If files are lost using a cut and paste operation in Windows 10, e.g. due to a system crash, where do I find the files?

A friend of mine recently lost really important files due to cut and pasting onto a usb drive and then not ejecting the usb drive correctly.

I tried locating the files on his system but could not find them.

Is it really the case that Windows does just delete the files from the source directory before ensuring that they are moved to the target directory successfully? If so, how do I disable the cut and paste functionality as I consider it to be a seriously messed up bug then.

  • Cut and paste does delete the file from the original file location once copied to the new location. You could try file recovery software to recover the file from the original location but if the space originally occupied by the file is written on by a part of a new file then unless you have a good recovery program you are unlikely to get it back. – Chris Rogers Jan 13 '17 at 22:40
  • 2
    It's not the cutting and pasting that is at fault, but the failure to close the USB drive, and there's nothing you can do to prevent someone pulling out a USB drive without ejecting. As @Chris says, cut and paste does not delete the source file until the target has been written, but write caching for performance means that all the data may not be posted to the drive until it is ejected. If they're important files, he'll have back-up copies. If he hasn't, then he has only himself to blame. It's just possible that the source files went into the Recycle Bin on deletion - worth a check. – AFH Jan 13 '17 at 23:12
  • "Is it really the case that Windows does just delete the files from the source directory before ensuring that they are moved to the target directory successfully?" - No; The copy procedure finished successfully, and Windows verified that happen, the file corruption was caused the user when they didn't the removable drive. – Ramhound Jan 13 '17 at 23:46
  • @Ramhound If windows has still not finished copying the data onto the stick it should have still not deleted from the source directory. I just somehow hoped that windows maybe has some sort of temporary directory where it stores files that have just been deleted during cut paste. I mean what kind of philosophy is that: If I right click and then delete a file it is moved to the recycle bin first, really annoying as the delete is obviously intentional. But misclicking Ctr+C with Ctrl+x just deletes without warning? – logical x 2 Jan 14 '17 at 13:27

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