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Solved: Recovering lost files

Discussion in 'All Other Software' started by r_kage, Oct 6, 2008.

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  1. r_kage

    r_kage Thread Starter

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    I evidently chose the wrong option when reinstalling XP on my computer from a recovery partition and recovered applications as well. Usually, if this option is chosen, original software and drivers replace new ones and all new apps are lost. However, all old files (photos, documents) remain.

    In this case, some of the old files (mostly unimportant ones) remained, but most was lost. I'm wondering if there is a reasonably price software--even better if you've used it and can recommend based on experience--that could recover the lost files.

    ANY HELP WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED!!!

    Rhonda :confused:
     
  2. Lucky5tar

    Lucky5tar

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    Maybe you repaired the installation instead of actually reinstalling?

    You seem disappointed that Windows did not reformat properly - if it had you would have lost absolutely everything!!

    Check out the tools listed about 2/3rds down the page:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Data_recovery
     
  3. r_kage

    r_kage Thread Starter

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    Actually, I was disappointed because there are various options. I did not choose the reformat option (which comes with various warnings). The option I chose said it would restore application files but retain data files, bookmarks, email and the like.

    I've done this before--even reinstalled an OS 'on top of' a malfunctioning OS without a hitch. But you are right, it could have reformatted entirely, and that would be a disaster! Plus it falls back on me anyhow for not backing up.

    OK, I was browsing the internet after I posted here, and what I think I am going to try is <a href="http://www.migosoftware.com/store/digital-rescue.html">Migo Digital Rescue Premium</a>. I will share my experiences with whatever software I ultimately choose. There is another program, "Recover my Files," that lets you preview before you buy, though I worry that previewing could be damaging, too, so that I would be forced to buy the product.

    I think, rather than attempting to recover all my lost files, I will do one file type at a time in a hierarchy. The photos are most important, so I will check those first. Email and bookmarks are less important, and I might not bother with those at all. Payment receipts are semi-important, so I may try to recover those.

    I think one type at a time is a better option, so if two file types occupied the same area, it will focus on my higher priority files.

    Does anyone know if I can burn saved files to CD/DVD in the process, or will I need new removable media, like an SD-card or jump drive?
     
  4. r_kage

    r_kage Thread Starter

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    Just wanted to say thanks to Lucky for digging up my post and taking the time to reply!!
     
  5. Lucky5tar

    Lucky5tar

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    I've never used file recovery software so I cannot comment on its operation... but you shouldn't have to pay anything. Check out http://www.softwarepatch.com/software/filerecovery.html

    Once you have recovered your files, you should be able to do what you like with them. So if you have a CD/DVD writer, then you should be able to write to one until the CD or DVD's capacity is full.
     
  6. r_kage

    r_kage Thread Starter

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    I did try one free software program on an SD card and I'm not sure what to think of it. What I'd be paying for, presumably, would be a more thorough recovery. Since I am trying to save photographs, the recovery capabilities have to be higher than saving text, or so it seems. I was even wondering whether or not I could purchase/find a recovery program specifically for photos, since that's my priority and just forget about whatever else I have.

    Basically, from what I've read, if two files occupy the same sector, then both are damaged, just to what extent is in question. If there's any repair algorithm that can potentially damage these even greater, I'd rather that be applied to the file of lesser importance.

    Also, these recovery programs need a place to temporarily write before recovery is final. I get the impression that some might be more likely to overwrite the sectors you are trying to recover than others.

    I don't know if spending money is actually going to help, of course. I just wish I knew what to expect. Thank you so much for your efforts, though, I do appreciate it!! :)
     
  7. r_kage

    r_kage Thread Starter

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    After trying out numerous applications, freeware and demo (many allow you to preview before buying, a GREAT feature!!), the one I will be going with is Stellar Phoenix Photo Recovery (http://www.photo-recovery-software.com/download-photo-recovery-software.php"). I took a mini-SD card that I had used for photos in the past and dumped the files, so that it could be used in a cell phone, and all the test products recovered nothing except Stellar Phoenix, which recovered 99 files!!

    I don't know to what extent I'll be able to recover things on my hard drive, but given that most of my images resided first on removable media, there's hope! This retails for about $40, which you have to pay before saving the files. I have to wait until payday to know the real results, but apparently if you can see and view them, then they are recoverable.

    The difference between this and the others is that the others spent 30 seconds to 5 minutes examining the 1GB card, whereas Phoenix took about 3 hours. It will tie up the computer for a while, so next time, I will plan to set it up for an overnight.

    Looks like I may have gone on to answer my own question. I will post the final results this weekend. (They also have a data recovery system, but at $100, I'll stick with the photos!)
     
  8. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    Take a look under C:\Documents and Settings for any folders that you get Access Denied errors on. Many of the Non-Destructive recoveries put the files here in a folder with the same name as the original User Name, like Compaq User and create a new user folder named Compaq user.xxxxx, where xxxxx is the PC name. All that's needed for access is to Take ownership of a file or folder in Windows XP

    Another sign that your old files are somewhere on the drive is that if you right click the C drive, the Space used is much higher than what you see if you highlight the contents of the C drive and then do a Right Click | Properties

    HTH

    Jerry
     
  9. r_kage

    r_kage Thread Starter

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    Jerry, this is THE answer I was looking for. I posted in the XP forum in search of how to find the lost folder. In the past I was not denied access to the dumping grounds of a folder. When I had right clicked on Compaq_Owner and it said 0 folders, 0 files 0MB, I figured it was all gone. Thanks so much. Everything was there as I had hoped!!!!


     
  10. TheOutcaste

    TheOutcaste

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    You're Welcome!

    Glad it worked.

    Jerry
     
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