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Strategies for Recycle Bin


What is the Recycle Bin?

The Recycle Bin is a special folder. When a user deletes a file (or folder) from a local drive in Windows® Explorer, it is not actually deleted but moved to the Recycle Bin folder. The user can restore the deleted file from the Recycle Bin.

When is Data Recovery from the Recycle Bin Necessary?

Deleted files can no longer be restored from the Recycle Bin when:

  • A file (or folder) is deleted again from the Recycle Bin. In other words it has been deleted twice. The first deletion only moves the file to the Recycle Bin. The second deletion actually removes the file from the file system.
  • The Recycle Bin is emptied of all of its contents.
  • The volume is reformatted or becomes corrupted and inaccessible.

In these cases data is usually still recoverable using File Scavenger®.

Recovery Procedure

Except for the filename change discussed in the next section, data recovery for the Recycle Bin folder is no different from other data, such as in the following scenarios:

Name Change in the Recycle Bin

When a file on a local drive is deleted in Windows® Explorer, it is moved to the Recycle Bin and also renamed to a special Recycle Bin name. The original name is saved in a second file. When recovering a file in the Recycle Bin, File Scavenger® will try to recover both the original filename and the file contents. If the original filename cannot be recovered, the file will be saved as the Recycle Bin filename, as follows:

  • For Windows® 8, 7, Vista, Server 2008 or later:

    $R + <some random numbers or letters> + <file extension>

    For example $R1425.docx is a Microsoft® Word document with the extension .docx. The original filename is unknown.

  • For Windows® XP or Server 2003:

    D + <drive letter> + <random numbers and letters>

    For example DC1425.docx is a Microsoft® Word document deleted from drive C:.

When a folder is deleted and moved to the Recycle Bin, only the name of the folder itself is changed. The files and folders inside the deleted folder keep the original names.


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