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I’ve been there, and I’m sure you have too. You’ve spent hours on a document, you go to bed, and the next morning, it’s gone! Oh crud! Now what? Here are three free Windows utilities that have worked charms for me:
The first thing I’d try is an utility called Free File Recovery by AVN Media Technologies. This does basic file recovery, and does not scan sector by sector. Still, it has on occasion done the trick for me.
The second tool I’d recommend is called simply Restoration, and does not require installation. It goes deeper than Free File Recovery, and actually scans sectors separately. While less intuitive than Free File Recovery, this, too, has saved me on occasion.
The third and last tool I’m going to recommend is called PC Inspector File Recovery, and comes from a German company called Convar.
The most important tip I can give you when it comes to recovering lost files is to use the storage media in question as little as possible until you can actually try to restore the lost data, as any use will increase the likelyhood that the file will be lost forever.