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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Sorry if this isn't the right forum for this but at least it's an XP question and Im kinda in a rush for an answer.

Alright, here's the situation. And sorry it's long, I'm trying to be detailed.

I'm trying to recover a Word file for my gf that's about 18 pages long. Im reasonably confidant that I've figured out how the file was removed, but Im not so sure how to recover it.

1) began editing a version of the document (about 8 pages)
2) saved a version of this document with the same name to a different folder
3) finished editing document. Now there is one 18 page, and one 8 page document, with the same name, in different folders
4) copied original (8 page) document to new folder, overwriting new (18 page) document

I have tried

A) UnDelete, a program off the web that recovers deleted files. It didn't work assumedly because the file wasn't deleted in a conventional manner, ie. sent to the recycle bin, and/or because a file with that name still existed
B) System Restore to a point about midway through the editing process. This produced one interesting anomaly. When the (still 8 page) document was opened, Word gave me some sort of side-bar about a different version of the file that appeared larger in size, and seemed like it might be a more recent update. But when i tried to open it, Windows told me the file no longer existed. (presumably, for some reason Windows wasn't pointing to the right file anymore)
C) Searching for all files updated in the past several days, to make sure the name or extension wasnt drastically changed by accident

So, I'm reasonably sure that if I had the necessary tool, the file will still be intact (since no major installations or anything would have overwritten what *should* still be an intact, though unreachable, area of the Hard Disk).

Is there a program or method that will find something like an "overwritten" or otherwise unreachable file? I know professional data recovery people do this kind of thing, but that's a bit drastic...

For the record, I'm fairly technically competent so I can understand a fairly complex solution
 

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It's one thing to "delete" a file, but it is another thing to overwrite it. If the file is truly overwritten with new data, then you probably won't be able to recover it through ordinary means. In any case, you might want to take a look at Restoration and PC Inspector.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Well that's the thing. I tried using Restoration, and that seemed to have the best results so far in finding deleted files... but I'm beginning to think that the file has actually been overwritten.

I guess the question is, if anybody is really familiar with windows and office, is how exactly windows handles a "replace" function.

The reason "deleted" files can be recovered is because Windows doesnt actually touch the data on the hard disk, it simply starts referring to that part of the drive as "free" space.

The question is: If you were to move a file from one folder to another that had the same name, Windows will ask "do you want to replace the file". Does that action actually cause Windows to write over that area of the hard disk, unlike a delete action? that doesn't seem to make sense to me, since it would seem much easier to just move the pointers around (the same as deleting) since the file structure doesnt reflect physical position on the HD anyways....
 
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