It's all too easy to accidentally delete an important file, then waste hours diligently working to replace it. But deleted files aren't always as they appear, and lost files can usually be found with a little help from Restoration.

1. Windows XP has no built-in facilities for undeleting files, but there are precautionary measures you can take. Don’t use Shift, Del to instantly erase files – it bypasses the last-chance Recycle Bin. You can also download Restoration (on our DVD or from snapfiles.com) and save it on a USB drive.

Step 1

Step 1

2. If you mistakenly delete a file, don’t copy anything (or install any programs) on to the drive it was on, and don’t run any programs that use a disk-based swap file. You might overwrite the file you’re trying to recover. Instead, plug in your USB key and run Restoration from there. Your options are listed on the right.

Step 2

Step 2

3. Select the drive containing the lost file using the selector on the right. Click Search Deleted Files and wait for Restoration to find your undeleted files. Partway through the search, the program asks ‘Do you want to scan vacant clusters?’ Hit No, unless you want to search the drive surface for file fragments.

Step 3

Step 3