For some people when a file is lost or deleted accidentally after working for several hours on a project there is a series of incidents that occur spelling the end of life as they know it. First, there will be a stunned silence as they stare at the screen waiting for a flicker of recognition. At this point, some people will hit the keyboard a few times just in case, then disbelief, then panic, then things get really bad.
But, before starting to write a resignation letter or thinking up a reason for not having the project completed, take a moment to try some recovery tips that may help.
The only time that something is really and truly gone from a computer is when it has been overwritten by other data. Basically what has happened is that your document or file has lost it’s name tag. If it were a party or function with lots of people, you’d track down a person who lost their name tag and give it back to them. Well, that is your challenge. You’ve got to find that little bugger and give them their name tag back to be able to work with them again.
All that happened when your screen went blank, or there was a power surge, is that your file or document ripped off its little name tag and slipped into the crowd. It’s there and, until the computer decides to put information over it, will stay there, waiting to be found. So, first do the easy things.
Check to make sure that it wasn’t accidentally slipped into the recycle or trash bin. In most cases it won’t be there, but it doesn’t hurt to check. Next, check in at the usual hot, no-name file spots. Check your temp folder. There will usually be two of them and you may have to do a search to find one or both of them. If it’s not there, check in your history file. Next, go your recent folder. Bear in mind that the recent folder has different names depending on the version of the system you’re working on, so you may need to click the help icon to find out what it’s called in your version. Next, run a search for *. ASD on your system search feature. This is what auto saved files are saved as. If your file is there click on it select open, (nothing will happen), reboot your computer and open word, excel, or the program you were working in, and the file will show up on the left for recovery.
The other option is to get a file recovery software program and have it on hand to recover files when they get lost. Some of these are free and some have a fee. Getting one of these programs really depends on how often you lose files and need to recover them.