1,105,391 Community Members

help!! retreving lost aol emails

Member Avatar
dragonface415
Newbie Poster
1 post since Jun 2006
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
1
 

i discovered to my dismay that email from my aol file cabinet had just disappeared! i have aol 8.0 i've spoken with three techies at aol and they all say the same thing that my email has gone for good. but how can this be .... surely it must be in my hard drive somewhere? i use a toshiba laptop. i didn't or don't recall deleting these emails in my file cab. approx 1,000 in all; even by mistake. only the last weeks emails remained in the file. i thought this odd that all the others would disappear and a few remain.

how can i get them back??? help - please.

dragonface415

Member Avatar
Binary01
Newbie Poster
1 post since Oct 2006
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

I have had exactly the same thing happen. I am on aol 9.0 and have not upgraded or installed any software at all recently. Yesterday I had my 1000 odd emails on my PC and today they have vanished, leaving only 2 in my incoming mail saved on pc. Tech support were very nice but are now saying they think they are lost. Of course we know computers don't really erase things, they just lose the pointers to them.

Have you been through the hoops of looking for your old PFC file? It should just be your username (no extension) - mine was in c\docs & settings\all users\appn data\aol\c_aol 9.0\organize. You can find the location by Start, Progs, aol, aol syst info, WAOL tab - and under Data Folder you will find the location.

The support guy told me to delete all other files with extensions (things like .abi, .aby) with my screen name but under no circumstances to delete the one with just my screen name no extn. He then got me to copy the screenname only one to my desktop. Then I renamed it on the desktop to screenname.pfc. Then I signed on to aol. Then clicked (in aol) file, open, desktop then on the file with screenname.pfc, and clicked open. I browsed down and there, sadly, were NOT all my old emails, just the remaining 2 I could see already. Aaargh.

When I booted up my PC today, there was a Norton message, something about email but I didn't read it properly. I don't know if Norton thinks it identified a threat and somehow corrupted/wiped the file. I know it's still on the PC but guess I will need to take the pc to a specialist to try and retrieve the lost data.

I notice that no one else replied to this thread in over 3 months... but if anyone has any suggestions, would be very grateful!!

Member Avatar
'Stein
Lapsed Skeptic
1,707 posts since Jan 2006
Reputation Points: 150 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 112 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 18 [?]
Team Colleague
 
0
 

Well the one thing about file-cabneting on AOL is that you're given the option to save them to your computer, or to AOL itself. I think this is the critical point here. IF you saved to your computer, then the files should still be accessable. If they were saved to AOL, I bet they're lost.

Member Avatar
bssuthar
Newbie Poster
1 post since Mar 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

Similar thing happened to me too. Aol 9.0. Suddenly all of my saved email on my pc disappeared. I looked at the organize folder and my screenname (without extension) was there and was over 125 megs. Obviously , the data was still in there. I tried to copy the file and replace it into another organize folder onto another pc running aol and this didn't work. I tried to do the same with the backup folder without success. I upgraqded to aol 9.0 VR without success and I restored windows to an earlier date without help. I restored the pfc file through aol and this didn't work. My file is still there and its huge but no way to access it. Does anyone have a solution? I am willing to pay top dollar and take the laptop to forensics but I (a newbee) don't know any around here. Any suggestions?

Member Avatar
MidiMagic
Nearly a Senior Poster
3,404 posts since Jan 2007
Reputation Points: 556 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 215 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 2 [?]
 
0
 

DANGER:

Attempting to recover access to "lost" files stored on a remote computer or file server can actually cause those files to be lost. I have seen it hundreds of times. Here's how it happens:

1. The service (AOL, eBay, or any other ISP which stores user files for you) has a hard disk problem ,and has to reformat and restore from the backup disks.

2. As a result, the files are temporarily unavailable to the user, often without any explanation.

3. While the file restore from the backups is going on, you discover that your materials are gone.

4. You panic, and either create a new folder to replaced the lost one, or save something else to the "empty" folder.

5. The ISP's OS detects that the folder is "newly changed" since the restore process started. So it thinks you wanted it that way. Thus, it does not place the backed up files back into the folder during the restore operation.

The best thing to do if your files are missing is to LOG OFF IMMEDIATELY without changing or moving any files. Wait several hours before trying again. Then, check if the files are there before doing anything. If they are still gone, don't do anything.

