Undelete woes

It’s am easy mistake to make. I put the SanDisk Compact Flash card in the memory card reader this morning and moved a WAV file onto our shared server at work. I then opened the WAV file with Windows Media Player and checked it played okay. Then I accidentally hit the delete button.

I’m not sure if I was prompted to make sure I really wanted to delete the file – it’s all a bit of a blur. But, once I had confirmed to delete, it was well and truly gone.

A call to our IT support desk confirmed I had no chance of recovering it.

“We only back up at 7am and 5pm, anything done outside these times is lost,” the IT support chap replied.

Still, I thought it would be possible to find an undelete program on the Internet and use that to recover the file – as files aren’t really deleted are they? So I did a Google search for Free Undelete a really useful little porgram I had successfully used in the past to restore accidentally deleted files. But this could not get data back from the SanDisk CompactFlash memory card.

My colleague suggested a shareware program called Disk Internals which appeared to offer a feature to restore files from memory cards. The only problem was that my new office PC was locked down and I needed local system admin rights to run it

So I called the help desk again, explained my dilemma. “No I’m not trying to install a virus, I just want to recover an afternoon’s worth of work that has been accidentally deleted.”

Finally, I was granted 15 minutes of local admin rights. The software did indeed install and find the deleted file. But I needed to register and pay $39.00 before I could actually retrieve the deleted WAV file. Luckily DiskInternals takes Paypal, but it was a close call, as my 15 minutes of local admin rights had almost expired by the time I got the registration key that allowed me to  undelete the file and store it on a nice safe play on my C: drive (which isn’t backed up). Altogether, the whole affair took almost two hours.

Okay I’ve learnt my lesson, but I wish Microsoft or our IT admins made it possibe for deleted files to remain in the Recycle basket.

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Try switching it off and switching it back on again.

If that doesn't work, check that the cable from the back of the box on your desk with the plug at the other end has the plug end plugged into a wall socket. Then try switching it on again.


Sandisk produce their own software to recover files for both PC and Mac. It came free with a Compact flash card I bought.

Last year I accidentally erased/formatted a flashcard full of photos. The Sandisk software on my Mac recovered them all in surprisingly little time.

I just can't remember what it's called, but there is a link on their website. I think it also works on other devices.