Computer Help forum


Lost files even after back up

by shatteredsouls / February 11, 2013 9:08 PM PST

Hi all, please help me!

Before I reformat my HP laptop, I back up C drive on my external hard disk, all my files and school documents are in there. When I reformatted and restore my files, it seems that no files of mine are restored. They restored the basic default files. What should I do?

I have tried free program to get back lost files but they said most files are not retrievable.

Can anybody help please?

Discussion is locked
You are posting a reply to: Lost files even after back up
The posting of advertisements, profanity, or personal attacks is prohibited. Please refer to our CNET Forums policies for details. All submitted content is subject to our Terms of Use.
Track this discussion and email me when there are updates

If you're asking for technical help, please be sure to include all your system info, including operating system, model number, and any other specifics related to the problem. Also please exercise your best judgment when posting in the forums--revealing personal information such as your e-mail address, telephone number, and address is not recommended.

You are reporting the following post: Lost files even after back up
This post has been flagged and will be reviewed by our staff. Thank you for helping us maintain CNET's great community.
Sorry, there was a problem flagging this post. Please try again now or at a later time.
If you believe this post is offensive or violates the CNET Forums' Usage policies, you can report it below (this will not automatically remove the post). Once reported, our moderators will be notified and the post will be reviewed.

All Answers

Collapse -
Re: backup
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 9:14 PM PST

You backed up the C-drive to your external hard disk. That sounds like a great idea.
- What backup program did you use?
- Did you check if your files and school documents were on that external disk after you did that backup?

You reformatted. What exactly did you do? Reformatting is just format c: from the recovery console of Windows XP, but I think you did more than that.
And where was that external disk when you 'reformatted'. Safely stored away, I suppose. Or still connected to your laptop?

Then you restored your files. How?

That restored the "basic default files". What are those "basic default files"?

Then you tried a free program. What free program, what did you do with it, and what exactly did it say?


Collapse -
Lost files even after back up
by shatteredsouls / February 11, 2013 10:45 PM PST
In reply to: Re: backup

Hello Kees,

Thank you for your prompt reply! I'm using HP laptop, G32. I used the backup at control panel system & security. No, I did not check if my files and school documents were on the external disk because it took 3.5-4 hours to back up. If it did not back up my files, then why did it take so long? I do not have much software installed on my laptop (Restoring did not get my software back either). And when I check the backup folder, it's larger than 100 GB?

I did a system recovery. Mine is Windows 7. I have removed my external disk.

I restored my files using control panel system & security. Basic default files are those files that are not mine, they came with the computer. For example, those flower pictures etc. Actually, they said some files cannot be retrieved when I restore them.

The free recovery program i used is Recuva. It just offers to recover different kinds of files such as pictures, music, documents etc. Then they will ask where were the files located and proceed to scan. I manage to get a few docs/pdfs but I hope to get everything back. Sad

Collapse -
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 10:58 PM PST
Collapse -
by shatteredsouls / February 11, 2013 11:10 PM PST
In reply to: Oops.

I thought everybody uses control panel system and security to back up their files? So there are programs to install on your computer and backup files? I think it's my own fault too, I should have copy another copy of my files in my external disk just in case the backup didn't do its job. I thought when I do backup on C drive, they're suppose to capture everything in C drive. -.-

The Logfile has a lot of these:
Restore failed to restore the file: C:\Users\User\Documents\Electronic Arts\The Sims 3\Options.ini. Error:The file exists. (0x80070050)

Do you think there's a chance of restoring all my files?

Collapse -
Error: the file exists
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 11, 2013 11:19 PM PST
In reply to: Sighs

If I believe that message (and why shouldn't I), it exists on your c-drive. It could be the system recovery didn't delete it. Some do, some don't. I can't check. You can.

About programs to backup your files. How about (My) Computer or Windows Explorer. Very well suited to copy all your files to another medium (just copy/paste or drag and drop). Not suited, indeed, for incremental backup (changed files only, although it works for new files). But there are many more intelligent programs. But it would go too far to tell all about those now. Getting your files back is more important.


Collapse -
by shatteredsouls / February 11, 2013 11:32 PM PST
In reply to: Error: the file exists

I just went through the long logfile and realise they are files already in C drive, not those that are... lost. :/

I'm afraid I cannot get those files back anymore because the free recovery program (recuva) did a scanning and state that most files have been overwritten and so cannot be recovered. But... I don't get why would the files be overwritten? I didn't do anything to my external disk. Love And I don't think there's reverse reformat right? Hahaha!

Yeah, next time I'll just... copy & paste my files instead of doing a whole back up.

Collapse -
Did you look at ...
by Edward ODaniel / February 12, 2013 1:32 PM PST

what information was offered if you clicked on the "Why can't I find my restored files?" As it hints they may have been restored to a different location on the drive - especially files you think are stored in a library which might actually be in a completely different directory or even drive.

Try searching your computer for the files by name.

Collapse -
I did
by shatteredsouls / February 12, 2013 3:38 PM PST
In reply to: Did you look at ...


I did but couldn't find those files in my computer.

Collapse -
Recover deleted files
by Livy86 / February 25, 2013 2:38 AM PST

Hi, when files are deleted in Windows, they are not purged, which means it's possible they might still be there. A good idea is to stop using the drive/partition the files were in, to prevent overwrite. But it's not always possible to recover the files you lost. I reccomend you try other software too, to see if anything can be recovered, as each of these programs uses a different library and one might recover something another may not. I use the Reincubate Recover Files, give it a try!

Collapse -
For folk in the forum. This is spam.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 25, 2013 2:42 AM PST
In reply to: Recover deleted files

They only have one answer so far and as they spam, you shouldn't place any trust in this.

Popular Forums
Computer Help 51,224 discussions
Computer Newbies 10,453 discussions
Laptops 20,090 discussions
Security 30,722 discussions
TVs & Home Theaters 20,937 discussions
Windows 10 1,295 discussions
Phones 16,252 discussions
Windows 7 7,684 discussions
Networking & Wireless 15,215 discussions


Roku Streaming Stick 2016

Roku has the most apps, the simplest interface and the best search, making it CNET's favorite way to stream Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, HBO and all the rest.