so many files i never even remember having. virtuallab, although a bit pricey has saved me when i decided to try abiword to write a paper. it crashed as i saved, and the file was unopenable, so i search through my drive with that app, and found a slightly older version of the paper, and finished it up in ms word.
  13. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    I just did the same thing as 'nina.

    With ~/Library.

    How f**king stupid do I feel. Hoping one of these crazy tools will find my Thunderbird data files, I've not got a backup since my bloody Firewire drive went spastic 2 weeks ago.
  14. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    sorry about losing your file, and i hope you can get it back, be sure to let us know how it goes for future reference
  15. Lz0 macrumors regular

    Jul 20, 2002
    I thought Undo may have fixed (strait away) it but that does something evem more bizarre.

    If you replace one folder with another of the same name then "Undo" the finder undo's alright, but deletes the file you wrote over, leaving you with only the one copy of the folder.

    So it's only really half undone???
  16. ravenvii macrumors 604


    Mar 17, 2004
    Melenkurion Skyweir
    Send feedback to Apple!!!

    I agree with you guys - a dialog with "Cancel, Replace, Merge" should be implemented! And that bizarre undo thing ought to be fixed!

    I have done this before, although I didn't lost anything of importance. I basically "replaced" a folder with the same name, assuming it'll merge like it does in Windows. That was about two years ago when I was brand new to OS X. Now I know better.
  17. absolut_mac macrumors 6502a


    Oct 30, 2003
    Dallas, Texas
    I'm sorry about the lost file, but it isn't completely gone yet.

    Depending on how important that file is to you, you might want to get a quote from these guys...

    They specialize in recovering data from damaged hard drives, but can also recover accidentally deleted files too - both from Macs and PCs.
  18. Mechcozmo macrumors 603


    Jul 17, 2004
    Sorry to hear about that, but I've always found that I liked OS X's approach better... just gets rid of the file (which was my intended action). But then again, I am a Maccie for life.


    What you can do is chalk it up to "This sucks" and remember to every week or so Option+Drag your important data folder to wherever you think it should be safe. (Option makes it copy while on the same disk. It makes it MOVE it if you do that to an external disk)

    Sorry... I have a few month's worth of notes in a Word document and it is backed up even to where it is in Documents to Go on my Palm.
  19. altair macrumors regular

    Nov 22, 2002
    Seattle, WA
    lecture notes are over-rated anyway :p

    Can you ask a classmate for his/hers?
  20. brap macrumors 68000

    May 10, 2004
    Well, after a few days of trying to use various tools I was only able to recover a small amount of data... my ~250MB Thunderbird mail archive was not included, sadly.

    I tried Data Rescue X, FileSalvage and VirtualLab, and none of them could find it - although many smaller files showed up. It's funny, all I was trying to do was install a TeX type app so I could n-up some PDF files... and I work with ~/Library all the time, I'm hardly a newbie. Just impatient and careless :(

    The worst part is that I've had problems with my FW drive not being recognised, so my backups were fairly far-gone. After a month or so of wandering up and down the country without my safety net I find my last full backup was taken on December 27th, 2004.

    Have put it down to 'one of those things'. Sigh. Hope nina's story comes out better...

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