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Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Ran into a problem where the PC was running really slow. Decided to power down in the usual way, start, turn off computer. No problem. When I went to restart, I got a black screen with a message that windowns did not start properly and giving five options to select using up down arrows. The arrows did not change selection, which was to start windows (maybe not fully message but botton of list of five). Ran this which gave a number of vertical window lines that formed a type of time bar. Despite leaving this for a couple of hours and restarting a number of times it never finished and just went back to the beginning.

Decided to reinstall windows. Done this before on this PC. Had a problem with formatting selection (maybe this is a worry) and had to select quick format in the end.

Anyway windows installed and got a message I had to register windows! Never had that on a reinstall before. Anyway finished that and now cannot find any files. Program or personal. Could they have been wiped (either with the orginal problem or on the window install) or are they just hidden? Looking at the C Drive Program files, Microsoft office no longer appears to be there.

Any one can offer help or device?
14 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Quote
Had a problem with formatting selection (maybe this is a worry) and had to select quick format in the end.


think that'll be why. formatting a drive does tend to wipe it.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Bad news - xp install format whether quick or full deletes all files on the c partition.
Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Hmmmm. Bad news. Daft question I know but no way back I assume?

I do have some back up, not done so for about six months.

For the lessons learned, apart from don't reformat, I never remember a reinstall offering a reformat opinion before. The way it was presented this morning was to progress I had to do this? Could this be because of the orginal problem? Any ideas?
N/A

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

well if you dont start adding new data etc, you could recover some of it using programs such as GetDataBack or other undelete programs (the data is still there untill it is writen over.

you should have selected "leave file system intact" when instalin XP as this just overwites c:\windows wtih the new install, leavin the rest of it ok.
N/A

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

But even if you choose "leave file system intact" you would still lose all your "my documents" as is the way Windows XP is designed.

Stupid really.

Best solution is buy a small backup drive to put stuff on you want to keep, then if something goes wrong in the future you can just format, re-install and everything will still be on your (D:/) drive for example. Wink
N/A

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Doesn’t it warn you when your just about to format C: that you will lose everything on that drive :?

Maybe that was a big enough hint.
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

This is why when I start with a new installation I partition the drive and after XP has installed in the C: partition (about 20GB) I move "My Documents" to the D: partition by right click the My Documents short cut on the desktop and select properties and you can move the whole thing. Also I use Acronis to backup the C: partition at regular intervals
Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Quote
well if you dont start adding new data etc, you could recover some of it using programs such as GetDataBack or other undelete programs (the data is still there untill it is writen over.


Top result Smiley

Got most of the files back including the Wife's pictures. Cost me $79, but I guess cheaper than a divorce!!!

Still got a problem where I lose the internet connection when I switch off (See http://portal.plus.net/central/forums/viewtopic.php?t=44421). Can anyone help?
N/A

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Quote
But even if you choose "leave file system intact" you would still lose all your "my documents" as is the way Windows XP is designed.


er..no you dont. that only happens if you use the same user name on the new install, which makes perfect sense as it recreates the userspace. If on the install you put a user like "temp" then it goes and makes c:\documents and settings\temp\ and does not touch c:\documents and settings\USER_NAME. then again you shouldn't use the documents folder :p its silly, and you can overwrite it (like you said) by accident if you do not know what you are doing, so move your data else where :p
N/A

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

The point still stands that Windows XP My Docs setup is stupid and more people lose files this way probably than any other way.

Yes there are ways around this as mentioned but I wouldnt say its silly for people to use the my docs as most people probably dont know or dont expect a clean install to kill everything in there.

Its Microsofts silly OS. I still believe the best way around it is either backing up to DVDs or another storage drive. The reason this is, is because its easy to do. Partitions or changing settings are something most people wont know how to do and wouldnt like to do, but using a USB hard drive or DVD-Rs is simple and easy.

I suppose it comes down to preference really. Still, XP is good in so many ways but things like the my docs really lets it down. I always use the same username on re-installs buzzons because it keeps my network settings intact too for other systems connecting to this one.

Obviously there are better ways to do this but I found this the easiest way, but so many times I have forgot to backup or change the my docs location and lost the lot because of this. I have just backed up most things now to DVDs heh, I cant wait for a new OS, I just hope it sorts out some of the annoying things such as has been mentioned in this thread. Wink
Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

I have had to reinstall windows on about three or four occasions and never had this problem before. OK. I may be a donut and have missed something this time. I suspect what ever happened to my PC before to lead me to reinstall lead to the need to a clean install.

Learned to lesson to back up once a month now. Damage could have been a lot worst!!
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,307
Thanks: 972
Fixes: 57
Registered: 15-06-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

For the future can I suggest you download Bart PE from here http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
This will allow you to create an XP boot disk from which you can recover/backup any files before doing anything drastic
Can be very useful.
Rourkefamily
Grafter
Posts: 241
Registered: 01-09-2007

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

Thanks Jim.

Will do this.
N/A

Reinstall windows and all files have gone

If you have a major problem (an unrecoverable crash) and need to recover software, keep a copy of the knoppic live cd to hand.

You can boot to cd and recover documents say to an external usb hard drive. knoppix or pclos will see windows partitions even if windows corrupts itself.

A useful addition mine is ALWAYS to hand but never needed to use it as my usb2 hard drive is the most useful thing i ever purchased!!!!