SOLVED Recycle Bin will not open


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Greetings,
This is my first visit to this forum. Apologies if I am on the wrong thread.
My system: Windows 7 Ultimate fully updated; Ram 16 Gb; plenty of unused storage; latest Asus Mainboard Asus F2-A85v Pro; AMD A8 5600K Processor; I TB Sata 3 Hard Drive.
My Recycle Bin (on the Desk Top) has suddenly become unopenable, and the “Empty Recycle Bin” box next to it on the desk top has disappeared. The only clue I have to this is that it followed a very major clear out of unwanted files and photographs from the computer and from my digital SLR camera. I shoot all photo files as Raw, so thetemporary load on the recycle bin can be heavy – something I shall have to watch in future.
It may be something to do with exceeding the authorised maximum size of the recycle bin, which I see from right-clicking on its properties is set at 7042 MB. I have read somewhere that when the maximum is reached the deleted files are deleted, but instead of being accepted into the recycle bin, go off somewhere else.
Some of the lost files I wish to restore.
I would appreciate any suggestions on how to put all this right. Is it matter for a professional?
Thanks in anticipation for any advice.
James
Suffolk UK
 
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TrainableMan

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Once the recycle bin reaches the maximum you have set, then when you delete another file it is hidden away and the older "deleted" files HD sectors are marked as "free". Free sectors could be overwritten at any time by any file that gets written to the hard drive for any reason. So some of your older files may be gone for good if they were overwritten.

So you should get a file recovery program and recover as much as you can immediately. Here is an e-How article on file recovery. It includes links for several free recovery programs.
 
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Hallo, Trainable Man,

Thanks very much for your mega-fast reply.

I have downloaded one of the free recovery programs you mentioned, and ordered a suitable USB flash drive. I will, when ready, concentrate first on recovering the deleted files. Next, I shall want to get the recycle bin back to normal - but I will tackle how to do that later.

James H
Suffolk UK
 

TrainableMan

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Well the problem is that every time you use that computer you may be over-writing portions of the deleted files. Files are stored in sectors and so the larger a file is the more sectors it needs and if only one of those sectors gets overwritten then the entire file becomes unrecoverable. If you have automatic updates turned on then those updates will download and could overwrite the "freed" sectors, really anything you do or anything the computer automatically does could use those sectors. For that reason your best chance of recovery is to not use that computer for anything until you recover your files.
 
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Thanks,
I will endeavour to do that. The files were deleted from disk J, a brand new 1TB addition with almost nothing on it, apart from the ones now deleted. There is plenty of spare space on all the other disks too. So would that reduce the chances of loss by subsequent use of the computer? Probably not - just clutching at straws!

James H
 

TrainableMan

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Actually yes it would. If your OS is on a separate drive then all temp files, windows update files, etc will all, when using default settings, go to that OS drive. So the only things you purposely send to J: will overwrite sectors there.

You can change those default locations for temp files, etc. with registry edits but it is highly unlikely you did, so in this case, yes J: is pretty safe.

Just personally refrain from saving/updating files on your J: drive. Accessing them is fine but even an update may require new sectors if the file gets bigger.
 
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Thanks very much - encouraging. I'll just keep taking the pills too, though.

James H
 
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Hallo Trainable Man,

A long silence, because I have been trying a program to recover my deleted files. The Trial Version of the one I used (very enthusiastically reviewed) quickly produced a list of deleted files, including the ones I want. So I purchased it in order to be able to open them. Thereafter much patience was needed as it took 10 hours (honestly) to complete. The result was a complete blank. I am discussing this with the company. Meanwhile I tried the trial version of another program, with exactly the same result - a list of files including the ones I want, and a reference to their being in a Recycle Bin somewhere. So I have confirmed that the files are there somewhere.

While I wait for the company I purchased from to comment, it occurs to me that perhaps the approach now needed is first to find a way of opening the desk top recycle bin, which no longer works.

Have you any suggestions, please.

Many thanks,

James H
 

TrainableMan

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You could start by trying the Microsoft Fix-it for files and folders.

The most likely cause is a corrupt recycle bin. There is a command to clear it but it will permanently delete the recycle bin and recreate it. Because of that you don't want to try this part until you have recovered your files.
In Start>all programs>accessories right-click on "command prompt" and choose "run as administrator".
In the command window type:
rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin
and do the same for your other drive letters too, example:
rd /s /q J:\$Recycle.bin
 
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Thank you Trainable man,

I tried the Microsoft Fix-it. It ran immediately and reported that it had fixed the Recycle Bin problem. But when I clicked to open it, it was the same as before i.e it opened with a full screen page headed Recycle Bin and listing everything on the computer - just as you get if you click on Windows Explorer on the Task Bar.

