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Question

'Hidden' Files lost on transfer, where did they go?

by DuncanMacDougall / February 2, 2013 4:47 AM PST

So I purchased a new laptop and wanted to transfer my data from my old one using a WD external drive. After getting all of my data onto my new computer from my old one, I did a factory reset of the old one.

This is when I realized that the 'hidden' files and folders didn't transfer from my old computer, or at least I can't find them in the directory that they were in before. I wasn't sure if they got put in a different directory or something because they were hidden, or if they didn't even transfer in the first place.

So I ran multiple recovery programs on my old computer in attempt to find these important hidden folders, but with no luck.

Is there any way that I can find these folders and get them back? Any help would be appreciated. (And yes, I do have "show hidden files and folders" checked in the options)

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Clarification Request
What version of Windows is on the old PC?
by wpgwpg / February 2, 2013 4:51 AM PST

What version of Windows is on the old PC? My dog broke my crystal ball. Mischief

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windows 7
by DuncanMacDougall / February 2, 2013 5:32 AM PST

Windows 7. Same with the new one. Both Windows 7 home premium 64bit

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You might be able to use "Previous versions"
by wpgwpg / February 2, 2013 5:58 AM PST
In reply to: windows 7

Depending on what kind of reset you did, you might be able to right-click the folder(s) that held the deleted folders, click Properties, and click the "Previous Versions" tab. It's worth a try. However if you did a restore to factory settings, that likely reformatted your hard drive. This is why you always need to back a computer up before doing this kind of thing. 1 TB hard drives only cost about $70 these days, and they sure are great insurance against this kind of problem.

Good luck.

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..
by DuncanMacDougall / February 2, 2013 10:01 AM PST

That's the thing, that is exactly what I did. I did a full system backup onto my external 1tb drive, and it seems to have backed everything up except for the hidden folders. I was unaware of this when it happened. I guess I just expected it to have backed everything up. I tried what you said, but no luck. Previous versions went back to the point just after formatting.

However I had done some research and found that when you format a drive, it doesn't actually delete all of the files, it just lets your computer know that it can overwrite those files. Not sure if this is actually true or not.

Thanks

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That IS true
by wpgwpg / February 2, 2013 10:48 AM PST
In reply to: ..

Quick formatting just resets the first track on your hard drive. Even full formatting just rewrites the home addresses on each track. Of course when the restore to factory settings comes along, it overwrites a lot of what was there.

What did you use to back your system up? I've been using Norton Ghost without the 1st problem for 9 years, and have started using Easeus Todo Backup Free with Windows 8 because there's not a Windows 8 compatible version of Ghost yet. Both of these I know work very well. I've tested Memeo as well and it seems to work well. Bob Proffitt uses Clonezilla which I believe is similar to Ghost. If you used the Windows 7 backup program, that might explain your situation, I'm sure not a fan of it. Are you SURE those hidden folders aren't in the backup? Sure seems strange, but then computers and my wife have both been known to do strange things on occasion. Wink

Good luck.

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Didn't use a backup program
by DuncanMacDougall / February 3, 2013 4:21 AM PST
In reply to: That IS true

When I first backed up my old laptop, I didn't use a program. I basically just cloned my hard drive by dragging my libraries over. I guess doing this doesn't move hidden folders. But now I'm using Easus todo backup in the future for my backups. I guess there is no way to get those folders/files back then?

Thanks

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