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Need My Documents after a" System Recovery"

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by TechNochTitlan, Mar 12, 2008.

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  1. TechNochTitlan

    TechNochTitlan Thread Starter

    Mar 12, 2008
    Hello Everyone

    My system was hijacked by some spyware or virus (usure of type), the browser was hijacked and some of the administrative controls, so I pannicked and descided to run a "System Recovery".

    The "Sytem Recovery" ran sucessfully, however, I can not find my documents, primarily Word documents, some pictures, and a couple of Power point files. All dear important!

    I went trough the thread by "zozozo333", and his scenario initially is just like mine, but the problem is, in my computer, I dont seem to be offered the option to boot from "Safe Mode" and be able to try-out all the suggestion presented on that thread. Do I have a different issue at hand? a different approach to my issue?

    Thanks to all, and look forward to become an active member, by helping, eventually.

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  3. kiwiguy


    Aug 17, 2003
    If by "system recovery" you mean that Windows was reinstalled, then the files you treasure are no longer referenced.

    A hard drive is only temporary storage, please NEVER rely on the computer to safeguard any precious data, always copy at least 2 copies to different CD's or USB or external drives.

    Now, the files will still be on the hard drive, unreferenced. But every time you use the PC now, you will be writing data over the areas where they are, so you should not attempt to use the PC.

    There are data recovery tools available, but you must never attempt to recover back to the same hard drive, or you will simply destroy more unrecovered file areas.

    Your hard drive needs to be removed and fitted in another PC to have data recovery software run on it.
  4. TechNochTitlan

    TechNochTitlan Thread Starter

    Mar 12, 2008
    Finally Sucess!!... I have recovered my files and pictures. A great thanks to the imput from TheOutcaste on a different thread. Your tips got me trough.

    Thanks everyone.

  5. Old Stripey

    Old Stripey

    May 22, 2008

    Please tell me how you managed to recover your files I have just done exactly the same thing.

    Or please send the link to the other thread

  6. TechNochTitlan

    TechNochTitlan Thread Starter

    Mar 12, 2008
    Hi Old Stripey

    If the reinstallation process was successful, you should be able to find all of your documents within a "User Data" folder. But first, you will need to take ownership of the folder. Log in on safe mode, and create a new account with Administrative capabilities. When you've done so, log off and re-log in still under safe mode using the new account. Then transfer ownership from that folder to your new account. Once you've done so, log off and log in again ( still with the new account ), but this time start your Operating System as you normally do. This time, you should be able to access the User Data folder, and re-activate the desktop using a script you'll find within. Your Documents will be there.
    Under options, select show hidden folder thoughout the entire process.

    Good Luck!

  7. TheOutcaste


    Aug 7, 2007
    Old Stripey, just now saw your email, so I tracked down this thread.

    This might be the thread he's referring to: Can't find My Documents Folder or contents after System Recovery/Restore
    I've tagged it and this one so hopefully it can be found easier in the future.
    The key is finding the User Data folder that the System Recovery created. It should be right in the root of the drive (C:\Userdata) but might be under Documents and Settings.
    Might be named something other than UserData as well. Whatever the name, it will be a folder that gives you an Access Denied error when you try to open it, same as the System Volume Information folder does.

    It shouldn't be hidden either, but best to set view options to not hide files just in case:
    To change View Settings
    In Windows Explorer, click on Tools | Folder Options -> View Tab
    Check the following:
    Display the contents of system folders (not present in Win2K)
    Show hidden files and folders
    Uncheck the following:
    Hide extensions for known file types (WinXP)
    Hide file extensions for known file types (Win2K)
    Hide protected operating system files (Recommended)

    And here's the steps to take ownership once you find it:
    How to take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP

    I would think this could be done from your current account, as long as it is an Administrative account, but I've never personally seen this issue, so you may have to create a new account as TechNochTitlan has said.
  8. Zyrt0x


    Jun 24, 2008
    I had the same problem

    I had a windows xp system that was protected with a password.

    I did the hp system recovery.

    After that I didn't have access to my previous "my documents".It displayed 0kb and error message that I had no access to that folder.

    I tried recovery tools non of them worked witch is logic because the files were not deleted, I just couldn't access them.

    I also tried windows system recovery that didn't worked either.

    Then I looked for the folder c:/userdata. It wasn't there.

    Then Linux saved my life.

    I booted with ubuntu (you can also use knoppix) live cd. Browsed to "my documents". I could access all my files and back them up.

    I only had to mount my harddisk in ubuntu.
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