Recover a file that is now empty

We have a user on a WinXP Pro laptop.  He had an excel document that had many worksheets in it.  However today, the file is empty, no worksheets at all.  the file is still named the same, but there is nothing in it.

Any ideas on how to recover this data?  Thanks ahead of time for your help.
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Jackie ManIT ManagerCommented:
STOP using the laptop immediately.

Remove the HDD from the laptop and attach it to another computer via USB case and run GetDataBack to restore the file.
byundtMechanical EngineerCommented:
While I agree with jackieman that you should stop using the laptop immediately, it may not be necessary to remove the hard drive from the computer. Many file recovery programs can run from a USB flash drive. It should also be noted that the GetDataBack software will cost $79 to recover your data.

When you saved the file, you didn't actually wipe out the old file. Rather, you erased its entry in the file allocation table. What happens is that Excel saves the file with a random file name in an unused part of your hard drive. If the save is successful, it renames the saved copy with your desired file name--and erases any other mention of that file name in the same folder in the file allocation table. So if you can recover the file contents before those file clusters get rewritten, then the day will be saved.

The above free program, called Restoration, is small enough to run from a USB flash drive, floppy disk or a CD. It doesn't need to be installed on your hard drive and possibly damage the free space where your deleted files might reside. Restoration can undelete files that were removed from the recycle bin or directly deleted from within Windows. You can scan for all recoverable files, or you can focus on a particular file by entering part of a file name, an extension or a search term. Restoration works with FAT and NTFS as well as digital cameras cards.

WinUndelete $50. Free trial version available.
Free Undelete (freeware).

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bauerbuiltAuthor Commented:
No cure!  thanks.
bauerbuiltAuthor Commented:
we decided to just forget about that file. Save to an external USB drive from now on.
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Windows XP

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