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by JB Burke

Q: I finished editing some documents and was about to assemble them into a presentation. In the process I deleted a folder that I thought I would no longer need. Too late, I discovered that all the edited documents had gone into the deleted folder and were now gone. I could redo all the editing, but I'd rather not. How can I recover those documents?

A. First, the bad news. Since it has been a while since this happened, there is a chance that you've saved other files that may have obliterated part or all of what you lost, since the space of deleted files is reused by the system. The good news is, if that hasn't happened, and some or all of your files are still intact, there is a free utility that can help recover your files.

It is called Recuva, and can be found here. Download Recuva and save it where you can find it, perhaps to the desktop. Double-click to launch it, choose a language, accept the install options as appropriate and follow the instructions presented. It will open after install. Click "Next" and it will ask what kind of files you want to recover. Click "Next" and tell it where the files are located, if you know. Then optionally click the Enable Deep Scan box and click "Start". Deep scan will take longer, but may find more lost files.

When the scan is complete, you will see a list of the files that Recuva has found. If there is a green dot next to the file name, you are able to fully recover the file. Red dot means it has been over-written, and I wouldn't bother with those. Click the box next to each green dotted file that you want to recover and click the "Recover" box. It will ask you where to put them, and you can browse for an appropriate recover folder. Go to that folder and they should all be there. Good luck.

Published: Courier 6/16/13 - Page 3C