Utility to undelete files?

Discussion in 'iPad Help' started by The_Eck, May 30, 2011.

  1. The_Eck
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    The_Eck iPF Novice

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    Yesterday I unfortunately tried to add a few PDF books to my iPad2 and in the process iTunes managed to trash all my previously-downloaded books (and Music and Photos!).

    As with the Mac, I don't think that the actual data are erased but rather a flag is set that indicates a trashed file. Therefore, I figure that there might be some utility available for either the Mac or the iPad that will search for deleted files and attempt to resurrect them.

    Any ideas on the availability of such a utility?

    Thanks!
  2. ipfuser55
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    ipfuser55 iPad Junkie

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    When you say iTunes "trashed" your files, are you sure you have not ticked ( or unpicked) boxes that relate to apps and files you have lost?

    Try starting iTunes, and before you connect your iPad, check the following:

    Auto sync is off

    Sync apps automatically is also off

    Now connect your iPad, and browse through each category. ( apps, photos, music, video) and tick the boxes that represent the ones you wish to copy back to your iPad.

    When you are sure you have them all selected, hit " apply" ( same as sync) and hopefully all will be returned to normal.

    Post back with results :)

    Sent from my iPad using iPF
  3. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    There are indeed apps like that for the Mac, but I doubt you need one.

    If Vintages excellent advice does not do the trick, then maybe the following will help.

    First, iTunes won't delete files from it's own library without sending them to the Trash, which then has to be emptied. So if you accidentally deleted them, look there.

    If the files just disappeared from the iTunes library, chances are they are still on the computer. iTunes just lost track of them. It uses a database file that tells it where files are stored, and that can get corrupted. This does not corrupt the original file, just makes it hard to find.

    You can use Spotlight to try and find the missing files, then add them to iTunes again.

    Or you can try rebuilding the library.

    I wouldn't do either though until I had a good back up. When tinkering with the guts of a database, much can go wrong.

    Here is an Apple Support article that may help.

    iTunes: How to re-create your iTunes library and playlists
  4. The_Eck
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    The_Eck iPF Novice

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    Thanks Vintage90 and Twerppoet, for your comments and suggestions. They've been helpful and educational.

    Let me clarify things a bit: When I mentioned that iTunes had trashed these files, what happened was that I used a new (to me) Mac Print Service that would print a page (say a web page or a text doc) directly to iTunes as a PDF, accessible under the standard Mac PDF option in the print menu. When I next connected my iPad, I checked in iTunes to see if those five "printed to iTunes" PDFs were there. They were but they didn't appear on on iPad when I did a sync. Later I decided to click the dreaded "Sync Books" option, which properly warned me that things might be deleted. Before I knew it, I clicked the "go ahead" option and *zip*! all my books and music were gone, except for the five new ones.

    Further, up until later I had never done a backup - in fact, I didn't even know about it until reading other threads on this forum. So there were no files to be found elsewhere, which is why I originally posted this thread.

    So it now appears that there is no way to "undelete" those trashed files. I can live with that and I figure it's a lesson worth learning.

    Fortunately nothing was truly lost as those 40 or 50 books were in a folder that I created called "Copied to iPad" and I just recopied them. The music, of course, was till in my iTunes library. The only things I have to wonder about are the dozen or so non-book PDFs that I'd copied to the iPad for later reading. Certainly they're on my Mac but I just have no idea which ones of thousands that I put there. I'll find them eventually.

    Thanks again for the tips.
  5. twerppoet
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    twerppoet iPad Legend

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    No problem.

    Sounds like the books you lost (temporarily) were on the iPad, but never in the iTunes library. If they were in iBooks then right clicking on the iPad under the Devices list and choosing Transfer Purchases should copy them to iTunes. It will also copy music that was purchased on the iPad, as long as it was done in the iTunes app.

    Depending on how you got the Books in to the iPad this may not always work, so it's a good idea to look over the Books library in iTunes to see if they got transferred.

    Book purchased in the iBooks Store can be downloaded again for free. There is even a Purchased section in the store that will let you know what books you've bought, and which ones can be installed again.

    I'd forgo the Print to iTunes app you used. Instead just drag books into iTunes the next time you want them there. Much less likely to cause problems.

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