Lost documents... Can i get them back?

Hi Guys

I am really hoping that this isn't a complete lost cause and someone is going to be able to help me. I have used this forum a number of times to research issues I have had and always found the answer but this is my first post so at present I am optimistic.

I was using Illustrator CS5 with a number of documents open when I had to leave my office to deal with a screaming daughter. I was then a little distracted before I managed to get back to my laptop. To my horror my laptop had installed some updates and automatically restarted. And you guessed it my files were gone. I know I know I should have been periodically saving them as I worked on them and stupidly enough I had with one but not the others.

I quickly checked the recycling bin to see if a back copy was there as I had heard that this is sometimes the case. I did find one document that was modified at the correct time and date but with some random name. I tried restoring it to find out what it was and now have no idea where it has been restored to.

Where would it be? Could this be the document I am looking for? If not can I get them back?

Please tell me there is hope.

Thanks for your time.


Senior Member
hello and welcome back to the forums,

when you delete a file from the recylce bin the file or folder hasnt gone, all you are doing is removing the location to the file and marking the file as re-writable, so with this in mind , you may be able to retreieve some documents if they have not been deleted

figers crossed

download a program called Recuva made by Piriform

once the program starts,click next on the first page, enable deep scan, Select the file type, ( picture,document etc etc) and select the location of the file, its best i would say doing the anywhere on the pc to cover everywhere this may take longer but a better success rate of finding the file

This recovery method will be the same as any other recover method so patience is a virtue, a 500gb harddrive took me around 10 hours plus? but i got what i wanted back,

Ok great I will try that and see what i come up with.

A couple of things concern me though firstly the document wasn't saved in the first place it was just open and unamed so not sure what to be looking for but guess I can do this by date. My sceond concern is that if it was the file I restored from the recycle bin where has it been restored to and would this mean that Recuva would not find it as it is already back on the system?


Senior Member
when the program has finished you are displayed with a huge list, say for instance you havfe a file called " image" to click the file, select recover , then it will come up with the place you will like to restore the file to, This is upto you where you want to put the recovered file.

with regards the file, it may have to be saved at some point for the data to be written to the harddrive, for the pc to restart however then the file may have to have already saved under a defeult name such as untitled, of new document, If the file hasnt saved then eiether some one has closed it themselfs as a pc will not restart if there is a pending document open( as far as im aware)

Thats a valid point maybe I should be having a word with my Miss.


Senior Member
haha. accidental mistake maybe ? ,

Lesson to be learned : If you have data on the pc that you dont want any one to see or touch, then lock it :)

You can press Windows key + L for quickness

Now I didn't know that, useful with my little girl running round.

Another way would be not to have a home office!

I will try Recuva and see what it turns up. I will also keep looking for the restored document and try to find where that has been put. I worry that that my be the file I am looking for and it is just sitting, hiding somewhere on my laptop.

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