A passionate programmer’s findings in the world of internet.

Recover Deleted Files from USB Drive

April 12th, 2008

I accidentally deleted a PHP source file with hundreds lines of source code and I'll have to show the system to my client tomorrow. I know I should backup additional copies, but I always think that "I'll do it later".

I found 2 "undelete" tools which I tried to recover the delete file from my USB drive.

Free Undelete 2.0 (Not working)

The Free Undelete from Office Recovery showed up as the first result in Google. Believing in Google's PageRank, I gave it a try.

After installing it, I start it up. The user interface was very user-friendly. Besides that, the file size is only 1MB.

However, as soon as I click on the scan button, the whole program took about 5 minutes to scan. Before it shows any result, Windows XP Error Reporting box showed up, then followed by messages related to Dr Watson. I had to restart my computer to gain control of everything (even 'End task' in the Task Manager does not work).

I'm not sure why it doesn't work for me, or probably it doesn't work on USB drives?

PC Inspector File Recovery (Recommended)

PC Inspector File Recovery was the next program I found.

Very much different from FreeUndelete, the file size was so much bigger, with more than 5MB and the user interface was awful. It takes a while to understand the buttons.

The good part is, it shows all the result instantly and I can find the file that I needed in no time. It also shows the modified date and condition of the files.

Give it a try when you are having the same fate some day.

One important note: If possible, do not perform any activity on the drive you would like to recover. Activities may include copying and creating files. That means, installing the recovery program itself can pose some risks that your deleted file could be overwritten. You may want to install it now, if you think you might need it some day.

If my article helped you solved your problem, consider buy me a beer!

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16 Responses

huibee says:

wow… useful tool
i hope i wouldn’t have the chance to use it anyway

FreeCATalonia says:

This program (and your article) has saved my life! :-D Thanks a lot, Eng!

EngLee says:

I didn’t know that my blog could save life.

frozensmilz says:

Try “Recuva” if yu’re worried abt the file size, its free and is portable …no installation…..
“Getdataback” from runtime is also an excellent option.

I recovered my buddies project using this utility…..the issue is that my buddies PC’s one of the partition became inaccessibe..the usual windiws message with “Do you want to Format ?” brought him into trouble….but this utility solved the issue by recovering all the project files…..mostly java….but one problem..its not free….

EngLee says:

I might want to try the one that does not require installation, however, I prefer not to have hard disk failure.

Edmar says:

Yes, your blog could save life! Thanks a lot, Eng! It would have been a near death experience to lose my office files. But then again, ENG SAVES!

Tincy Manu says:

Thanks a lot!! the tools were very useful…

Dan says:

I accidentally deleted a 1gb video project off my hard drive…
This program recovered it for me.
Thanks again. :)

Billzard says:

“PC Inspector File Recovery (Recommended)”

It works. It is easy to use–download, install, open the USB folder, highlight the file you want to recover, right-click to save to a new folder on other hard driver.

You save my day. Thank you very much for sharing.

Trevor says:

wow! Eng! thank you thank kyou thank you….please send me your pay pal address, i would love to buy you a beer, lunch, dinner or whatever coz your recommendation litterally saved me from losing $$$$’s. i hope i can repay you some way by hiring you to do some programming stuff for me. thanks again buddy!

Sunnysnile says:

Thanks very much. You save my day!!

Jackie says:

Thank you thank you thank you!! That program saved me ass big time! Hallelujah!!!

Romulus6cbc says:

Eng….Thanks for the blog. I was in the same predicament as you. After working all night on file, I came home from work, only to accidentally delete the file from my travel USB drive. Luckily I had a hard copy of the file, so I figured I would just recreate it. But then I decided to do a quick Google search on how undelete files from a USB drive, and came to your blog. Your blog saved me a lot of time, that I needed for some sleep, otherwise it would have been a red bull and bran muffin morning, lol. Although I would not recommend using the PC Inspector after pulling an all-nighter, you need a good nights rest to figure this software, lol. Thanks again for your help, and all the best. Keep up the good blogging!

Louise says:

This program works great :) I did have to do a lot of guessing to figure out what to do, but I did figure it out first time. It recovered my smaller file in about 5 seconds, but I am still waiting for it to finish on the larger accidental deletion (actually an encrypted volume, erg) and its been going for a few minutes now, so I’m not sure if it will be able to get that back…

claudia says:

except that pc inspector cannot recover documents…nothing could recover my folder of documents and i am desperate….i tried recuva and a whole bunch of other softwares pretending to recover “everything”. my folder disappeared as it had never existed…it did disappear actually, because i did not choose to delete it, yet i saw it disappearing from under my shocked eyes.

IndigoMex says:

Thank you so much !!!

I was lost (actually 8 Gb lost) =)

and now.. I’m back in bussiness !!!

This program works great !!!!