Access other user's Recycle Bin

Posted on 2007-10-17
Last Modified: 2013-11-15
Hello Experts,

My Question :

Is there a way to access other user's Recycle bin when logged in as an Administrator?

We have this user that we had to whack her profile from AD and create a new one.
She logges on on to her PC  and in Docs and Settings there is her old profile's foleder and the new profile's folder.

Then she remembered that on the day before we deleted her old profile she deleted very important folder . So now she can not log in to the old profile (different SID) and from the new one she can not access the other one's Recycle bin to restore the deleted folder.
I login as an admin and can access the old profile's folder bot not the Recycle bin inside.
So, again, is there a way to get into deleted account's recycle bin.
I hope you understand what I am asking. If not, please ask questions and I will be happy to clarify.

Thank you.

Question by:RICuser
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    Here's an idea.....I haven't done this myself, but it might work.
    On that workstation, create a new local user. Login to it so that it creates a local profile.
    Copy the profile that you can't access anymore into the new user's profile...making sure that "show all files, including hidden system files and folders is checked"
    Log back in as that user....see if it will bring up the old profile under that name....

    Idea two:
    Copy the recycle bin to another profile and see if it shows up under that profile.

    As I said before, I've never tried these ideas...but they just came to mind....
    If neither of these work, let us know and we'll spend more time investigating.

    Author Comment

    I willl try these tomorrow.
    About the second one - the problem is that I can NOT see the recycle bin of the deleted profile. I just assume it is there because properties of the folder show size 1.3 GB and individual folders inside are just about 2-300MB so , I assume the remainder to 1.3 must be the data that is in the Recycle bin and not showing.

    But I will try to create a local user, and after loging in  for the first time I will rename the newly created folder to something else and give the folder I need to access the same name as the one I need to access.

    I will post what happened.

    Thank you.

    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    that folder is hidden. Make sure you have the "show hidden files and folders checked"
    Also, unheck the "hide protected files and folders box. It's right underneath the above setting in the same section.
    Good luck. I'll be anxious to find out how it goes.

    Author Comment

    yes, hidden and system files are visible.
    LVL 5

    Accepted Solution

    You will not be able to recover that Recycle bin. You can attempt to see if the item resides in the recycler folder.

    When you deleted that AD account the SID was removed as well. All account data, registry included was deleted.  All the files, mp3's docs,xls, etc are normal files not associated with the account, just objects created etc. When you dump files into the recycle bin they are connected with the users SID. Once deleted the File Allocation Table removes the files, however the files still exist on the physical hard drive if not overwritten by new data.

    So... Open explorer, go to tools, folder options. view tab, untick show protect OS files.
    type C:\recycler in the address bar and you may or may not see a recycle bin (S-1-5-21-****************). Open it and see if it is the profile.

    Once again you cannot associate a new account with an old SID, they are unique.

    You can attempt to recover her old AD account with ntdsutil from Directory Services Mode on the domain controller, then log into that pc with her recovered account or...

    You can attempt a file recovery on that machine. You can Google free file/folder restoration software and attempt to recover the data.
    LVL 5

    Expert Comment

    RICuser, any status on this question? did you try my suggestion?

    Author Comment

    User is on vacation.
    Will post when back.


    Author Closing Comment

    The issue could not be resolved. I am just aknowledging that what AdamJur stated is correct.

    Thank you,


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