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Lost files after a System Recovery

by astronomo10 / January 23, 2008 1:05 PM PST

Last Saturday I had to use the recovery disc that came inside my computer because when I tried to start the computer; just the black screen appeared, saying 'ntldr is missing Press ctrl + alt + del to restart' . I did that several times but the problem was still there. So, after the recovery I normally started the computer and logged on. I did the non-destructive system recovery. Anyways;I noticed that all my files I had in the Shared Docuemnts were stil
there. I noticed that the storage percentage on the C Drive was the same I had before (93%) So, I assume that all my files, documents, music files and videos are somewhere in the computer.
And that's what I want to know..

My videos I had in the Shared Documents are still there... so that means I didn't do the Destructive Recovery, did I?

I mean, if I'd have done the destructive one... shouldn't the percentage have decreased?

The videos in the Shared folder weight 136 GB... I own an HP Media Center with a capacity of 289 GB.
Other files weight 38 GB

So, 136 + 38 = 174 GB
Now, so far, the C Drive has 270.6 GB full out of the 289 GB

270.6 - 174 = 96.6 GB (my documents?)

and also, all the programs I had before just their icons appeared in the All Programs list.

I already contacted an HP technical support and they told me to do this:
http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/genericDocument?lc=en&cc=us&docname=nph00268

I did that and it didn't work =(
I asked in the store where I bought my computer if there was a way to get my files back and they said yes... there's a chance.
They're charging me $165 and if they can't get them it's just half the price, why do you recommend me?

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the files should be there...
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 12:20 PM PST

a non destructive recovery "should" have created a folder on the root of your hard drive labeled something along the lines of My Old Disk Structure...something like that.

Else, if you remember the name of a file you had before the non-destructive recovery, you could try searching the hard drive for that file name to help you find the folder the old stuff is in. But remember to make sure that the search function looks in hidden files and folders.

Good Luck!
Happy

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LOST DATA
by astronomo10 / January 24, 2008 1:00 PM PST

SO.. DO YOU RECOMMEND TO TAKE MY COMPUTER TO THE STORE WHERE I BOUGHT IT SO THEY CAN TRY TO GET MY FILES BACK?

I USED THE SEARCH FUNCTION AND IT DIDN'T FIND ANYTHING EVEN THOUGH THE "SHOW HIDDEN FILES" OPTION WAS SELECTED. DO YOU THINK THERE'S STILL A CHANCE TO GET MY FILES BACK SOMEHOW?

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hmm...
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 1:07 PM PST
In reply to: LOST DATA

I am not for suggesting someone go and spend money...

Do some exploring yourself...open My Computer, and browse your hard drive...check the Tools, Folder Options, View tab and make sure that Show Hidden Files is checked and that Hide protected operating system files is NOT checked and look on the local hard drive for your old files.

Seriously, from what I know about a non-destructive recovery, your old files should still be on your hard drive.

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93%
by astronomo10 / January 24, 2008 1:13 PM PST
In reply to: hmm...

well... i'm not sure if I was clear about the percentage I mentioned before... I downloaded this vista-like sidebar... and one of the gadgets tells you how much percent you have fill in your hard drive. anyways... I had 93% before this problem and I still have the same percent. That's why I'm pretty sure I still have my documents somewhere in the hard drive.

About spending money... well it does cost a little expensive $170 (taxes included) and in case they don't find anything they would charge me half the price.

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before percentages are taken into account...
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 1:22 PM PST
In reply to: 93%

Percentages can be misleading in my book...

For example in computer talk, I have done a defrag scan on my hard drive and the windows provided defrag program will say my hard disk is 0% fragmented BUT list some 45 odd files that are fragmented!

So, if you had to guess how many MB of files you are missing compared to the total MB or GB of disk space...you could interpret the information wrong.

For example...your hard drive is a 160 GB size, your My Documents folder contained ... say ... 15 MB of files... that is not going to change your percentage of disk space used or disk space free.

I hate spending money for something that I can do myself and really don't want to suggest to someone that they spend money until they are completely sure they have exhausted all of the "I can find it - I can fix it myself" avenues.

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GB
by astronomo10 / January 24, 2008 1:25 PM PST

I'M TOTALLY AGREED WITH YOU...

MY DOCUMENTS CONTAINED AROUND 50 GB OF FILES... SO IT SHOULD HAVE MADE THE PERCENTAGE DECEREASED, SHOULDN'T IT?

