I don't think there's a way to recover lost Photoshop data, save for restoring from a backup or something like Time Machine snapshots or Windows 8's File History. When you save/close your document Photoshop clears the auto-saved data out.
Don't feel bad, I've made the same mistake before.
One thing I find invaluable is a nightly system image backup. That, plus the generation of Restore Points can facilitate the use of Windows 7's "Previous Versions" feature. Depending on where you saved the (overwritten) PSD file, there might be some hope...
- Open Windows Explorer and navigate to the folder where you saved the overwritten .PSD file.
- Right-click it and choose Properties.
- Click the Previous Versions tab along the top.
Are any previous versions listed (it may take a few moments to show them)? If so, you can recover them, which will replace the file with the one recovered. Make sure you have saved a copy of the current version first, assume you need it.
Autorecover only works it you have a crash.
If you close the file all the temp work files are also deleted.
Thanks for your feedback. There was a tiny bit of hope in the "Previous Versions" feature you mentioned. Sadly, there are no previous versions of that file. I'll also take your backup advice into practice.
Luckily, it won't be too hard to recreate the file I had originally created, I'll just be more careful the next time around!
One thing I have personally taken away from this forum, is to periodically save a big project with new names. In fact I have very nearly messed up more than once by overwriting a good version of a saved document with a bad one.
Same thing applies to backups. Shadow Protect makes 15 minute incremental backups, but I don't have a routine system of rotating backups, so could find myself with a bad version in the back up as well. So I try to bypass this by manually backing up my currebt projects folder to a different location at least once a day.
I seem to have lost more than my share of disk drives in the last few years, and some of it my own fault. But the bottom line is I haven't lost a jot of data despite that, and was even able to carry on with minimume inconvenience when my main system was out of commission for more than two weeks recently, by simply attaching my USB3 external backup drives to my laptop.
Shadow Protect cost me $100, and USB3 externals are both fast and relatively cheap nowadays. I don't even want to think about the consequence of loosing data.
If you haven't closed the file where would you find the temp files?