Undelete files on NTFS


I just accidentally deleted 4400 text files (1.5GB) on an NTFS volume that's probably heavily fragmented, although these files were created in a particular sequence. The files contain long columns of numerical data. If the undelete program takes one cluster from one file and another from some other file, there's basically no chance to detect it by taking a look at the files or even using a program that I could write. There are plenty of possibilities how this can go unnoticed.

So my question is: Is undelete on NTFS reliable? I mean, can I rely on the files being recovered as they originally were, with correct sequence of clusters and not mixing clusters from different files together? In the old DOS and FAT days, DOS deleted files by changing the first letter in the name to ? and then marking all of its clusters in FAT as unused (which overwrote there sequence), so you had to guess which clusters belong to the file and their sequence. Is this true for NTFS or is NTFS more advanced and can mark clusters as unused without forgetting the sequence (by changing an extra bit for the cluster being used/unused, but not changing the ID of the next cluster)?

Thanks a lot. If you know a good undelete tool, please recommend it.


Active Member
Recuva does a good job and is free !
If it can recover a file it's going to be a correct one...


Hello, friends! After experiencing similar deleted external drive file loss problems several times, I have learned the deleted file is possible to be rescued back with the help of data recovery software or data recovery agencies, over the internet. However, since I have checked many online data recovery agencies or shops are very expensive for data recovery services. I do have to take chances with some deleted recovery software online to rescue deleted files, like Recuva, iCare Data Recovery Free, PhotoRec and more. Fortunately, I am really happy and finally rescued most of my deleted stuffs back.

Therefore, in your case, you also can give such data recovery software a try.

Also learn to create two or more data backups on different drives or locations well from now on.

Secord voteo on Recuva. Another suggestion is PhotoRec.

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