Python and lost files

Carl Banks pavlovevidence at
Fri Oct 2 00:52:37 CEST 2009

On Sep 30, 11:35 pm, "Timothy W. Grove" <tim_gr... at> wrote:
> Recently I purchased some software to recover some files which I had
> lost. (A python project, incidentally! Yes, I should have kept better
> backups!) They were nowhere to found in the file system, nor in the
> recycle bin, but this software was able to locate them and restore them.

I could have used that yesterday, if it were able to work for a
network Samba drive.  (Yeah, not likely.)

> I was just wondering if there was a way using python to view and recover
> files from the hard drive which would otherwise remain lost forever?

Obviously, if that program was able to do it, it's possible.

On Unix-like OSes, and probably others, it's possible to read the raw
data on a disk the same way as you would read any file.  So Python can
do it without any system-level programming.  Recent versions (I think
2.6+) can use mmap, too, now that it supports an offset parameter.

I don't think you can do that in Windows, though.  I think you'd have
to use special system calls (via ctypes, for example).

Carl Banks

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