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I am a longtime Windows user, recently switched to Mac. I replaced folder with another folder (they had the same name) thinking that OS X will merge the contents of both folders. But OS X deleted the original folder and replaced it with the new one. Windows merges both the folders (I do this often in Windows). I have now lost hundreds of files. I haven't enabled Time Machine. I've tried using Finder's Undo, but that doesn't work.

Currently, I am trying to recover my data using photorec. It shows estimated time as 7 hours, 31 minutes. Does anyone know any free data recovery software that's faster and more powerful?

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Any recovery software that's any good will probably take just as long, and you'll have to download it, possibly overwriting the data you're trying to recover. –  CajunLuke Jul 9 '12 at 18:41
    
Also, OS X Lion has the option to merge folder contents like you expected. If you can, you should upgrade (after your file recovery is done). –  CajunLuke Jul 9 '12 at 18:42
    
@CajunLuke thanks for your comment. I am already using lion. The problem is merge option doesn't works if you move folders ref link –  krishnan Jul 10 '12 at 4:16
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3 Answers

Data Rescue is a long time favorite for undeleting files. It is not free, but you can download a free trial to see if the folder and files can be recreated before deciding to pay for the software or seeking professional recovery.

Similar to Windows, OS X doesn't wipe the files but instead marks the directory entries as free. As long as the files do not get overwritten (say you powered off the Mac immediately after the error was performed) you should get most of the files back. It all depends on chance that the system didn't overwrite the files as part of the normal shutdown process.

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Other than testdisk and photorec, I haven't found any free data recovery tools. I managed to reduce the recovery time in photorec by selecting only the file formats that I wanted to recover. Photorec recovered more than 5000 files but only a few were useful to me.

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FileSalvage has always been my first choice. It has a free version that allows you to see what it can recover before purchasing it.

You will find that in some cases, one app can recover more than another and in other cases, the other app is better suited. Try them all as most offer free trials and see which one works best. FileSalvage and Data Rescue are the two top ones by far though.

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Can you provide a link to the software ? –  Simon Sep 27 '13 at 16:29
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