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File Recovery on Windows Bootcamp Partition

June 24, 2008 by debbie T | ComputersMac CornerWindows on the Mac

I did something stupid this morning. I have no one to blame but myself, even though I would like to blame Apple for making me have such crazy problems w/ my Macbook Pro.

My MBP has been running badly, since my upgrade to Leopard. After setting up at least two prior Applestore Genius appointments, then canceling, I needed to have my MBP looked over once and for all.

Long story short, since I had a Windows Bootcamp installation, I figured I better delete a few of my personal Microsoft Money files from the Windows partition. I emptied the trash, and as soon as I did, I realized that I hadn’t backed up from the last time I worked in Windows.

Oh no! Crap! I took at look at the backup I did have, and it was from over a month ago in May. I worked for 3 or 4 hours about a week ago updating my Microsoft Money files. Oh no! This was bad!

I rescheduled my Apple Genius appointment to tomorrow, and started googling to find a suitable Mac Data Recovery program.

I found Data Rescue II. I downloaded the free demo, and let it scan my Windows partition. Unfortunately didn’t find any .mny Microsoft money files. Data Rescue is $100.

I found another program called Boomerang, and that was priced even higher at $200. I figured that I would install the demo and let it search the partition. Lo and behold, it did find my file, located in /1 Fat32/.Trashes/501/ folder.

Well, okay, this is giving me hope.

Granted, the file wasn’t important enough to pay $100+ but if I could now just somehow restore it using a freeware app, it would save me from having to enter all that data in again.

I launch Onyx so I could change my settings to display all hidden files. Maybe just maybe it would show up as a hidden file on the partition. Nope! I did see the folders .Trashes/501/ but they were empty. Darn!

Let’s think this through. I didn’t want to just willy nilly install a freeware Windows app on the Bootcamp partition for fear that it would overwrite the file I needed to recover.

Then, I had a delightful idea of booting into my old Dell desktop, and attaching my Macbook Pro by USB to see if maybe I could “see” the Windows partition, and therefore run a free recovery program from the Dell. But alas, I didn’t have a USB to USB connector. (note to self: buy a new connector cable from Amazon soon)

Finally, I came upon my solution! Searching for “portable usb data recovery“, I found Recuva – a portable application that could be installed right on a USB key.

And guess what, it worked!

I downloaded the file, saved it on a USB key, then booted into my Windows partition. Once Windows launched, I double-clicked Recuva, and went through the installation process, making sure I installed directly on the USB key.

Then I double-clicked the program to launch, and voila! It found my file in excellent shape, and it recovered it easy as pie!

I am keeping this handy dandy app saved on a USB key just in case it’s needed in the future! whoo-hooo! I am a happy girl!

There are 3 comments

  1. oh god! i’m mohsen from iran, can you help me? i deleted my windows partition from my mac os x and then i found that i had too many important files on that. what can i do now? i’m now a sad boy!!

    Comment by Mohsen on August 4th, 2008
  2. I dunno, sorry, Mohsen. You will have to try one of the Mac file recovery apps. Hope you can find your files.

    Next time backup backup backup!

    Comment by debbieT on August 4th, 2008
  3. You can use mac data recovery software,but i still believe apple site software for data recovery mac http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/filerecovery.html

    Comment by ouwcan on March 21st, 2011