USB flash drive data recovery
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Thread: USB flash drive data recovery

  1. #1
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
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    USB flash drive data recovery

    hi guys

    been a while I know and hopefully this hasn't been asked before - I have had a quick look but couldn't find anything. I have one question that I think you guys can help with regarding USB flash keydrives. Ok I'm talking about using these purely in windows environment (98 and XP) so please no answers regarding *nix for the moment. Say you write a document in word, notepad etc and then save it immediately to the flash drive... does the document you have written get stored anywhere in windows like in a temporary file? I assume it would get stored in the memory cache (which would be wiped when the computer is powered down) but would it get written to the HD at any point e.g. in the swap file? If so does anyone know where?

    what if you access a file off a USB drive, not saving it or altering it at any point - would that get written to the HD as a temporary file?

    cheers all

    Z
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  2. #2
    Just Another Geek
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    I know windows uses Disk cache. I'm quite sure the disk cache is in memory somewhere and doesn't get stored on disk. It wouldn't make sense if you store a disk cache on disk.
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  3. #3
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    pagefile possibly...but that would require a whole lot of work just imagining how to get into that easily. you'd prolly have to split the file into small pieces that notepad can open, and go thru it all. but if your document wasnt plain text, it prolly wont be noticeably anyways.

    i know Word XP and 2003, usually do save things in temp files, but they are saved in the same directory the document was in. i dont know where they are stored when you havent saved the document yet.

    A_T
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  4. #4
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    AFAIK: Yes, the temporary files are saved in the user's profile. The files are removed depending on how the file was closed. If you save and exit, the temp files are removed. If the file program crashes, then the temp files are left there. (I've been able to recover work from temp files after a program crash.)

    It was also mentioned that temp files are created in the same directory that the file is being edited. Whenever I've had to recover it was saved in the user profile's temp directory.

    But... that might have been from corel word perfect. Its been a couple of months since I had to do it.

    You can possibly use a file recovery utility and get the files back. However you're going to be searching for a while. I have a great (free) utility that will list all files but won't give attributes or chance of recovery. I've seen other shareware that you can use to get the attributes and recovery chances, but not actually recover (without a reg. code). So, I've been using them both together.

    Unfortunately I can't recall the names of the programs at the moment. I have them on a USB flash drive at home. Oh, as with all recovery... don't install and run the program from the disk. You can decrease your chances of recovery due to overwritten data. Best to mount it as read only slave.

    If you don't come up with a solution before later this evening, I'll check out the names of the programs I have. I have class 2nite so it will not be until at least 9pm EST.

    Just found the freeware version. They do have the attributes... it doesn't have the chances of recovery. It is freeware.
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  5. #5
    Regal Making Handler
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    Within Word 2003 and probably earlier also. Under tools>options, there is some things you can customise to suit. Auto recovery location. Make local copy of files of saved to network or removable media.

    This is probably a bit late for your needs, but may be for the future.

    I used encase a while back to recover a load of .doc, .exls. From a partition with a stuffed fat table. It recovered as many of the temp files as it did the originals, quite impressive actualy.
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  6. #6
    AO übergeek phishphreek's Avatar
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    We use encase too... however... its not cheap...
    It is rather complicated to use at first.
    It takes some learning... but it is really quite impressive after you learn to use it.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Zonewalker's Avatar
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    sorry for the delay - been occupied..... as far as I can tell its not going to be worth it... the files were immediately saved to a flash drive and there wasn't anything significant in the temp folders. I'll keep looking but its not encouraging - oh well cheers for the suggestions anyway

    Z
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