External Hard Drive - Large File with no Extension created upon delete?

I deleted a whole bunch of pictures and music about a month ago from my external hard drive. I was unsuccessful recovering the files using Recuva and other programs. I noticed that a large 21GB file with no extension was created on the root directory, time-stamped with the date/time I deleted the folder. Any way to recover individual files from this giant file? Does it actually contain clusters of my deleted files or is it just some kind of giant block of nothing?

Windows 7
Toshiba External HardDrive 250GB, NTFS
60GB used out of 250GB

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  1. Best answer
    One of the main problems with a recovery program is that it relies on the fact that when any data was deleted from the drive, that it was not used after the deletion.

    All deletion does on a hard drive is flags the sectors, where the information was to say data can be written to or over righted with new information to it.
    Once it is overwritten with new information. then the existing deleted files cannot be recovered.

    The file contains a raw image of the drive in binary.
    And has to be re written back to the drive in order to reclaim the information.
    You normally use the program in question open the image file with it and tell it to write it to another drive to gain access to the files.

    You should then be able to read the files it recovered.
    Always use another drive or a blank one/ formatted to retrieve the files. Or at least a partitioned drive to write the image created back to a drive.
    You cannot perform the action of writing a image file back to the same HD as it will wipe the image file in the process of reverting the drive to it`s former status.
    It has to be written to another drive or partition, or it will overwrite the image file it is using to restore the drive. Leading to a deadlock.

    The contents of what the program recovers should then be seen.
    If the image of the reclaimed drive information is placed on another drive or partition of the drive.
  2. Shaun O

    Thanks for the post and info.
    I attempted to open the File using disk image recovery utilities but kept getting an "invalid file header" error, leading me to believe I'm either using the wrong programs or it is not a disk image file.

    any other help or ideas would be greatly appreciated!

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