Update: Get Free Tips - File Recovery in Windows

I have Windows XP installed on my computer. Recently, I lost an entire folder full of downloaded programs and files totaling about 400 MB. This happened when the system converted the entire folder into a single file of just 8 kilobytes during its subsequent bootup. I haven't made any backups of these files and I've even tried using Windows System Restore to recover that file, but to no avail. Unfortunately, I also uninstalled Norton Anti-virus a week ago (Im assuming that might have helped me recover my lost folder). The converted file is still there and Ive also retained my temporary Internet files. Please tell me if theres any hope of me recovering my lost files using a third party utility.

It looks like you lost your folder to a cross linking error. This could be due to several reasons a virus attack, a hard disk error resulting from a power failure or incorrect restart, a rogue program, etc. When this happens, the reference to the folder on your hard disk gets corrupted (its entry in the File Allocation Table) due to which the address information of the folder is lost.

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