How to get back deleted or lost files

[This post is a work in progress, but the basic GOLDEN RULE of file recovery is so important I have posted it before it’s finished. I’ll update with more information when I have the opportunity.]

There are many reasons why files get lost, and the flippant and unsympathetic response of many companies of “Do you have a backup?” is normally followed by an even less helpful look of scorn when the reply is “I’ve been meaning to but never got round to it”. This is not helpful in the slightest, and just adds to the despair of losing those photos documenting your child’s first months, your last 10 years email, or any other irreplaceable files.

The saddest aspect of this response to a cry for help is that in a great many situations, the files are simply hidden, not lost. A small amount of effort can often restore most if not all of the files, but an understanding of what’s needed to maximise the chance of success is very important. Without doing anything that seems dangerous, a user can reduce or remove entirely any prospect of successful file recovery.

Before I go any further, it’s time to introduce the golden rule. As soon as you discover that you’ve lost files that you need, STOP USING THE STORAGE MEDIA! I’ll go through the reasons for this later in this article, but it’s the most important thing to remember.

Next page – Why should I stop using the disk?…

Severe VirginMedia broadband issues in the Dorking area

For anyone becoming more and more frustrated with the VirginMedia broadband service, particularly in the Dorking area, I wanted to give an update on my own experience, and that of those of my clients who are with VirginMedia.

On Thursday morning I started work at 9am and found I had no internet connection. I am on the VirginMedia 30Mb package and although I have never managed to get more than 17Mb it is normally a stable connection. It was down until approximately 11.30am which was, frustratingly, the exact moment I managed to get through to someone in support.

I had already rebooted my router several times before phoning, but was advised to do it again, even though I told them I now had a working connection. The “support” engineer also rebooted it remotely and told me I didn’t have a problem. I asked how I knew it wouldn’t immediately come back and was told it wouldn’t.

Ever since, the connection has been unusable. Although the connection is up, and speed test sites such as report I am getting the speed I am used to (17Mb), pages will not load unless I stop and refresh the page many many times. A perfect example of a page that is difficult to load is any page in Virgin’s own support forum. The fact that speed tests work ok allow the Virgin support personnel to test the speed of the link and inform you that all is ok and refuse to do anything more for you.

I have spoken to another support agent, but received the same “reading from a script” level of support. She informed me eventually that an engineer would be sent out, but that she’d had to put “broken cable” on the form because she didn’t understand my long and detailed description of the issue. She didn’t tell me when I should expect the engineer though, so I don’t expect them any time soon.

I have tried all the tricks at my disposal, such as using alternate DNS servers (OpenDNS and Google among others) with no improvement.

So far, in the 4 days since the problem started I have spoken to 4 clients who are experiencing the same issue, but I am prepared to say that it will be affecting all VirginMedia broadband customers in the area. A look at the forums shows people with similar problems in Leatherhead, Fetcham and other areas.

I have begun to express my frustration on Twitter (@HolmPC), Facebook and here on this blog in the hope that if enough people complain, VirginMedia will be forced to acknowledge and fix the problem. I also expect that such a low level of service should entitle customers to some sort of refund, at least for the period of time the connection has been unfit for purpose.

Are you seeing the same thing? Please let me know, and express your frustration to Virgin too!

Update: 12:52 on Monday 28th
I have just called VirginMedia again and received a recorded message saying they have identified the problem and hope to have it fixed by 4:40pm. Let’s wait and see.

Update: 8:36 on Wednesday 30th
A day and a few hours later than originally promised, but it seems to have been fixed around 8pm yesterday. If you are still having problems please let me know, but either way give 150 a call and insist on compensation for your down time.