Contact the ISP system administratiors to find out what is going on, preferably without using the service having the missing files to do so.

It would be nice if these ISPs notified you not to alter certain folders if they want their files restored.

Member Avatar
MidiMagic
Nearly a Senior Poster
3,404 posts since Jan 2007
Reputation Points: 556 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 215 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 2 [?]
 
0
 

On the file stored on the computer, the most likely cause is that the AOL program got disconnected from the file. This could happen if you moved folders around, renamed some files, or if a power failure interrupted writing the file.

There are then two tasks:

1. Reconnecting the file with AOL. This is usually a setting. AOL's local program needs to know the path to the file and the filename.

CAUTION: If you have been using it since then, the new emails will be lost if you reconnect the old mail file, unless you export them first.

2. If the file is damaged, it must somehow be repaired. I don't know if the software can do this or not.

It might be easier to extract the text of the old emails from the file by opening the file with a text editor and separating the emails (I have done this before). Just edit out the codes between the text. You might have to rename the file as a .txt extension to do this.

Member Avatar
fakeelvis1
Newbie Poster
3 posts since Apr 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

OFF TO A GOOD START. I WAS JUST WELCOMED TO THIS SITE. tHE REPLY PAGE SHOWS WHO SENT THE MESSAGE, THE SCREEN NAME AND THE MESSAGE. BELOW IT SAYS, SUBMIT REPLY. THERE IS NO PLACE TO PUT MY REPLY. I SIGNED UP LOOKING FOR AN ANSWER TO A PROBLEM AND THIS WEBSIGHT JUST GAVE ME ANOTHER PROBLEM ???
MY PROBLEM IS: I LOST EVERYTHING ON MY "SAVED ON PC". IT CONTAINED ALL MY PHOTOS, EMAILS, POEMS AND INFO. FROM MY 8TH GRADE REUNION A YEAR AGO. THESE MEMORIES ARE PRICELESS AND THEY JUST DISAPPEARED.
MY DAUGHTER WAS USING MY COMPUTER AS A "GUEST". AFTER A COUPLE OF MONTHS, ONE DAY IT REVERSED AND I WAS LISTED AS THE GUEST. I LOOKED ON THE SCREEN WHERE IT SAYS: RECENTLY DELETED MAIL, SAVED ON AOL AND SAVED ON PC. THE ICON FOR SAVED ON PC DISAPPEARED AND HASN`T COME BACK. I HAVE TRIED TO FIND A WAY INTO IT AND NOTHING HAPPENED.
i AM AFRAID IF I TRY TO SOMEHOW SWITCH FROM MY DAUGHTERS NAME BACK TO MINE I WILL LOSE "SAVED ON PC" FOREVER OR ALSO LOSE "SAVED ON AOL" IN THE PROCESS.
FUNNY HOW COMPUTERS ARE BOTH A BLESSING AND A CURSE!
ANY SUGGESTIONS WOULD BE APPRECIATED. THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

Member Avatar
fakeelvis1
Newbie Poster
3 posts since Apr 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

I forgot to merntion, I have AOL 9.0 Security Edition SE on my HP pavilion.

Member Avatar
MidiMagic
Nearly a Senior Poster
3,404 posts since Jan 2007
Reputation Points: 556 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 215 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 2 [?]
 
0
 

The guest login does NOT have access to your files. Only your login has access to your files, unless you make them public.

This could also explain your missing emails.

If you have irreplaceable files, MAKE BACKUPS ON 2 DIFFERENT REMOVEABLE DISKS.

Member Avatar
fakeelvis1
Newbie Poster
3 posts since Apr 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

How do I get back in without being a guest? If I do, is there a chance I might lose anything on "Saved on PC" OR "Saved on AOL" ???

Member Avatar
MidiMagic
Nearly a Senior Poster
3,404 posts since Jan 2007
Reputation Points: 556 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 215 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 2 [?]
 
0
 

Log OUT of the guest account and you should find yourself back in yours.

I am talking about a guest account on yoiur PC login, not an AOL guest account.

Member Avatar
fmsamos
Newbie Poster
1 post since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

I have AOL 9.0 SE and recently, as you all, I discovered all the mail I had saved on my PC was gone. I tried looking for it the way you recommended (start, programs...). However, once I got to the AOL System info, I looked for the WAOL tab and it doesn't exist. I have looked in pretty much every single folder in My Computer, and can't find a darn thing. Any other suggestions???
Thanks.