So I am back to Square One and I think that the sensible thing to do is probably to forget about the lost files and concentrate on getting the Recycle Bin working again, even though that means losing everything on it.

So the only next step is to use the rd /s /q C:\$Recycle.bin formula on all the drives?

Thanks for your patience. I hold myself 100% responsible!

Best wishes,

James
 

TrainableMan

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Yes, I would try recreating the recycle bins from an elevated (Administrator) command prompt.

After you run that I would probably still try recovering the files via the software you bought; nothing to loose by trying one last time.
 
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Thanks very much. I am taking this very cautiously. I got to the Command Window, which showed
Recycle Bin.PNG
Recycle Bin.PNG

Actually, it only showed the first of the two system32 entries, with a small white line immediately after it. Taking that to be the way to get the access to inserting the first link you gave me I clicked on Enter, but that simply caused the first existing entry to repeat itself, as you can see.

I am very wary of any further clicking at random. Can you suggest how I now get rid of the second entry and type in the first link you quoted?

Thanks .
James
 

TrainableMan

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It is just a command line prompt. If you just hit enter it merely prompts you again so there is no need to make it go away but you can type CLS and hit enter to clear the command screen if it annoys you.
 
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Thank you very much. I got through OK, but the reply was negative. That seems to mean that the Recycle Bin has somehow already been deleted? That is surprising as several of the free scans found a lot of deleted files which I thought were in the C Recycle Bin. It's a challenging life!



Recycle Bin 2.PNG


James H
 

TrainableMan

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The recycle bin is really just a folder full of pointers to "deleted" files so the sectors that make up the files may still be on the harddrive. When stuff is deleted it isn't really erased, the sectors are merely marked as available and at some point new data may overwrite those sectors. If they have not been overwritten then that software you bought could potentially recover them.

Did you also run that command on the J:\$Recycle.bin ? If not then try to run it on J: too. And don't forget you have to right-click on command prompt and choose "run as administrator", it will not work properly if you are not running with elevated (Administrator) privileges.
 
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Recycle C.JPG


Many thanks. I tried this with and without the rd/s/q/ at the beginning. Both were rejected, as shown above. I sense that we are close, but I may have typed something wrongly. I hope I am not beginning to sound like the member from Hell!

Best wishes,

James H
 
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TrainableMan

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There is no slash (/) before the J:, it must be a space. And you must have rd. RD is the actual Remove Directory command. /s says remove all subdirectories, /q says without confirmation; both are parameters for the RD command. So it should be
RD /s /q <space> J:\$Recycle.bin

In your previous post, regarding the C: drive, that command was entered correctly and was accepted but it simply replied that the file was not there.
 
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Recycle 4.JPG


I tried it with the amendments. The first attempt was as above, with RD and a space; then for luck I tried it again with rd, with exactly the same result as above. Perhaps the files really have disappeared. In which case I am starting to have fears about needing a complete re-install of Windows 7 Ultimate. It was only completely reinstalled a few weeks ago following update of the main board, which was highly successful until my Recycle bin disappeared (only an unusable icon remains on the desktop). Have you any thoughts on this?

With many thanks for your amazing patience.

James
 

TrainableMan

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OK, the point of this RD recycle bin was not about the deleted files, it was to get rid of the recycle bin folders so that the OS would recreate them and your recycle bin would, hopefully, start working properly again. As for your files, your only chance of getting them back is with recovery software, like you purchased.

So I guess now is a good time to delete something and then see if the Recycle bin is working properly. If it doesn't then, yeah, it's probably time to consider a reinstall.
 
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Hallo Trainable Man,

I deleted a few files on disk J, and then clicked on the previously dead Recycle Bin – and it opened, showing the files I had just deleted from Disk J, but none of the many original ones (which have presumably been lost). It also offered the choice of deleting or restoring them, which had not been available before. The only explanation seems to be that the formulae which you gave me to try as a last hope actually had worked without saying so, since before that the Recycle bin desktop icon was dead.
So I now have an empty but working Recycle Bin. As you suggested, it may now be possible to find any other remaining deleted files on other disks. I will check that before resuming normal deleting.
So thanks you very much indeed for your generous advice, and in particular for your patience.
Best wishes,
James H

PS Windows 7 moves in mysterious ways, its wonders to perform...
 

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