Anyone know how to uncover overwritten photos, videos and files?

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  • 4 weeks ago

    Nope. Can't be done, you might get a few bits back with an electron microscope but not the entire file. They've been redacted.

  • keerok
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    If overwritten, the possibility of recovering is slim. Even Recuva can't do that.

  • 4 weeks ago

    Get something like Recova or similar data recovery software, and run it over the media with the files. You may be surprised with what it finds. There is no guarantee that you will get back the files you lost, but you may get *some* of them back. Or not. As mentioned, there are places that can try (still no guarantee) but unless you can carry a second mortgage to pay for it, it is not something that "normal" people who aren't millionaires can afford.

    • Caoedhen
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      I am aware of the issue with overwriting, but you don't know for sure what has, and what has not, been overwritten in most cases. Just because new files have been added to a flash drive does not mean that all other files on the drive were over written. The only way to know is to try.

  • 4 weeks ago

    If they’ve been overwritten on solid state memory such as a USB pen-drive, SD card or similar then recovery is virtually impossible. Top-grade data recovery labs charging the sorts of sums only governments and large corporations can afford can sometimes recover some of the overwritten data based upon how “strongly” the various ones and zeroes have been recorded as they can indicate what the previous state was. 

    Magnetic storage media are much easier but it’s still not cheap. With magnetic media it takes quite a few overwrites to totally erase the original data. That’s because each physical byte space on the magnetic surface cannot be totally covered by each data write without the risk of overwriting adjacent bytes. So the original data effectively peeks out around the edges. Specialist data recovery companies can forensically scan the entire magnetic surface to reveal the range of data at each byte space. But that is still hugely expensive, although it falls into the range of what police can often afford for important cases, and many larger police forces often have their own dedicated forensic date labs in-house which can do the job.

    Data on drives which have merely been reformatted is pretty easy to recover, but can take a lot of time as “raw data recovery” simply records every byte of data on the drive. 

    As with all such recoveries, there’s never any guarantees that recovered data will make any sense though, as it’s increasingly encrypted by default these days. So if you recover data from any iPhone or

    BlackBerry device then the only device which can decrypt the data is the exact same one it was created by using all the exact same user security credentials.

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  • Frank
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    For just deleted files, all you need is a file recovery app like recova.  For files that have had their 1s and 0s overwritten, you will need to send the storage device to a professional data recovery company.  Be prepared to spend a lot to get your files back.

  • 4 weeks ago

    "Overwritten". NO. Once you have written over the data it is GONE. There is nothing there to recover. Files can only be recovered when they have NOT been overwritten.

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