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Recently downloaded image lost.  How do i recover it?

Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-15

I purchased and downloaded an image from an online stock photography company this afternoon, but unfortunately, it previewed in Microsoft Picture Preview before I could actually save it anywhere.   The image disappeared when a dialog box popped up asking if I wished to save it to clipboard, to which I answered "no", but when I clicked on "no", both the dialog box AND the picture disappeared.  Have searched "My Pictures" and "Recent Documents", both to no avail.  Have also typed in the image's number and name using the "Search" tool, again with no luck.  I have a Windows XP Pro machine.  Is there anything I can do to recover the picture, or do I have to re-purchase it?  (P.S.  I feel like an idiot .........)

Many thanks to anyone who can help me with this dilemma .....

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Top Expert 2009
In order to recover deleted files, you would have to run some sort of file recovery program, and that program cannot be installed on the partition/drive where you expect to recover the files, because otherwise the installation of the recovery program could wipe out the file remnants you want to recover.  One possibility is to run a recovery program from a floppy disk.  In that case, this is an easy way:


Restoration is an easy to use and straight forward tool to undelete files that were removed from the recycle bin or directly deleted from within Windows. Upon start, you can scan for all files that may be recovered and also limit the results by entering a search term or extension. In addition, it also provides the option to wipe the found files beyond simple recovery. The program is small and standalone, it does not require installation and can also run from a Floppy disk. Restoration works with FAT and NTFS as well as digital cameras cards.

If you don't have a floppy drive, but have another partition/drive to install the recovery program, you could use an even better free recovery program:


PC INSPECTOR File Recovery is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. Here are some of the new features in PC INSPECTOR File Recovery 4.x:

Finds partitions automatically, even if the boot sector or FAT has been erased or damaged
Recovers files with the original time and date stamp
Supports the saving of recovered files on network drives
Recovers files, even when a header entry is no longer available. Competition products cannot recover such files. The "Special Recovery Function" supports the following disk formats:


PC INSPECTOR" File Recovery 4.x is so-called FREEWARE. This means that the software does not cost you a single penny.

If your computer doesn't have a floppy drive or another partition/drive to install the recovery program, then you would have to use a bootable CD.  The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows is a fantastic bootable CD with all kinds of utilities on it, including quite a number of file recovery tools.  You can try to build the CD (assuming you have a WinXP install disk and a CD burner available somehow):


What is the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows?
UBCD4Win is a bootable CD which contains software that allows you to repair, restore, or diagnose almost any computer problem. Our goal is to be the ultimate free hardware and software diagnostic tool. All software included in UBCD4Win are freeware utilities for Windows®. UBCD4Win is based on Bart's PE©. Bart's PE© builds a Windows® "pre-install" environment CD, basically Windows® booted from CD. We include many free hardware and software diagnostic tools that allow you to fix almost any problem you will face with your computer. With network support, the ability to modify NTFS volumes, recover deleted files, create new NTFS volumes, scan hard drives for viruses, etc. this project includes almost everything you need to repair your system problems. This project has been put together to be the ultimate recovery cd and not a replacement OS (Operating System). Please visit the "List of Tools" page for a complete list of what is included in the latest version of the project.

If you have a fast broadband connection to the internet, then there is a link on the left of the above page where you can download the makings for the tool, and another link for instructions on how to build the CD.  If your internet connection is too slow, then you can use still another link to order the CD. (Unfortunately, the CD you buy will not be the bootable tool; it will contain only the same files you download.  That is because of copyright restrictions.)

Here is the link for the List of Tools:


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Lee Tutor's rank as "genius" is an understatement!  Terrific, clear and precise response to the question!  Heartfelt thanks!  Will get to work right away!

Chris BRetired

In this instance, the download may have created a temp file in Temporary Internet Files with a random name. In Temporary Internet Files, sort the folder by date and open any image files you see on the relevant date. You could just to a search for any files created on that date to achieve a similar result.

Chris B
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