Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My system went crazy and put nulls in one file. I know what text should be in this file, so I need a solution to search through the HDD for the text that's missing.

Is there a way to recover the overwritten txt file?

share|improve this question
chances are low on this – Michael K Sep 9 '11 at 12:27
@Michael Unless you know how the software that changed the file contents works, there's no way to say for sure. Some programs perform atomic saves by saving to a temporary file, removing the original, and then renaming the new file. In this case, it's quite possible to find the original file. – Daniel Beck Sep 9 '11 at 13:12
Well if I had something what can search for text located on hdd, I think it will be good for me, but it would have to search sector by sector – Darqer Sep 9 '11 at 13:44

The best method is to restore the file from one of your daily or weekly backups.

The second best way is probably to use something like Recuva. Tools like this probably can't recover the overwritten sectors but might find an older version of the text file if you are very lucky and edited the file a lot.

share|improve this answer

Use WinHex and search for text in the file.

From the WinHex site:

WinHex is in its core a universal hexadecimal editor, particularly helpful in the realm of computer forensics, data recovery, low-level data processing, and IT security. An advanced tool for everyday and emergency use: inspect and edit all kinds of files, recover deleted files or lost data from hard drives with corrupt file systems or from digital camera cards.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .