Can you connect ArcCatalog to the Recycle Bin on the desktop?
I deleted (not using ArcCatalog) a folder which contained several shapefiles and .gpx files for a non-work related project that I thought I would never need again, but unfortunately I may have to track it down. These shapefiles are unique enough that I would be able to recognize it using the Preview window in ArcCatalog.
From what I have read , the Recycle Bin is a hidden directory but there are ways to show what is within the directory. I am able to connect to c:\$Recycle.Bin using ArcCatalog, but it appears to be empty and I am not sure how happy the IT department would be if I did what was recommended in that link.
It is possible to create a new folder and drag the folders from the Recycle Bin into it and search that way, but I have a feeling I may need to do this a few more times in the future due to reckless file deletion in the past. Also, many of the folders have the same name, and some of the folders within the Recycle Bin are massive, so it would be a time consuming process.
By doing what the article suggested and making the Recycle Bin and its contents visible in Windows Explorer, making a connection to the Recycle Bin in ArcCatalog, then making the Recycle Bin not visible again, the connection to the Recycle Bin in ArcCatalog remained.