Amy

I have had exactly the same thing happen. I am on aol 9.0 and have not upgraded or installed any software at all recently. Yesterday I had my 1000 odd emails on my PC and today they have vanished, leaving only 2 in my incoming mail saved on pc. Tech support were very nice but are now saying they think they are lost. Of course we know computers don't really erase things, they just lose the pointers to them.

Have you been through the hoops of looking for your old PFC file? It should just be your username (no extension) - mine was in c\docs & settings\all users\appn data\aol\c_aol 9.0\organize. You can find the location by Start, Progs, aol, aol syst info, WAOL tab - and under Data Folder you will find the location.

The support guy told me to delete all other files with extensions (things like .abi, .aby) with my screen name but under no circumstances to delete the one with just my screen name no extn. He then got me to copy the screenname only one to my desktop. Then I renamed it on the desktop to screenname.pfc. Then I signed on to aol. Then clicked (in aol) file, open, desktop then on the file with screenname.pfc, and clicked open. I browsed down and there, sadly, were NOT all my old emails, just the remaining 2 I could see already. Aaargh.

When I booted up my PC today, there was a Norton message, something about email but I didn't read it properly. I don't know if Norton thinks it identified a threat and somehow corrupted/wiped the file. I know it's still on the PC but guess I will need to take the pc to a specialist to try and retrieve the lost data.

I notice that no one else replied to this thread in over 3 months... but if anyone has any suggestions, would be very grateful!!

Member Avatar
Scipio2000
Newbie Poster
5 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
-1
 

Similar thing happened to me too. Aol 9.0. Suddenly all of my saved email on my pc disappeared. I looked at the organize folder and my screenname (without extension) was there and was over 125 megs. Obviously , the data was still in there. I tried to copy the file and replace it into another organize folder onto another pc running aol and this didn't work. I tried to do the same with the backup folder without success. I upgraqded to aol 9.0 VR without success and I restored windows to an earlier date without help. I restored the pfc file through aol and this didn't work. My file is still there and its huge but no way to access it. Does anyone have a solution? I am willing to pay top dollar and take the laptop to forensics but I (a newbee) don't know any around here. Any suggestions?

The same thing happened to me just last night. Out of the blue, my emails that were "Saved on My PC", thousands of them, simply vanished! I was using AOL 9.0 SE. I have been through the hoops with AOL "tech" support and have not been able to retrieve the missing data - yet.

I contacted a company calling itself Hotpepperinc via email and just heard back from a representative regarding this issue. Here's part of what he had to say:

"The size indicates the aol client has stored a lot of information locally. Note: The EMD software will only work on files on your hard disk - not "Saved on AOL" or AOL's servers.....

The EMD software can process local files without any problems. However, sometimes a corruption by windows or the client can zero out large sections of the pfc. There is no way to determine this except by physically looking at the raw data - and making sure its not all zero's and/or running the EMD software. At this point, EMD does sound like the best way to go to retreive your data. If it's there, EMD can pull the data out directly along with any pictures. Please contact HPT in the morning to obtain the software if this is the direction you wish to go.....

There are no guarantees with EMD or what you will extract. Corrupt PFC's could be zeroed out by windows or the client etc. and thus render retrieval useless. These are extreme cases but it has been known to happen".OK, so the data seems to be there but retrieving it is the tricky part and appears that it may require paying for expensive retrival software and even then, there are no guarantees. If anyone has suggestions or has been through this before and has been able to successfully retrieve the "lost" or "corrupted" data, please feel free to weigh in. Any information or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Here's the link to hotpepperinc: www.hotpepperinc.com

PS: I have emailed several other companies and I'm awaiting their response. I'll be sure to post additonal information as soon as I hear from them.

Scipio

Member Avatar
Scipio2000
Newbie Poster
5 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

For what it's worth, here's a bit more on "Hotpepperinc" taken from their website:

AOL Forensic Software Tool


There are many tools used today by law enforcement officers for the recovery of evidence from personal computers. Leading software applications provide the investigator with a comprehensive image of a user’s computer. However, in the field of Computer Forensics, only Hot Pepper Technology provides a dedicated software tool that allows investigators to extract all email contents (including graphics) from America Online’s database stores on a user’s disk drive.

