Recover Overwritten files

Posted on 2005-03-30
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2011-08-18
I stupidly overwritten an *.SSS file which is the format used by Pat Guard. Is there any way in which i can get the earlier version of this file before i accidently wrote over it?

I would be extremely greatful for advice and hopefully a solution.


Question by:markburns90
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LVL 88

Accepted Solution

rindi earned 2000 total points
ID: 13662083
try the following:

If you have lost Data, first immediately stop using that drive. Take it to an intact system and slave it.
Then try using one of the following restoration tools:
Free for restoring one file at a time. Is supposed to work really good.
PC Inspector:
OnTrack DataRecovery:
Other Data Recovery Tools:

Author Comment

ID: 13662357
what is the success rate of recovering data from overwritten files?
LVL 88

Expert Comment

ID: 13662439
It probably depends on the empty space you had on the disk when you did that action. If there was enough empty space it is quite possible that the empty space was used. I think the only thing you can do is try those tools above, first try either "getdataback" and then the "Ontrack Datarecovery".
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Author Comment

ID: 13662869
So far i have used GetDataBack but has not found any results :( Most of the programs i have tried don't mention anything about getting previous version of OVERWRITTEN files back.

I don't know what to do! Any other suggestions would be VERY WELCOME!

LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 13663202

I think that you are using the word "overwritten" incorrectly.  A strict definition would mean that the sectors containing the data had been rewritten (overwritten) with new data in the same sectors.  If that's the case, your practical chances of recovering it are zero.  [It's physically possible, the FBI or CIA or NSA could do it if you had national security data on the drive, but there's no way that it's going to happen for any routine end-user, unless you are willing to spend tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars.]

However, more commonly, a file is deleted and replaced by a newer version of the same file, with the same filename, but not with the data in the same physical sectors.  In that case, your ability to recover the old file may be anything from poor to excellent, depending on too many things to list, but certainly it's worth trying using various data recovery tools.  I usually start with Norton Utilities (Systemworks) and proceed from there.

It's critical that the disk drive in question not be used at all until you recover the file or give up.  Every write to the drive reduces significantly your chances of success.

Expert Comment

ID: 13671973
one tool that i've had success with is Recover4all (http://www.recover4all.com/download.htm)  Its not free but its got me out of trouble once or twice.  That link will lead you to a demo version so that may tell you if the file is available or not.  

As other people have said be careful yo dont write to the same drive with the "overwritten" file.

good luck,


Expert Comment

ID: 13679089
hi, there

Good luck but try out this tools.


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