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Restored.. files disappeared any idea

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Foxtrot_01, Apr 10, 2010.

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  1. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    I have a desktop running on windows XP home edition. I had a problem one night and I tried to restore the computer on windows but it wouldnt let me, I did the restore backup for HP/compaq and as it finished I found out that around 100gb of files and information was not visible, some of the icons where there but they would work more like empty shortcuts on the desktop. I still can find the old files. I used an application to get the old info back, it is messy as the information is not organized.
    But my problem is that the information is still there in the harddrive but I can seem to find it, I searched everywhere and nothing. I still cant find the old files.
    Someone told me that when I originally had the desktop and starting adding files and info under my documents these were under a specific user, when I had to do a restore or backup from the HP/Compaq it created a new user on top of the old one instead of replacing it. It does make sense since the old info is still in the harddrive but I dont know how to access it. Any ideas?
     
  2. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I am a little confused. I am sure it is me, reading your post incorrectly.If you had a problem and were going to RESTORE on Windows - do you mean use System Restore or do you mean Recovery Console on the XP CD. Either way if you restored from the HP recovery partition of the hard disc then your files will NOT be there, except by the slight chance of using a program such as Disk Doctor Recovery.
    When you say you used the Restore backup. YOU SIMPLY RESTORED whatever was in the backup and LOST what was not in the backup.
    Please come back with further explanation of exactly what it is you DID and how.
     
  3. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    sorry for the confusion, this happen a while ago. From what I remembered one day I was turned on the computer and it was acting up, dont remember clearly, I tried the System restore from windows to try to go back to a couple days when the computer was working normally, for some reason I couldnt used the last version of system restore on windows. If I remember HP compaq has a similar restore program and I used that one but when everything was restored it was different, the desktop had all the icons with the shortcuts to all the programs that I had but the shortcuts didnt work. I also checked my documents and all my files were missing. I used a a recovery software to get the deleted files which summed to 98Gb. I thought I had lost all the data, so I started back again adding info on my documents folder but as I started saving on folder I started noticing that the computer was slower and slower, I checked the space on the harddrive and it was almost full. I checked all my files and applications and they didnt sum to more than 40gb, the harddrive is 140gb and is full.
    the exact amount of data is below:
    programs folder 6GB
    documents and settings folder 32Gb
    total C: drive capacity 149Gb
    used : 138Gb
    free 110Mb
    so there is 98Gb of information somewhere in the harddrive that I cant see or find but its there.
     
  4. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    Click Start, Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Computer Management, Disk Management and report exactly what is there please. OR close to that Window only. Press Prt Screen key. Open Paint and on edit click paste.
    Attach to next post.
     
  5. Charles96

    Charles96

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    Perhaps there are hidden files?
    Open up Computer or Documents --> Tools--> Folder Options--> View --> Show Hidden Files and Folders and OK.

    Just a guess.
     
  6. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    [​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  7. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    http://windirstat.info/
    Try this and see if that shows us anything.
    It appears to me that the 98Gb of recovered information, not all of which maybe useable and the recovery from HP account for the use of space.
    I thought that may have been another partition in Disk Manage,ment that was to provide the answer.
     
  8. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    thanks, I ran the WinDirStat and this is what I got, as you can see there is only around 47Gb accounted for and i dont see the rest. any ideas?[​IMG][/URL][/IMG]
     
  9. Jim Danner

    Jim Danner

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    I don't know if this is the same issue you have -- but I'll tell the story just in case.

    A few years ago my HP refused to boot, I ran the HP recovery partition (worst computer decision ever) and after Windows had been restored to factory state, all my files were gone. Also, there was less free space on my hard drive than there should be.

    This looks a bit like your situation, doesn't it?

    In my case, the files were still present on the computer but at a location that was inaccessible to 'me' (my user account). It was C:\USERDATA. Maybe it is a different location in your case.

    I logged in in Safe Mode as the Administrator (during boot-up, right after the very first screen, repeatedly press the F8 button until you get an unusual list of options, and choose the top one: Safe Mode. Then login as Administrator, don't go into System Restore). I right-clicked the \USERDATA folder and went into Properties and then to the Security tab. Here I set the Administrator as the owner of the folder and all its subfolders (check the 'inherit ownership' box or something). After hitting OK and waiting 15 minutes for the operation to finish, I went back into the same menu and gave my user account full permissions on the folder and its files. Then I restarted the computer and after logging in all my original files were automatically dropped in their original locations, a weird experience. Newer versions of the files were overwritten.

    I'm not saying the files are in that same folder, but it's very likely that they are somewhere on your computer. What's that blue folder called Files in the screenshot you posted?

    If you start the computer from an Ubuntu Live CD, you can use its built-in program that shows the contents of your disk just like Windirstat, but without the access restrictions -- so it will probably tell you where all your files are. Good luck.
     
  10. Macboatmaster

    Macboatmaster Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    I realise I asked you to paste results, but as only some of the content is visible, you have I presume checked ALL content fully exploring each folder shown, to see if there is anything to account for where the recovered material is.
    Perhaps Jim Danner has given you the clue to this.
    My next step would be to query the issue on the Hewlett Packard site and see if there is a Troubleshoot or FAQ dealing with the matter. May i suggest you do this and see if this achieves progress for you. I have always found the HP site very good for listing common problems and I am sure you will not be the first to have encountered this.
     
  11. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    JIm that sounds like what happened to me. I am going to try the log in as an admin. I'll let you guys how it goes. THanks
     
  12. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    I tried logging in safe mode as an admin and went to USERDATA and checked the inherit... box.
    I restarted the computer again and logged in as COMPAQ_OWNER and tried opening the USERDATA folder and the access was denied.
    I am going to try to download the ubuntu to try to figure out where is all this info.
    I also am getting a error inception screen, not sure what that is about.
     
  13. Jim Danner

    Jim Danner

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    I'm not sure you did enough -- you could try repeating all thes steps I described in my post above. Basically you should give your user account full 'permissions' or 'privileges' (I don't remember the exact term Safe Mode uses), and to do that it may be necessary to change the ownership of all the files first. You should be (or become) able to view all the files when logged in as the Administrator, so you can check if they're there.
     
  14. Foxtrot_01

    Foxtrot_01 Thread Starter

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    Hello, update, so far I havent been able to give full permissions to the USERDATA files as a admin. I will try to post some screencaps tonight.
    I burned a UBUNTU copy and ran it, after about 10 minutes it froze on the orange screen(it was just an orange picture, no icons) I am not sure if its because the desktop is running with 256 RAM as one of the stick is failing. I also have 1.39GB of free space so I guess that doesnt help.
    Anyone knows how much RAM does UBUNTU need to run from the CD?
    So far I think I have the same problem that Jim Danner has, I just cant seem to find the files that are somewhere.
    I clicked on the USERDATA folder as a compaq_user and it says the access is denied.
     
  15. Jim Danner

    Jim Danner

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    Interesting, I'm looking forward to it.

    You could also try something when you're logged in as yourself or the Administrator. Start a command prompt (Start... Run... cmd ) and type
    Code:
    cacls \USERDATA
    to see who has what types of access to the folder. Maybe you can paste the result here.

    If your user still doesn't have access, perhaps you can try
    Code:
    cacls \USERDATA /e /t /c /g COMPAQ_OWNER:F
    Maybe it will only work if you're logged in as the Administrator, or maybe not at all.
     
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