Question

Is it Possible to Recover Files from Windows 8->8->10?

Hi,

My boyfriend was running a bootlegged version of Windows 8. I reinstalled his Windows to a legitimate version of Windows 8 so that he could get the free upgrade upgrade to Windows 10.

When we went from Windows 8-->Windows 8, the only option the installer gave us was "Keep Nothing", so we backuped files onto an external harddrive (or so we thought), before the wipe. He had a bunch of important files on his Desktop but it turns out they were copied as shortcuts on the external harddrive and so he can't access any of these files. We didn't know this until we were already running Windows 10. So basically, we installed Windows twice on the same day, which was today.

He's extremely upset about these files he lost. They were a reflection of his undergraduate career. Is there any way to get them back? He's tried opening the windows.old folder but there's nothing there. If he were to restore to the Windows 8 that he had previously, is there any chance? Is there anything that can be done?

Experts, please help. Much, much, much appreciated.

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Answer
most likely lost

they were lost when you reinstalled win8. one extreme longshot. go into the windows.old and see if there is another windows.old within it. if so, those files might be there.

however, since it was two operating systems ago, most likely they are gone. you can try recuva to see if possibly they can be found. do a deep scan.

https://www.piriform.com/recuva

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Answer
Good advice so far.

Given the clouds such as Dropbox and others, there's little excuse to lose it all like this today. I know folk don't want to deal with PC issues today but if we don't backup, we will suffer loss.

About the external. Why can't it be accessed?

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Answer
There's only one good way to back up. Full system backup.

When external hard drives are so inexpensive, and good backup software is free, the ONLY way to do a backup is a FULL SYSTEM backup. You can buy external 1 TB hard drives for around $55, many of which come with pre-loaded free backup software and do the backup. Live and learn - when/if you get that data back, get an external hard drive and keep FULL SYSTEM BACKUPS. It's not rocket science, it's just simple common sense. I can back up my desktop's 130 GB to an external USB 3 drive in about 15 min., and I can set it up to do the backup automatically at a time of my convenience.
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Good luck.

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Answer
Well first of all

there was no need to install the legal Windows 8 over the non-legal unless you changed from 32 to 64. All you needed to do is add the legal key from the legal version of Windows 8. Also the Windows.old is used to move Windows back to an upgraded version not your data files.

What should have been done is the desktop and favorites folder could have been saved to the external drive but they are easilty recreated. You just go to the folder on the external drive right click on the executable file and select created short cut on the desktop. Shortcuts JUST POINT to a files on the external drive. Those files are still there.

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