Computer Help forum


Have I lost my files? Please help.

by akalsha / October 19, 2013 11:52 AM PDT

Hello all,

I'm hoping someone might be able to help me.

I have an HP desktop PC that's a couple years old. I was running Windows 8, until yesterday when I willy nilly decided to upgrade to 8.1. I almost had second thoughts, as sometimes it's better to wait on something like that so all the bugs can be worked out, etc.

After upgrading to 8.1, my mouse was not working. Apparently it's a widespread problem, and I think Microsoft has disabled downloads of 8.1 as they need to fix somethings.

I tried a few things, and couldn't get the mouse working, so I started looking into downgrading back to Windows 8. Apparently, the only way would be for me to to a system restore to restore it to the condition it was in out of the box with Windows 7, and then do the upgrade to 8 again.

I have two hard drives, C drive runs the operating system, and has some of my files on it. Second drive F is a 2TB drive, and I had it about half full of my files.

Like an idiot, I did not unplug drive F before doing the system restore, and for some reason the restore wrote to drive F.

After I realized what happened, I browsed to drive F to see what it looked like. The only files I can see now are the operating system files. BUT, the drive is now showing as a 900something GB drive, when it's really a 2TB drive. And, like I said, I did have it about half full of my files.

So, that leads me to believe, and hope, that my files are still there somewhere. Does anyone know if that could possibly be the case? And, if so, how to get them?

I did some searching online, and I've found all kinds of web sites selling software that claims to be able to help with this kind of thing. But, I don't want to waste money and buy some program, only to have it not work, or do even more damage.

I had a lot of pretty important files on F drive, like photos of my kids, that I didn't have backed up elsewhere. You can call me an idiot for that, too. ugh

So, what do you think? Should I start crying now?


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All Answers

Collapse -
If the files were overwritten
by glb613 / October 19, 2013 9:31 PM PDT

by the system restore, they are lost. You can try using a free data recovery software program like Recuva and see if it can find your files.

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Open question
by Willy / October 19, 2013 10:00 PM PDT

*IF* you didn't tell the new win8 to "save" the old install, then you've overwritten it. The old OS could be then recoverable as in un-doing the new install. But, that's doesn't appear to be the case. Further, you seem to have also possible partition or selected a current partition to get things installed and thus muddle the recovery process. While you can try any "recovery s/w" these are at this point having to deal with win8, may not be so friendly. Though, they could as well be decent, it's just too not as easy to answer. If the "F" drive is an ext. one, then place it on yet another PC and see what if anything you can recover on it alone w/o special s/w, then try s/w you've gotten, etc.. Of course, this is at your own risk, it usually is, otherwise, you have to think some recovery service as you run out of options. Also, since you mentioned win7 as part of the original install, then what happened to it?.

tada -----Willy Happy

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