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How to retrieve pictures, files etc after a factory resort

by kristine48 / March 14, 2011 11:22 PM PDT

I have today restores my computer to factory default and have lost all my pictures, files etc any idea how I can retrieve them at all I have pictures I have had for years all installed on there any help much appreciated

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by Jimmy Greystone / March 14, 2011 11:32 PM PDT

That depends on how the factory restore was done. If it just overwrote things and created a new user account, you can poke around in C:\Users to see if you can find anything. If it formatted the drive, then you're looking at needing recovery software. That can probably recover SOME of the photos, but to recover ALL of them you'll probably need professional recovery services which start at about 500USD for them to even LOOK at the drive. You can expect to pay probably 2000USD or more.

So, let this be a lesson in the value of having backups.

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Re: "How to retrieve pictures,files after a factory restore"
by OldCelticHippy / March 26, 2011 2:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Depends

1: If you used a factory restore disk, unless it had an option to restore without formatting the HD, your files are effectively lost.
2: Extremely expensive Professional recovery services are unnecessary. I use Active@ Boot Disk (costs less than $60.00)to restore lost files, folders, and partitions on a hard drive.
3: Jimmy Greystone is either unlearned in file recovery, or he is a so-called "professional" himself, with a vested interest in expensive solutions to disk problems.
4: PLEASE, in the future, keep backups of your files and partitions on an EXTERNAL hard drive. These types of drives are very inexpensive ($50+, if you can find a deal). There is no reason people should lose their files (many times, irreplacable ones) nowadays. I use Norton Ghost 15 to backup my computer (about $59), but Windows 7's backup program does a great job of backing up one's drives for free. It even creates images of the drive, either one time, or incrementally. This would ensure that the only way one could lose their files would be for the backup drive to fail.

Donald L McDaniel

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Nope, I do not now, nor have I ever, worked for a company that does professional data recovery. I just have years of experience with computers, involving some knowledge of how filesystems work, to know that if the recovery process formatted the drive, then the mere reinstalling of programs by the recovery process likely obliterated a lot of the files as far as simple recovery programs are concerned. And any subsequent write operation to the drive potentially obliterated more of these files.

Now, if you had actually READ what I said, I noted that recovery software may be able to recover SOME of the files. It will never get them all if the drive was formatted, that's just a function of how filesystems work. No amount of wishful thinking or false hope is going to change that.

And if I were someone who worked at a recovery business, why in the world would I be making mention of backups? That seems rather stupid don't you think? Telling people how to avoid the very service that provides my livelihood?

Note: This post was edited by forum moderator on 03/26/2011 on 9:56 PM PT

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recover deleted pictures after factory reset
by tiffanyelizabeth / June 3, 2013 5:42 PM PDT
In reply to: Nope

I have the same problem here, how to recover my pictures lost after factory reset?

none of the above solution works!

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Re: recover
by Kees_B Forum moderator / June 3, 2013 5:45 PM PDT

Most likely you can't recover them. But it might help if you tell exactly what you already tried.


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dont know why
by tiffanyelizabeth / June 9, 2013 5:14 PM PDT

dont know why my previous post was removed, but anyway, I am happy that I got my problem solved. for others, sorry that I am not able to help.

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This could be painful
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 15, 2011 10:02 PM PDT

I agree with Jimmy. This wholly depends what type of factory reset was carried out.

If it was a 'repair' type of install, then the pictures may still be on the hard drive in some reserved folder somewhere. But if this was a complete reinstall back to factory default, then the disk has been wiped and those files are gone.

In the latter case you will need to make a decision. If you want to attempt recovery of the picture file fragments then the advice is, stop using this hard drive completely, and take it or send it to a Data Recovery service. Even though the disk has been formatted it is possible that some of those image files can be recovered. But the more you use the hard drive the more you risk over-writing these file fragments with new data.

As Jimmy says, this is likely to be expensive.


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That's the idea of factory restore.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / March 15, 2011 10:09 PM PDT

Bring it back to the exact state it was in when you bought it. So you can't really complain it did exactly that. Your pics weren't on it then.

That is why most people copy those data they don't want to lose to another medium regularly. Could be an external hard disk. Could be burning it to CD or DVD. Could be a storage site somewhere on the Internet.
Other people don't and risk losing their data.
Your choice here.


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I did this once
by cxg175 / April 2, 2011 1:36 AM PDT

I did this once when I was having some problems with something corrupted in VISTA. I found my files in a second Windows folder.

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You said you......
by McChief1041 / January 31, 2013 5:56 AM PST
In reply to: I did this once

Found files in a second Windows folder, where would i locate this ?

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Re: folder
by Kees_B Forum moderator / January 31, 2013 4:23 PM PST
In reply to: You said you......

Some recovery/reinstall programs copy some folders to a folder called windows.old. Others don't. I've got the impression yours didn't.


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recover files after factory reset
by scizaro007 / February 12, 2013 1:06 AM PST

Hii Kristine, no need to worry about how to recover files after factory reset. There are many professional recovery tools available today. I have successfully recovered all picture, files and any other files after factory reset using recovery tool only. Let me clear which OS and file system you are using so that I can suggest you the professional recovery program.

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recover files after factory reset
by barrlo / February 13, 2013 1:39 AM PST

Help scizaro007. I have the same problem, only I restored to factory settings on an HP laptop running Windows 7 Home Premium. Can you offer me any advice?

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Beware the spammers.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2013 2:46 AM PST
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Windows 7 recovery tool
by scizaro007 / February 13, 2013 3:16 AM PST
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recover pictures after factory reset
by barrlo / February 13, 2013 6:58 AM PST

Thank you, I'm going to try it! I will let you know how I make out.

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recover pictures
by christianwe1 / February 13, 2013 12:16 PM PST
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recover pictures
by barrlo / February 13, 2013 10:09 PM PST
In reply to: recover pictures

will this recover corrupted pictures after system recovery to factory settings?

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Re: recover
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 13, 2013 10:12 PM PST
In reply to: recover pictures

Why not test yourself (assuming you're in that situation) in the free demo mode?


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Danger signs. Is this REMO SOFTWARE?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 13, 2013 7:07 AM PST
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Danger signs
by barrlo / February 13, 2013 10:11 PM PST
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Good to read they had a demo.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 14, 2013 12:52 AM PST
In reply to: Danger signs

I see the spammers have found this discussion and you are seeing what looks to be a title that is being renamed and marketed as a new title.

Often this is done because the original title was badly reviewed or the owner is trying to eek out more sales by letting folk re-label and re-sell the product.

This is not entirely a bad idea but what I see are the claims tend to be exaggerated and there is no support.

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Any other suggestions?
by barrlo / February 14, 2013 1:22 AM PST

Do you have any suggestions as to how I might recover photos from correpted files?

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Sorry no.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 14, 2013 1:29 AM PST
In reply to: Any other suggestions?

I have no magic here. If folk don't follow the advice by those that do recovery and remove the drive from service to be recovered and they use the PC, then install more recovery software then with each minute the files are being written over and are not coming back.

Your best recovery happens when you shut down immediately after you see the problem and then call up to arrange for the work.

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always make a rdcovery partition
by cgprats / January 18, 2014 9:02 AM PST

See today I deleted malware from my family computer and restarted it to completely remove it and it took the loggon screen files with it and we had no recovery partition 7 years of programs lost and over 20 years of pictures too

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If you pull the drive out now
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / January 18, 2014 9:10 AM PST

You may avoid overwriting the files. I'm continuing to find well meaning folk advise to install recovery software but there's ONE RULE.

Never write to a drive you want to salvage from.

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