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Delete the wrong file? Use the Filer undelete feature to get it back!

Everyone who has ever used a computer has deleted or erased a file only to find out that they really did need that file. This is why almost all operating systems and utility packages have an undelete utility. DOS is no exception. The secret behind undelete utilities is that when you ask DOS to delete a file, all it does is change the first character of the file's name to a special character that indicates to DOS that the space the file is occupying is available for file storage. It does not write over or physically erase the data in the file. Until another file is written to the same space, the original data is still on your disk. Undelete utilities work by restoring the original directory listing. They won't work if DOS has already written a new file to the locations used by the deleted file(s).

During the Iran-Contra affair in the U.S., Col. Oliver North instructed his secretary to erase some incriminating files from her hard disk. She did, but neither she nor her boss knew that these deleted files could be recovered, which they were.


  1. 1. Open Filer and go to the directory list that contains the file or directory you want to recover.
  2. 2. Press (MENU) File Undelete and you are presented with the File Undelete dialog box.
  3. 3. Specify whether you want to recover a File, Directory, or both. You can also use the DOS wildcards * or ? to narrow down the search. Leave *.* in the Undelete field and press (F10) and you are presented with a list of all the files that have been deleted from that directory (see screen below).
  4. 4. Highlight the desired file and press (ENTER) or (F10) to undelete it. You are presented with the following dialog box, asking you to replace the first character of the deleted file with a new letter. Do so and press (ENTER) or (F10).

The File Undelete function displays a list of all the deleted files. Highlight the desired file and press (ENTER) or (F10) to undelete it.

If the recovery was successful, you'll get a message telling you so. If the Undelete feature could not recover the file for any reason, that message will be displayed.

Chuck Christenson CompuServe ID [76702,432]

Daniel Legendre CompuServe ID [100572,3340]

iPhone Life magazine

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