MY HARD DRIVE IS 289 GB

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Going by the numbers you provided...
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 1:31 PM PST
In reply to: GB

Yes, that should have made a difference.

50 / 289 = 0.17031

That 0.17031 x 100 = 17%

Yes, that should have changed the percentage.

Now, I have never tried a non destructive recovery and system restore, have you tried that?

Have you tried to do a system restore to say a week back and see if your files are there again??

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WHY....?
by astronomo10 / January 24, 2008 1:35 PM PST

YES.. BUT IT DIDN'T ALLOWED ME TO DO THAT. IT WAS JUST THE SYSTEM RECOVERY... AND ANOTHER THING! IF I DID A DESTRUCTIVE RECOVERY... WHY AM I STILL HAVING THE VIDEOS I HAD IN THE SHARED DOCUMENTS (117 GB)?

THAT'S WHY I'M TOTALLLY SURE I'LL GET THEM BACK

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Shared Videos...
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 1:40 PM PST
In reply to: WHY....?

If you still have your shared videos...hmm...my computer has both shared videos and shared music...BUT these files came already loaded on the system...meaning if I totally erase my hard drive and do a system reload with the manufacturer provided disks (or the you have to create your own system restore disks) those files will be there.

Are the shared video files you have now created by you?? Or are they ones that were on your hard drive already??

As you can see, I am still not wanting to suggest to you to go and spend money...

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MEDIA CENTER
by astronomo10 / January 24, 2008 1:44 PM PST
In reply to: Shared Videos...

I CREATED THEM... I OWN AN HP MEDIA CENTER PC 2005 ... SO WITH THE MEDIA CENTER I RECORDED SEVERAL TV PROGRAMS AND IT SAVES THEM INTO THE SHARED DOCUMENTS - RECORDED TV

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Hey, just thought of something...
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 1:45 PM PST
In reply to: WHY....?

Just realized something...if you did a non destructive recovery, the new operating system you just did SHOULD have used more disk space and DECREASED your free space percentage.

For example, my Windows folder is 4.31 GB size...

4.31 GB / 289 GB is 0.014913495

that equals 1.49 % so a new operating system should have decreased your hard drive percentage free space...

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THX
by astronomo10 / January 24, 2008 1:48 PM PST

FOR SOME REASON THAT DIDN'T HAPPENED... THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR FEEDBACK. I REALLY APPRECIATED IT =)

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You are welcome!!
by Daviddude / January 24, 2008 1:55 PM PST
In reply to: THX

Post back and let me know the end result of what you did and decided to do.

I own a HP computer with Windows Media Center 2005 too and am curious as to the outcome of your problem.

Happy

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Before Spending Money, Why not Try a Free....
by tobeach / January 25, 2008 2:33 PM PST
In reply to: LOST DATA

"deleted file restorer" program. I don't think it can hurt! From Piriform (makers of CCleaner):
http://www.recuva.com/

Good Luck!! Hope this helps! Good to have anyway! Grin

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They surely should be there.
by Kees Bakker / January 24, 2008 4:40 PM PST

Better use Windows Explorer or My Computer to start looking for all folders in Documents and Settings. That should be something like:
- All users
- Default user
- Owner
- Your new userid
- Your old userid
Look inside the last folder. You might need to take ownership as instructed by HP once you've found them.

Use the right-click Properties to find the disc space used by each folder, if necessary.

Good luck with your search.

Kees

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still nothing
by astronomo10 / January 25, 2008 10:55 AM PST

well, I did all what you said but still nothing =(
unless someone can help me; I think I'll have to pay in order to get my files back.

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Can't remember all the details.
by john3347 / January 25, 2008 2:53 PM PST

Two or three years ago I had to do a system recovery and I cannot remember all the details of the procedure, but when everything was done and my computer booted up again, all my files were in a folder somewhere hidden within the "Documents and Settings" folder. they were in a specially created folder with a name like "recovered files" or "back-up files" or some such name. I recognized it as a folder that I had not created and there were all my files. Peruse your "Documents and Settings" folder and see if your files are not hidden there somewhere.

