You’ve got a sinking feeling in your gut. You were working on a text document in your web browser when suddenly you accidentally clicked the wrong button or hit the wrong key combination, and POOF, it’s all gone. I will show you how to get it all back.
Necessity is the mother of invention. If you’ve been looking for ways to recover a lost form in your web browser, you’ve likely come across a lot of unhelpful information. Certainly if you had been using one of those utilities that automatically save your work for you, you wouldn’t be searching for a how-to on getting your lost data back. This article is for you.
To recover your lost form data, you will need:
– Notepad or your favorite text editor
– A little patience
Download and install the HxD hex editor from the link above and load it up.
** In the menu bar, select Extras -> Open RAM…
** Here you will see a list of all running processes. If you lost your form data in Internet Explorer, select iexplore.exe. Or if you were using Firefox, select firefox.exe. Now hit OK.
** The hex editor will load the appropriate portion of your system’s RAM (random-access memory) that contains your lost form data. In the menu bar, select Search -> Find.
** In the Find box, enter a portion of text from the form that you lost. Here you may have to go through a little trial-and-error. If you enter just one word, you may be sorting through a lot of data to find the proverbial needle in the haystack. If you enter too many words, you may skip right over some useful form data. I recommend starting with just two words that you know were in your lost form. Each time the hex editor finds a match, it will stop. Just hit F3 on your keyboard to continue searching.
** Once you find what looks like a portion of your lost form data, copy it into your text editor. Select the text on the right-hand side, then click Edit -> Copy on the menu bar. Now paste the text into notepad or your favorite text editor.
Go back to Step 5 and continue the process until you have recovered your entire form.
Sometimes you will find almost 100% of the lost data sitting there untouched, but you will still need a little patience to piece together any missing pieces. And yes, you will probably have to retype a few words at the end. But doing it the way I have suggested will take much less time than retyping the entire form by hand.