General discussion

XP recovery, lost folders

My XP system (Compaq) failed to start up completely after booting. Claimed 'Missing' DISCover.EXE file, others, locked up. Hit F10 for system recovery to makes repairs from the hidden partition. It assured me that my data would not be lost.

How do I recover my lost data? Folder, subfolders and contents 'disappeared'.

Can you recommend a file recovery program that runs from the CD?

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When you accessed this "System Recovery" option on boot did it specifically say that it would attempt to repair the Operating System, (OS), and not reinstall the OS back to factory defaults?

If so that would be strange. Hidden partitions are there to reinstall the OS. It wipes everything and starts again with a complete reinstall of the operating system. Everything previously on the hard disk is lost.

Is everything really missing? On a Windows Upgrade for example from a Windows Setup CD often old files are saved under names like Windows.old, or similar. Have you checked your hard drive for any folders that look like they have been 'saved', eg xxx.old, or similar?

If there is nothing then the prospects are very meagre indeed. If those files you need are invaluable your options are limited to this;

1] STOP using this system immediately. The more you use it the more any deleted file fragments on the hard drive will be over-written.

2] Take the system, (or remove the hard disk and take that), to some Data Recovery Service and ask them to recover everything they can.

Be prepared to part with sheds loads of money. These services can be inordinately expensive.

Sorry, like I said, your options are limited.


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A DIY way (success not guaranteed)

1. Take the hard disk out of your PC immediately.
2. Buy an external enclosure so you can access the disk as an external disk in another PC.
3. Try the data recovery titles mentioned in the third post of on that other PC.


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Clickable link to free tools to try.

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