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Recover Offline Files in Windows XP

Below is a question asked by a blog reader regarding recovering offline files from the d* directories. I am writing this as a separate post assuming that it will be useful to others also.

“Is there a way to recover offline files without the original index database?

Here’s the situation… we had a tech accidentally delete a user’s offline file cache using CSCCMD /DELETE. He was not very familiar with the CSCCMD usage.

We recovered the majority of the files in C:WINDOWSCSCd1,d2,d3…d8 using a deleted file recovery software.

(FYI, he was attempting to do this because the user was concerned that his machine was not sync’ing and had many files that his only copy was local)

However, the files in the root of C:WINDOWSCSC named 00000001, 00000002, etc. were not recoverable, because they were modified, not deleted. Our recovery software only retrieved deleted files. I am assuming the files in the root of C:WINDOWSCSC are the indexes of what files are contained in the sub directories.

I tried moving the d1-d8 folders to another CSC directory on another Windows XP machine, hoping it might rebuild the database.

I’ve tried CSCCMD /checkdb, /enum, etc, but nothing seems to ‘rebuild’ the index.

So, my question is… is there a tool to re-scan the CSC sub directories and rebuild its index? “

Answer is below.

It is not possible to rebuild the index. But you can recover the original files with little pain. The files in the d1 to d8 directories are nothing but the actual files without file extension. So if you rename them with proper extension then you will be able to get the original files.

In case if the share had files of only one type say doc files then your job will be easy. Rename all the files in d1 to d8 with doc extension and try opening them. In case if you had files of various types then you will have to follow trial and error approach with each file type.

One more thing is some of the files in these directories represent the folders of the network share. They will not be of any use in the recovery process.

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