Merger deleted all my history files

Jun 24, 2011 at 4:16 PM

All my logs were saved in:

My received files\EMAIL\

I made a folder named Merger here, and copy-pasted one from the previousmentioned folder into the new folder, and then placing the secondary history file into a new folder named New.

My received files\EMAIL\Merger\ < Original file here >

My received files\EMAIL\Merger\New <The one I wanted to merge it with here >

I wanted the merge to be created in My Received Files\email\Merger\Merged

 

I hit Merge, was given a warning that they would be deleted.. the alternative was cancelling it. I hit Yes, and now everything down to and including the EMAIL folder is deleted.

They didn't end up in the trashcan, which is the worst part :( I guess  I can't get them back now?

Coordinator
Jun 25, 2011 at 1:29 AM

Hi,

First, sorry that you have lost information. I tried to ensure such issues will not happen, but obviously, there might be some problem I'm not aware of.

Let me ensure I fully understand your actions. The merger utility has 3 browsable fields pointing to folders:

  • Origin Folder 1: you mapped this field to My received files\EMAIL\Merger which contains history files.
  • Origin Folder 2: you mapped this field to My received files\EMAIL\Merger\New which contains history  files.
  • Merged Folder: you mapped this field to My Received Files\email\Merger\Merged which should be empty and its content will be deleted during the operation.

You then hit "Merge" and the application removed all content from My received files\EMAIL\. Is that correct? Are you absolutely sure you inserted the exact values as the one I'm using here in the purple font?

If the answer is yes, i.e., you used the exact same values, down to the slashes, then you indeed have found a bug and I'll try to fix it. Could you send over the log file generated by the app?

If the answer is no, please detail what folder paths you've used.

 

I may be wrong here, but I suspect that both fields "Folder 1" and "Merged Folder" were pointing to the same folder My received files\EMAIL\Merger which explains the symptom you've described.

 

As for recovering the files, I'd suggest using an undelete tool such as recuva to recover your files. Please note that the less you use the HDD from which the files were deleted, the more probable you're to successfully recover the deleted files.

Jun 25, 2011 at 7:29 AM

The names I used for the folders weren't the ones I listed here. I renamed them for you to keep a better track of.

I created the Merged folder as I was about to merge the files (made it before hitting "Merge" on the program), so that folder was empty, and it was not the same folder as where Origin 1 or 2 were leading.

History files are in: (Removing the last 4 digits of the email folder, not sure if they mean anything)

C\Documents and settings\Preben Olsen\My Documents\My Received Files\prebenolsen90155971

I had already used the Merger program before, so in this folder, I had a folder named \Caroline, where I kept an already existing successfull merged-history-log.

I tried to Merge this history-log, with an untouched (hadn't been merged before) log from my laptop computer, sent via mail. This file was copied from my "Downloads" folder and pasted into Caroline\New

The merged files were supposed to end up into \Caroline\Merged

The following folders and all its files were deleted: Merged, New, Caroline and prebenolsen90155971, deleting absolutely all history logs. Luckily I had a copy of the successfully merged file on my computer, and I the new-history file was still in my "Downloads" folder, but I did lose my other contact logs as well as logs from the last month with Caroline.

 

I already tried to use Uneraser and PC Inspector File Recovery, none of which could find any of the missing files... Trying Recuva now, using the deep scan mode because it didn't find anything in the first 10 second scan.

Jun 26, 2011 at 12:18 AM

Having no luck finding anything so far.. Would really love to get certain history logs back.. :(

Coordinator
Jun 26, 2011 at 1:03 AM
Edited Jun 27, 2011 at 12:46 AM

Hi,

Again, apologies for your loss of information. I wish I could help you recover those files, but unfortunately, if recurva didn't succeed, I'm not sure how I can be of any assistance.

I would however like to repair any existing issues so that other people won't lose their important files.

I tried to understand what you did, but I'm having some real difficulties here - could you please walk me through the process one more time?

