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No File Recovery Software (especially recuva) recovering any files

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This issue is pretty wack. I've used recuva before in the past and it has worked perfectly. 

A few weeks ago I reinstalled it and the results have been weird. I'm trying to recover videos, and it's hardly showing me any in drives that had 100s. The few it does show are from 5+ years ago, nothing recent. And even those ones, after recovering the files ... those files don't work.

I thought maybe recuva had some new update so I experimented with other software (not sure if allowed to list)... I'd say I experimented with all the free ones. Same stuff! One in particular was able to get a few extra results with file names that were quite recent. But same thing, after I extract it won't work.

So now, I built a new PC with win10 (before was win7), added the HD with files as secondary, and tried recuva and still same results. I've tried using some old version site for older version of recuva... still same.

I'm not sure what's going on but it's too weird if it's same result across different software and different OS.

Before when I used recuva, I would get a whole library of deleted stuff because all of my HDD were hardly touched because I use SSD as my main drive.

So to experiment, I added a bunch of videos to my new HDD and then deleted some. Recuva isn't picking up any of them nor is the other software.

Is it some windows setting perhaps?

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First of all, we are talking about an HDD (not SSD), and it’s NTFS (not FAT32)?
There’s been no change to Recuva’s recovery techniques well, forever, as far as I can tell. Also I don’t know of any Windows setting that would cause this. So I think it’s some other factor.
If the files had been sent to the recycler then NTFS renames them to two components called $Innnn.ext and $Rnnnn.ext. Ignore the $I as they are indexes. Your videos may be recoverable under the $R names.
Don’t put any search criteria when running Recuva. It won’t catch the above $R files for a start. Just search for everything, it won’t take any longer.
I assume you’re running a normal scan. I wouldn’t run a deep scan yet.
Have you run a wipe free space with wipe MFT? This will of course erase pretty much everything.
Recuva will scan the MFT and show all file names for all records that are flagged as deleted, including the $I and $R files. These deleted records in the MFT will remain available until another file creation overwrites them. The greater the activity on the drive the more likely the names will be overwritten.
Files created and deleted, as in your test, are most likely to have their MFT records reused quite quickly, as they used the first available record when they were created, and on deletion they become the first available record again.
I’ll post again if I think of anything else. At the moment I would concentrate on the first two points, the $R names and the search criteria.

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I am talking about HDD, which is where the files were located. It is NTFS.


I can't even find those names ($nnn.ext), altho I do recall those being there back when everything was working. I've tried scanning a different partition as a test and there were only like 5-6 $Rnnn files out of 1000s. Most of the 1000s are just useless stuff bytes in size with alpha numeric names. Those are back from 2012. THere should've been newer stuff though. 

The partition that I'm interested in only found one corrupt video from 2014. I've had many and I've test deleted some from recent. It's not being found.

I had no idea what MFT was until now. I don't recall running this feature. I only run my tests in different partitions, I've left the one I'm interested in as-is.

Thank you for taking the time.

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every action has a chance of making files less recoverable. You cant decide when windows deletes these files. should of made a shadow copy first

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