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How I recovered some accidentally deleted files

I was just reading how Matt Cutts had had some issues with his backup server and it reminded me that someone may be interested in a couple of recent occurrences where my backups saved my bacon (well actually not quite that serious, but it would have required me to do a lot of extra work to get things back to where they were supposed to be).

I while back I decided to install Carbonite. As I mentioned before, it was an extraordinary efficient process and is very easy to use. Carbonite is a backup service that runs in the “cloud” (i.e. somewhere on the Web and thus not subject to power outages at your home/office) that Matt talks about.

Recently I made 2 stupid mistakes by deleting files I needed in my haste to get things done. One of the mistakes was particularly daft. I had created a directory a while ago called Delete-Me. The directory was supposed to be a temporary staging area for files I would probably not need, but they could sit there until I deleted them. If I decided I did need them, they might still be there. For some strange reason I decided to store a very important file that I use multiple times a day in this area. The file is automatically opened by the application that uses it – and so I had forgotten where it was.

A few days ago I decided to clear some disk space and DeleteMe seemed like a good candidate.

The next time I opened my important application, its storage file was GONE.

I quickly realized that there may be a chance that the file in question might still be in my Carbonite backup. Praise God, it was! I presume that Carbonite leaves files in its backup for a period of time, prior to deleting them. I immediately put Carbonite in restore mode (i.e. it stops the backup) and copied the files from the Carbonite backup drive (somewhere in the “cloud”) to my PC. Everything is fine.

This was definitely a God thing because if I hadn’t opened my application when I did, Carbonite might have eventually deleted the file that I needed.

P.S. Len Pallazola of Carbonite kindly clarified (see below) that Carbonite actually retains files for 30 days precisely because of the sort of issues I had. So Carbonite is even better than I thought!