Is it possible to recover a renamed file?

Posted on 2005-04-02
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2008-03-10
One of our techs renamed a MS Access file to ddddd.mdb.lnk, and it went from 3 MB to 1KB. I know how to recover deleted files, but can I recover a renamed one? I'm using Ontrack's Easy Recover, and in the simple mode, it doesn't find anything other than the three MDB files that are unrelated. However in the Advanced mode, it found 14 files named File#.mdb. Am I on the right track? Thanks.
Question by:ovidbailey
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Accepted Solution

dephicon earned 1000 total points
ID: 13689246
the link file you are talking about is an acutal link file.  It is not your MDB file.  The file size and structure will remain the same if you rename a file.  If you don't believe me try making a copy of a MDB file and rename it to a link file.  The size will not change and you can rename it back without any harm.  I would guess the file has been deleted, and you may need to get a software recovery program to restore the file.  Just look for some unerase programs on the net and they should do the trick if the file was erased.
LVL 13

Expert Comment

ID: 13689374

Renaming does not change the file size; your description of what happened is, therefore, incorrect.  I'm inclined to agree with dephicon, that the 1K file is not the file itself but a shortcut (link - ".LNK") file.  If you right click on it and select properties, you can see what file IT is pointing to.  That MIGHT be your original file.  But the bottom line here is that your description of what happened is incorrect or at least incomplete, which makes it impossible to answer your question with certainty.

I'd start with the 14 files that you found and restore all of them to some "test" directory that you create.  Then look to see if any of them are the desired file.
LVL 17

Expert Comment

ID: 13689382
That's not a "rename", that's a "shortcut" - right-click on any file, click Create Shortcut., you get a file called <something>.lnk that points to the file you right-clicked on. You can put the Shortcut anywhere and it continue to point to the original file (so long as you don't move, rename, or delete the pointed-to file). It's microsoft's lame attempt to simulate Unix file "links".

So at the point this file was created the MDB file also existed on he disk. It may still be there, or have been moved, renamed or erased in a separate incident.

In the case it's been erased, then yes, try recovering all 14 of those MDB files, if you can, and see if any of thgem are what you seek.

On the offchance, however, that the file has NOT been deleted, have you tried doing a Windows Search on the hard drive to see if you can find it? Start by looking for MDB files but be aware it may have had its extension renamed too...

LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 13689643
Do you still have the file that One of our techs renamed a MS Access file to ddddd.mdb.lnk, and
if so,  do you recall what the name of it was,  did
do a rename back and put the MS Acess Ext on it and
see if it comes back.

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