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.