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Recovering Lost Files in a Windows OS using Live Linux
by Stephen_London / January 25, 2008 7:20 PM PST

I recently had a case of Directories showing zero bytes yet the drive properties still showed many GigiBytes of data. I recovered the files just by booting up a Live version of Linux (PC Linux in this case). It could see all the files that Windows could not. See here for a list of Live Linux CDs: http://www.frozentech.com/content/livecd.php

However if that does not work you can try some file recovery programs such as those mentioned here: http://data-recovery-software-review.toptenreviews.com

Regards
S

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preparation
by rmjivaro / January 25, 2008 8:52 PM PST

This is a common problem.
You don't have a backup, you are running windows, and you have your hard drive filled beyond its maintainable capacity.
First, get yourself an external usb hard drive. Next, download and burn a Knoppix DVD.
Boot the computer from your new Linux DVD. The usb drive and your internal hard drive will appear as icons on the desktop. Copy your files to the external usb drive. Verify that they are on it. Re-install windows, wiping the drive clean, or do yourself a favor and upgrade your drive to one that is big enough that you will never fill it beyond 80% of its capacity. Then copy your files back.

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I had the same problem.
by michaelhun12 / January 25, 2008 10:28 PM PST
In reply to: preparation

Hi.

I also own a HP Media Center 2005 computer, and the exact same thing happened to me. I'll tell you how I fixed it without paying anything. It turns out, all my files were moved to a special, hidden folder that could not be accessed from regular Windows XP. So, first, I enabled hidden folders and windows folders through windows explorer. The folder should be some type of hidden or windows folder that has the capacity 0 bytes. Then, I booted into safe mode and changed the permissions of that specific folder so I could access it. I moved all my music, documents, and videos out of that folder into a folder I knew I could access. I then booted back into Windows XP and as a precaution backed all my documents onto DVD's.

After all this, you should also consider doing a destructive recovery so you could have a clean computer to restore all your files and applications on. This certainly helped me, and I also got all the junk files on my computer off!

In the future, do not store all your files in the My Documents folder (HP seems to have a problem with this), but store them in a self-designated folder on the C drive.

Hope this Helps!
michaelhun12

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Recover Data from HD
by pat12 / January 26, 2008 12:00 AM PST

I recently had HD crash...I installed a new HD so that part is ok...but I am trying to recover data from the old hard drive ...I manage to see all the folders ..able to recover data from folders under C: drive but cant recover data from the "My Documents" ...where I had stored many files... Also I am unable to recover the music files which were stored under the playlists of Window media...I can see the "My Document" folder when I click on it ...I get the message that this I cant access the files in this folder ...
Any help would be much appreciated ...Thank you ..

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In the first post is the link on how to fix that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 26, 2008 12:07 AM PST
In reply to: Recover Data from HD
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what folder
by astronomo10 / January 26, 2008 2:46 AM PST

for what I understand to do that you should already know what folder you are trying to own, which in my case I don't know what folder I'm looking for, if you know please tell me, thx =)

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That doesn't make sense Pat.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 26, 2008 3:28 AM PST
In reply to: what folder

You just wrote you tried a folder minutes ago.

Bob

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Properties
by astronomo10 / January 26, 2008 2:53 AM PST
In reply to: Recover Data from HD

According to the System Volume Information's properties, it was created on saturday, august 19, 2006.

and well... the other folder wasn't hidden. So... what's the folder you are talking about? =S

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More info please
by astronomo10 / January 26, 2008 2:42 AM PST

Hi michaelhun12

where did find that folder? inside the Documents and Settings? if so, what was the name of that folder?

The only two folder I can't access are "USERDATA" and one called "System Volume Information". The Userdata folder wasn't hidden, though. Can you please give me some info before I do something? I don't wanna mess windows or do something worse. Thanks =)

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Here is a picture
by astronomo10 / January 26, 2008 3:13 AM PST
In reply to: More info please
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I think it's USERDATA
by michaelhun12 / January 26, 2008 3:40 AM PST
In reply to: Here is a picture

I believe the folder you are trying to access it USERDATA, though I'm surprised it's not hidden. Don't try anything yet, though. If you can't access USERDATA and the total file size is O bytes, than go with that folder and try to change permissions. I think the file is USERDATA, but don't do anything with the other folder.

Hope that helps
Good luck

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Try for both folders?
by astronomo10 / January 26, 2008 3:47 AM PST
In reply to: I think it's USERDATA

Indeed the USERDATA folder was not hidden but it is 0 bytes whereas the System Volume folder was hidden and 0 bytes as well.

so should I try both folders?

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no, just USERDATA
by michaelhun12 / January 26, 2008 7:27 AM PST
In reply to: Try for both folders?

I am pretty sure the data is stored in the folder USERDATA. I remember that when I had my problem, it was with the folder USERDATA, and I would try it for that folder only to avoid any damage to your computer.

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