Recover Deleted Files via Network Connection on Windows Server 2000

Posted on 2009-07-13
Last Modified: 2013-12-05
I am running a machine with Windows Server 2000.  My users map to this machine via a network and use a database that is on it.  Within the past week, someone has deleted this database and I now have nothing.  I've checked the recycle bin on the actual machine and there is nothing in it.  I've tried installing PCI Recovery, and the only deleted files it found were from 2007.

How can I recover my data?  Unfortunately, I have no recent backups of the database.  Fast assistance is needed.  Thank you.


Jamie R. Gallegos
Question by:gallegosj
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LVL 70

Expert Comment

ID: 24838197
You will need to run a file recovery utility (there are many available) on the server itself.

Author Comment

ID: 24838206
I looked at the utilities on the server, however, it has never had scheduled backups, and that's what it's looking for.  Any more ideas?
LVL 70

Accepted Solution

KCTS earned 300 total points
ID: 24838241
What I mean is that you will need to run a file recovery utility such as WinUndelete or FreeUndelerte on the server.
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 24838254
I think what he means, is you'll need to slave the server drive, or something similar to that process, and run a file recovery app on the server's drive. You would not run this application on the server itself necessarily.

Most servers would not have this type of application pre-installed, unless you were utilizing some back-up software.

Author Comment

ID: 24838382
I tried freeundelete and was unable to find the folder.  Since this file was deleted via the network, would it still find it on the harddrive of the server?
LVL 10

Assisted Solution

MiniDevo earned 50 total points
ID: 24838495
Network access is just a means of communication. It must physically write to something, ie the server's hard drive. Servers are notoriously hard to recover file wise as they tend to be more heavily used then personal PCs, which may explain your difficulty in recovering the file in question. This is generally why backup solutions are extremely important.
LVL 76

Assisted Solution

by:Alan Hardisty
Alan Hardisty earned 150 total points
ID: 24838603
When you delete a file across a network, the file from the server will not be placed into the recycle bin, it will be physically marked as deleted and the space it occupies on the disk marked as available for overwriting.  If the file was deleted from the server itself at the server keyboard / mouse, then it would be in the recycle bin.
If this happened about a week ago, the chances of recovery are slim and the more the server is used, the lower the chances of recovery as the space the file occupied may have already been overwritten.
If you cannot recover anything back with the tools suggested so far, then I doubt you are going to have much luck and you will have to resort to your most recent backup as a means of recovery.
You should also ensure that file permissions are set properly to make sure that this does not happen again as it sounds like you users have too many permissions and this will no doubt happen again if you don't set the correct permissions.

Author Closing Comment

ID: 31602776
Ok.  I decided to split the points.  Hopefully you all find it fair.  I have 300 to KCTS because his solution would have worked on any other machine.  150 goes to alanhardisty because his solution let me know that i'm pretty much out of luck due to my machine being a server, and 50 to MiniDevo for giving me good sound advice.  Again, i hope that you all find my point spread fair.



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