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Today I had something very strange happen. I have an Access database which is split into the UI in one file and the data in the other. I had a new version of the UI, so as usual I selected the old UI and pressed Delete. All of the files in the directory, other than a "thumbs.db" file disappeared! I thought that maybe I fat-fingered it and selected all of the files, so I went to the recycle bin and the only file (from today) that was in there was the file that I had selected to delete. None of the other files were there.

I spent quite some time searching for it, but I couldn't find it anywhere. I had a backup of the database data file that was a day old, so I was able to restore it and will be able to go back and recreate the lost data from hardcopies of the transactions, so that's good.

However, I am very concerned as to what happened. I've never seen this happen in many years of Windows usage. I'm running Windows 7 and this occurred on the C drive of a system that is only 20% full. The UI and the data file are < 4 MB each. Does anyone have any ideas to what could have occurred?

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Does your recycle bin clear itself daily? If you're on a box at work, you may be lucky enough to have "previous versions" feature enabled.

Check by right clicking the folder the file was in before you moved it to the recycle bin and look at the tabs for 'Previous Version', if it's there click into it to see a history of backups of that folder.

If not - you may be out of luck. If it was particularly important to know what happened it you could always check the event manager, I'm pretty sure it logs file removals or at least recycle bin operations - especially if it's a scheduled task.

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The recycle bin does not automatically clear itself. There were copies of the UI & data database in the recycle bin from months ago. File history is not turned on, so no previous versions exist other than what is created by the Norton Ghost backup which runs daily. I am just about to finish implementing an "event" which will copy the database to the cloud every time it is shut down. This is for a non-profit furniture bank which provides furniture for free to people in need, so this occurs at the end of every day when it's open and should maintain a copy of the latest version on the web. – GeoffSchultz Dec 11 '13 at 10:59
Ah okay - well then I'm pretty sure you're out of luck, beyond running data recovery software (most tools are pretty user friendly) and seeing if you can get them back that way? – Mud Dec 11 '13 at 13:12

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