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Okay all you computer nerds...(10 posts)

Okay all you computer nerds...merckx56
Apr 25, 2003 6:48 AM
And I say that with the highest degree of admiration.
I deleted an email on Outlook Express and then emptied the deleted items folder. Now, with 20/20 hindsight fully biting me in the ass, I need to retrieve from the darkest bowels of my hard drive. I know it's still in there, but don't know how to find it.
I know there are some computer pros on the board who'll have an answer. Feel free to answer me here, or to email me. Email me @ . If it wouldn't be too much bother, leave me a phone # on the email, so I can call you, to walk me through it!

Thanks in advance!

Unless you have a backup I think you're screwedColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2003 8:09 AM
Did you by chance reply to it at some point? If so you'll have a version in your sent items. If this is a corporate system and you're on a LAN then the sysadmin might be able to recover it from tape backup. If a home system you're likely out of luck.
I figured as much...merckx56
Apr 25, 2003 8:19 AM
but if I got in trouble with the Feds, I'll bet they could find it!
You COULD probably recover itColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2003 8:49 AM
But you'd need to go to a disk recovery specialist and that could get costly. Depends on how much that deleted file is worth to you I guess.
I'm a messaging admin. Here is something you can try...Kristin
Apr 25, 2003 10:02 AM
First, the message might be sitting on a server somewhere still. Who is providing your email service? Hotmail, Yahoo, MS Exchange??? And what protocols are you using? IMAP, POP3, etc?

Regarding Outlook Express, your entire inbox is stored in a file named inbox.dbx which sits on your hard drive. I don't know what exactly OE does when you tell it to purge mail, but it will be one of the following:

1. Marks the data as deleted and deletes the message pointer from the index. The index is the list of messages that you see when you open your inbox. If OE leave the actual data in tact, you may be able to coax OE into giving you the message again. ~or~

2. OE Removes the message pointer from the index AND writes generic bits over the data on the physical disk. (i.e., it writes a series of x's on the hard drive where the text once was stored.) If it does this, then you're much hosed.

Here is a link to an article in Microsofts Knowledgebase. It is a tool with instructions for restoring a corrupted OE inbox. It may be possible to try to conjure the email back by using this tool. I also recommend (before installing the tool) that you set your Windows date BACK to a date when the message was in your inbox. That may help.
re: Okay all you computer nerds...purplepaul
Apr 25, 2003 10:03 AM
There are several programs that should be able to recover everything you've ever deleted on your hard drive even if it's been over-written with data. I work at a law school in tech support, and we get students who saved their whole lives on 1.44MB floppies and then found out what an awful storage medium they are. I have often recovered 3MB of data from one disk.

I think the program that does the best job is GetDataBack.

You will need to recover files to a separate drive, meaning you either need two hard drives or a separate partition on the one you have.

If you do a search using keywords like Outlook, recover, message you might find programs designed specifically for your problem.
Unfortunately, that won't workKristin
Apr 25, 2003 10:29 AM
I'm always looking for new tools that will work with message stores (databases); but this tool is only for individual files stored by the OS. I sent them a quick message to confirm and they replied with the following:

"It can only recover the entire database, once the file gets deleted, the database adjusts itself right away. Our software can not help with these situations. Sorry.

Thank you,
Jody Wilkes
Runtime Software"
Was afraid of thatpurplepaul
Apr 25, 2003 10:48 AM
Good job on the other software, though.
Apr 25, 2003 10:15 AM
No need to thank me, just send cash! This tool--which has a free trial download that you can use once--will restore purged mail. Enjoy! :-)
this is only good if the email is worth $30 or moreColnagoFE
Apr 25, 2003 10:34 AM
since you'd have to buy the program and then i imagine it is not totally gauranteed you'll get that email back.