Finding deleted emails

Discussion in 'Computers' started by BradK, Apr 12, 2005.

  1. BradK

    BradK Stunt Coordinator

    Mar 6, 2002
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    I'm trying to find an email on my computer that I've deleted. Trouble is it's 2 1/2 yrs ago I deleted it. Anyone know how I could find deleted emails? Is there a search program somewhere one could use or something? Help is appreciated
  2. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

    Jun 30, 1997
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    Real Name:
    Joseph DeMartino
    Was that a typo for "2 1/2 hrs" or are you really trying to recover an e-mail message you deleted two and a half years ago? [​IMG]

    I hate to be the bearer of ill news, but chances are you can't get this message back.

    The reason you can normally recover files is that a computer doesn't actually delete a file when you hit "delete". When you create a file the PC, in addition to writing the data, the PC flags that part of the disk as "in use" and doesn't let other data over-write it. When you "delete" a file, the computer simply removes the "do not use" flag and makes that area of the disk available again. Until and unless something else uses that spot, you can recover the file.

    But after two and a half years the odds that the spot one particular file occupied has not been used are vanishingly small.

    Depending on which e-mail program you're using, you might be able to recover the file, if you're extremely lucky. If you leave your files on your ISP (or corporate) server you also might have a chance - depending on the size limit set for your mailbox, and what default settings they have for dumping data. If you periodically back-up your hard drive you may have an older version of your e-mail archive that you can root around in.

    You'll need to provide more specific before anyone can even try to help you. Name and version of your e-mail program, name of your ISP,if a corporate network what kind of mail server you're connected to.

    Is this a message you received, or one you sent? If the latter, can you see if the sender backs up his/her files, and maybe can send you a copy? (I often keep copies of outgoing messages in archive files.)



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