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.
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.