I understand you have 4 different folders - can you please evaluate my understanding that you had these 4 folders:

  • C:\Documents and settings\Preben Olsen\My Documents\My Received Files\prebenolsen90155971xxxx, let's call this folder prebenolsen90155971xxxx from now on. This folder is configured in the messenger to hold the history files created by messenger.
  • C:\Documents and settings\Preben Olsen\My Documents\My Received Files\prebenolsen90155971xxxx\Caroline, let's call this folder Caroline from now on. This folder contains a merged copy of many history files.
  • C:\Documents and settings\Preben Olsen\My Documents\My Received Files\prebenolsen90155971xxxx\Caroline\New, let's call this folder New from now on. This folder contains many history files from a different machine to be merged.
  • C:\Documents and settings\Preben Olsen\My Documents\My Received Files\prebenolsen90155971xxxx\Caroline\Merged, let's call this folder Merged from now on. This is where the merged output files should be created.
    A question: did this last folder (Merged) already exist and had content, or was it a folder that didn't exist and the utility was supposed to create it during the merging operation?

Could you please pair the utility fields with the folders you used? In other words, could you fill up this field-to-folder mapping:

  • Origin Folder 1 was mapped to the folder: [prebenolsen90155971xxxx|Caroline|New|Merged] (select one, but I assume this was mapped to prebenolsen90155971xxxx)
  • Origin Folder 2 was mapped to the folder: [prebenolsen90155971xxxx|Caroline|New|Merged] (select one, but I assume this was mapped to New)
  • Merged Folder was mapped to the folder: I assume this was mapped to the Merged folder.

 

Look, I did some tests mimicking  the conditions you mentioned and I cannot reproduce the loss of information you experienced, so I really need your help here to understand what happened and fix the problem.

Jun 29, 2011 at 1:19 AM

I've been trying like mad to reproduce the error, but I can't seem to do it either.. I was preparing a nice screenshot of how my folders and the files were lined up, and when I was expecting the error to occur again, it didn't delete the files. 
But for the sake of the error might showing up again, I'll write down as detailed as I possibly can to describe everything.

My history log with Caroline had already succeeded the maximum file size allowed (~5mB),so I was asked to move the log to another folder to make room for a new one.
Later on, the new file was growing big (reaching roughly 4.5 mB), so I decided to use your program to merge the two. That went successfully.

I have two computers. The first two logs (~9.5 mB) were used on my stationary. Then I began using my laptop, continuing my conversations with Caroline. After a while, I wanted to merge the logs yet again.
I sent the new log from my laptop via mail to my stationary. 

Folders: Underline, Files: Bold
In the prebenolsen90... folder, is where MSN automaticly saves my logs. In this folder, I made a new one called Caroline.
In the Caroline folder, I placed the already merged history file. I believe this one was named  Caroline... - Archive, automaticly renamed Archive after the merge, I believe?
I created two more folders within Caroline , one being named New and the other Merged.
In New, placed the secondary, never before "touched" (merged) file named Caroline... 
The Merged folder was created by me, before the merge, and not by the program, although I have tried to allow the program to create folders, and it does so successfully.

Origin 1 was set to prebenolsen90...\Caroline
Origin 2 was  set to prebenolsen90...\Caroline\New
Merged was set to prebenolsen90...\Caroline\Merged

I've learnt that if the file names aren't the same, the files won't merge, but simple be copied into the destinated Merge-folder. 

And don't worry about the logs. Caroline sent hers over to me :) I hope that won't cause any problems when I'm merging hers with my new ones (the ones yet to come)... ? 

Coordinator
Jun 30, 2011 at 1:17 AM

First, good to hear you have your conversations back! :)

I followed the exact steps you did and, just like you, I too couldn't reproduce the issue, so I'm not sure how I'm going to progress in fixing it....

 

Anyway, some information you may find useful: the "- Archive" suffix is created by messenger itself when files grow to a particular size, and although the merger utility doesn't natively support these archived files, a manual workaround can be provided, e.g., by manually renaming the files and removing the " - Archive" suffix before merging (see this discussion for more information).

 

As for merging your history files with Caroline's, well I'll be honest here and tell you I have no idea how the merger utility will handle that. The merger utility was created to merge files originated from the same logged-in user, and the scenario you're describing was never tested. It may work, and it may not work I really can't say without further testing. So the safest approach four you would be to create a backup of all the files you're about to merge, and only then progress with the merging. Also, I'd recommend duplicating the folder mapped to the Origin 1 Origin 2 fields and work on these new duplicated folders, rather than the files in the prebenolsen90 folder. You know, better safe than sorry...