"E-Mail Detective - Forensic Software Tool" is used by law enforcement agencies in the U.S. and has become an invaluable tool in numerous investigations and data recovery by forensic examiners. The EMD application is an exceptionally quick and easy application to use. Within minutes, any AOL email that has been cached or saved on a user’s disk drive is extracted, complete with all embedded pictures. Additionally, a comprehensive report is produced that contains all the emails for a user. This report can then be instantly viewed and searched for any specific words or phrases by the investigator.

With a few simple keystrokes, the EMD application relieves the investigator from tedious searching through raw data dumps of a user’s disk drive when trying to view a user’s AOL email. AOL email data stores of all sizes - from 1 MB to 1 Gig or greater are easily processed. Combined with the ability to run the EMD application from a USB jump drive for field investigations. This makes EMD the best Tool on the Market for extracting AOL email.
If you would like to view a demo of the EMD application, obtain the user manual or be placed in touch with existing EMD users, please fill out our product information form with your request.


Member Avatar
Scipio2000
Newbie Poster
5 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

Similar thing happened to me too. Aol 9.0. Suddenly all of my saved email on my pc disappeared. I looked at the organize folder and my screenname (without extension) was there and was over 125 megs. Obviously , the data was still in there. I tried to copy the file and replace it into another organize folder onto another pc running aol and this didn't work. I tried to do the same with the backup folder without success. I upgraqded to aol 9.0 VR without success and I restored windows to an earlier date without help. I restored the pfc file through aol and this didn't work. My file is still there and its huge but no way to access it. Does anyone have a solution? I am willing to pay top dollar and take the laptop to forensics but I (a newbee) don't know any around here. Any suggestions?

Yep, I have no doubt the data is still there. How to retrieve it is the question. If you have anything more to add, please do! I attempted everything you did, including upgrading to AOL 9.0 VR with no luck. Hopefully, the data has not been corrupted and is retrievable. The question at this point is HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

My "AOL Saved PFC" folder saved as an icon on Windows reads 42.5 MB in size. When I enter it by double clicking and then double click the "organize" folder, the file (username) without an extension states 41,234 KB. I'm assuming that is where the saved emails are located.

Hopefully, someone can discover a simple solution to restoring the data as opposed to shelling out big bucks to retreive it using expensive software.

Scipio

Member Avatar
Htlebmn
Newbie Poster
3 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
-1
 

Yep, I have no doubt the data is still there. How to retrieve it is the question. If you have anything more to add, please do! I attempted everything you did, including upgrading to AOL 9.0 VR with no luck. Hopefully, the data has not been corrupted and is retrievable. The question at this point is HOW MUCH WILL IT COST?

I find it funny that we all had the same problem at the same time..a few days back i received an update for connectivity software from aol..Afterward i was unable to see any mail in my incoming mail file (sent mail and all other screenames are fine)...Weird

Member Avatar
Scipio2000
Newbie Poster
5 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

I find it funny that we all had the same problem at the same time..a few days back i received an update for connectivity software from aol..Afterward i was unable to see any mail in my incoming mail file (sent mail and all other screenames are fine)...Weird

Yep, in the words of William Shakespeare: "Something is rotten in the state of Denmark." Well, I'm working on solving this riddle and when I have a solution, I'll be sure to let everyone know. Stay tuned......

Member Avatar
Htlebmn
Newbie Poster
3 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

Please do i came across this site and registered after reading your post

Member Avatar
teazer1@hotmail
Newbie Poster
1 post since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

I find this thread interesting because I had a friend email me this morning telling me that she found all her unread email in her deleted folder this morning and she was wondering how that could have happened. I told her I would do some checking and get back to her. I stumbled upon this discussion and now will be checking back to see if the mystery was solved. She of course is using AOL.

Member Avatar
Htlebmn
Newbie Poster
3 posts since May 2007
Reputation Points: 0 [?]
Q&As Helped to Solve: 0 [?]
Skill Endorsements: 0 [?]
 
0
 

Still waiting on scipio...but i found this software which is inexpensive

http://www.connectedsw.com/Overview/57266?GoogleAol=1&gclid=CJ_NxY_KuIwCFQNrSgod5j8lNQ

You
This article has been dead for over three months: Start a new discussion instead
Post:
Start New Discussion
View similar articles that have also been tagged: