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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

How can I get overwritten files back?


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NielsJoormann

 
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Hello,
I have a quite urgent question. 5 days ago, I wanted to move some files to an external hard disk I use for storing files I don't often need. I dragged the folder in which the two files were to the hard disk, on which I have a folder with the same name. What I assumed what would happen is that the two files would be merged into the folder on the hard disk (as would happen in Windows, which I'm more familiar with). Therefor I closed the Finder window and went on with my business. But, 5 days later, I inspected the contents of the hard disk again. In the folder concerned there were only the new two files. All the other files, several GB in size, have disappeared. There's nothing in my Recycle Bin, not even in the hard disk's own Recycle Bin. How can I get those files back? I don't use Time Machine yet, I'm only just new to Mac. Would buying something like Mac File Recovery 3.01 help? Is that still any use or do I have to consider those files to be lost forever? Please help me!
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pigoo3

 
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Overwritten files cannot be recovered!

Files that have been put in the trash can, then deleted...but not overwritten can be recovered with the right software. The trick here is "not being overwritten".

If you continued to use your computer after deleting the mentioned files...there's a greater chance that the deleted files were over-written.

Of course if you had all of your files backed up...then you have a 100% chance of recovering the files.

Some additional info:

How To: Recover deleted files from Windows or Mac OS

How to Restore Deleted Files on a Mac | eHow.com

- Nick

- Computer slow, too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
- Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some speedup tips: Speedup
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toMACsh

 
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Sorry for your data loss. To avoid other common "switcher" pitfalls, here's a short summary of some differences, including the one you stumbled upon:

Tips for new Mac users

You cannot cut and paste files in the Finder as you can in Explorer. To move or copy a file from one place to another, the Mac way is to open both the Target and Source folders, then drag and drop the file or folder. There are nuances depending on where the Target folder is. For example, hold down Option while dragging a file to copy it to a folder on the same volume.


The green button at the top does not expand the window to fill your screen. Very few windows need the full screen, so what that does is expand the window so it's large enough to handle the content. This will almost always leave some background visible.

The red button does not usually quit an application. It merely closes the active window, even if there's only one. The "light" by the application's icon in the Dock will indicate if the app is still running.



You cannot see the size of a file or folder in Icon View by holding your mouse over it. You must highlight the item and use Get Info. Or you can use List View, which will show you the size. There are at least four ways to access Get Info, three of them involving the mouse.

If you have two folders with the same name, but have a few differences between the contents of same, don't move one to the enclosing folder of the other. OSX will not automatically merge the contents of the two folders. Instead, it will overwrite the target folder with the one you're moving. The differences in the target folder will be lost forever. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to overwrite. Be sure you know what that means before saying yes!

You cannot selectively delete items that you have "stored" in the Trash. Sorry.
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Chef_eam

 
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I found out about this one the hard way as well when I first got my Mac, and lost around 20GB of 3D content. Luckily I was able to replace most of it. I do wish it was possible to merge folders like that though. It would make life much easier when installing additional content into my 3D runtimes.
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chas_m

 
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Had you been using Time Machine, then it would have been child's play to restore things as they were. That's what TM is for. I'm not understanding why being "new to Mac" means you weren't using it yet -- you can set it up on Day 1.

Still, sorry you didn't understand about the "folders don't merge" thing.
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Chef_eam

 
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Time Machine wouldn't have helped in my situation though. My 3D stuff is kept on an external drive. But I did set up TM as on of the first things I did when I took the iMac out of the box.
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Alwyn

 
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I've only had my iMac for 2 months but, having been meticulous about backing PC onto an external hard drive, I found moving everything to the Mac was straightforward.

You won't be able to use PC back up drive as a Time Machine without deleting all the contents so suggest you buy a new external hard drive. I bought a Buffalo Mini Station 320GB 2.5" drive for 39.99.

Sorry to hear about your loss of data although the info is invaluable to anyone new to Apple.
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Alwyn

 
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Ah! This may explain why, when I first started my new iMac I couldn't get Thunderbird to work for e-mails. I am now quite happy with Apple's mail system and have transferred all Thunderbird files to Apple Mail.

Does this also explain why, when I started up my old PC which has an Ethernet link to the iMac, it connected to the Internet but now doesn't? Was there some conflict between Thunderbird on the PC vs. Apple Mail on theiMac?

Quote:
Originally Posted by toMACsh View Post
Sorry for your data loss. To avoid other common "switcher" pitfalls, here's a short summary of some differences, including the one you stumbled upon:

Tips for new Mac users

You cannot cut and paste files in the Finder as you can in Explorer. To move or copy a file from one place to another, the Mac way is to open both the Target and Source folders, then drag and drop the file or folder. There are nuances depending on where the Target folder is. For example, hold down Option while dragging a file to copy it to a folder on the same volume.


The green button at the top does not expand the window to fill your screen. Very few windows need the full screen, so what that does is expand the window so it's large enough to handle the content. This will almost always leave some background visible.

The red button does not usually quit an application. It merely closes the active window, even if there's only one. The "light" by the application's icon in the Dock will indicate if the app is still running.



You cannot see the size of a file or folder in Icon View by holding your mouse over it. You must highlight the item and use Get Info. Or you can use List View, which will show you the size. There are at least four ways to access Get Info, three of them involving the mouse.

If you have two folders with the same name, but have a few differences between the contents of same, don't move one to the enclosing folder of the other. OSX will not automatically merge the contents of the two folders. Instead, it will overwrite the target folder with the one you're moving. The differences in the target folder will be lost forever. You will be prompted to confirm that you want to overwrite. Be sure you know what that means before saying yes!

You cannot selectively delete items that you have "stored" in the Trash. Sorry.
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