were do files restored from the recycle bin go to

i restored a file from my recycle bin and can't find it any more. the original file destination is not available in c:\windows
Files and folders are restored to their original locations http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Recover-files-from-the-Recycle-Bin.  If you can't see it, it may be hidden.  Go to Start / Control Panel / Folder Options / View / and check the box to show hidden and system files (and while you're there uncheck the box to hide extensions of known file types).

If the original location is not available (the entire path has been deleted), I'm not quite sure where the files go - I don't think they can recreate their full path but it is possible.  You can do a FULL search to try to find it (it's different to do it in Vista than it was in XP so I've explained it below).

To search the entire C: drive in Vista go to Start / Search Box and type in ‘<filename> or <foldername>’.  As you're typing you'll see two hyperlinks appear just above where you're typing and one will say Search Everywhere.  Click on that.  That will do a quick indexed search and bring up a dialog box (you may see the file you're looking for in the results section even though you haven't searched the entire drive so take a look).  Click on Advanced Search.  Click on the location drop down menu and find Drive C: (or whatever drive you're searching) and click on it. Check the box "include non-indexed, hidden, and system files (may be slow)."  Then click on Search.  You will now be searching your entire hard drive for the specified file.  And yes, it's not a very efficient way of searching the entire drive for a file but that's how it's done in Vista.

Just a hint, but it's generally not a good idea to delete any files from the C:\Windows directory (with the possible exception of .tmp files if there are any in the main directory and not all in C:\Windows\Temp).  Those are your system files and even one deletion can affect how your system operates (or doesn't operate).  If you did it in error and are trying to fix the problem from the recycle bin that's fine and a good idea.  I'm quite certain C:\Windows still exists (or your system wouldn't be working) so why do you suggest that the original file destination is not available?  Do you just mean you can't find the file there?  The search process above should locate the file.  It may not be filed alphabetically at first - it may go to the bottom or top of the listing so be sure you check it entirely before deciding it isn't there.

What is the file name of this file?  Some files may affect the ability of the system to see them (they may be "double-hidden") and even checking show hidden files isn't enough.  Also, it takes time for the index to recognize the new files so only the above FULL search can find them (the regular search uses the index to make it faster but it takes time for the index to be rebuilt and even then it doesn't show everything as it did in XP).

I hope this helps.

Good luck!

Lorien - One - MCSE/MCSA/Network+/A+

57 people were helped by this reply


Did this solve your problem?

Sorry this didn't help.

Great! Thanks for marking this as the answer.

How satisfied are you with this reply?

Thanks for your feedback, it helps us improve the site.

How satisfied are you with this response?

Thanks for your feedback.


Question Info

Last updated September 28, 2020 Views 121,462 Applies to: