XP's system restore restores the operating system to a prior state.
Sadly this can result in overwriting recently deleted files.
Why this matters is to get the best chance of file recovery you remove the drive the moment you find you need to recover files or "data."
I pull the drive into some external USB connection and use titles like:
ZERO ASSUMPTION RECOVERY
We NEVER install these on the hard disk we need to get files back from.
Yesterday my wife's daughter (not the most computer savey person) was downloading photos from her cameras memory card to Sierra Imaging/Image Expert (an imaging program I have used for 10 years with no problems). Now, for some odd reason, all folders and image files have vanished. The root folder: "C:\Image Expert Images" is still there, all sub folders (which contained 1000+ photos are gone. I checked "properties" for the folder "C:\Image Expert Images" and it says it was created yesterday! It's as if the program was just loaded and no sub folders were ever created. I have searched my computer for some of the Folder and File names and they are not there. I can not imagine what she might have done to cause this. Can anyone tell me where these folders/files went and how to get them back. They were not backed-up. System restore did not work. My system is WinXP.