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Missing document from one use on SBS 2008 server

Posted on 2011-10-06
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I am working with some clients who are having an issue with one user on a Windows 2008 SBS server with a Windows 7 client.  This use has a folder on the server -USER1.  As of 4 days ago, he has been missing all documents and an Access database that was in this folder but not in a sub folder.  All Sub folders are fine. In the interest of full disclosure, I am not the normal Admin.  Also SHADOW COPIES are turned off and we have found that there have been NO backups since the server was brought online.  I have tried to restore the files with a few different file recovery programs with no luck.  I have been able to find a lot of other deleted files, but not these missing files.  What could have happened and are these files recoverable? Thanks in advance!
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Question by:jallender
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Cliff Galiher earned 400 total points
ID: 36925388
With no backups, no shadow copies, and recovery tools coming up blank, there is very little chance that you can recover these files.

As far as what could have happened, without having tools or processes in place to audit, the answers are broad. Everything from intentional or accidental user error to a malfunctioning program, or even a virus are all potential answers, and there is no way to prove one or disprove another due to the "after the fact" circumstances you find yourself in now. Although, truth be told, 95% of the time it is user error. Files get drag-n-dropped accidentally quite often.

-Cliff
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by:jallender
ID: 36925431
That is what I was afraid of. Any idea why the recovery programs would find long deleted items but not these recently deleted items?  
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by:Cliff Galiher
ID: 36925452
It'd be wild speculation. Keep in mind that recovery programs try to do this by looking at data that has been scrubbed. That data exists into something else gets written into its spot, and the OS decides that based on performance, so old data can exist longer than new data if the OS decided that the newer "space" was a better fit for a new write. Age of a deleted file no longer has any bearing on how long it sticks around on a disk.

-Cliff
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