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Windows 7: Recovery of lost data

24 Jun 2011   #1

Windows 7 Enterprise
Recovery of lost data


I'm in desperate need of some help. My PC at work decided to shutdown each time it booted up and displayed the desktop it would display a message along the lines on 'Microsoft has detected an error and will shutdown...', then shutdown.

The machine was taken away by the IT guys who at first thought it was a memory issue, I was then told it was a hard drive fault and that they tried to clone the hard drive to a new hard drive but some of the windows system files were corrupt, so they gave me a new hard drive with and loaded a fresh install of Windows 7 and set my faulty hard drive as the slave drive.

The slave drive originally had XP on it.

The problem I have is trying to recover the files from the slave drive, although the drive and structure look in tact the user profile doesn't appear at all, I've unhidden files within 'user' but it just shows up as 'default' with just a bunch of empty folders.

Is there anyway I can recover my profile and more importantly recover my files?

Many thanks

My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jun 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


As your IT guys have tried, I would say NO.
Do your IT guys backup all the PC at work.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2011   #3

Windows 7 Enterprise

Well, that's the thing, we have different levels of IT Support it would appear that the guy who was tasked with fixing my PC was more concerned with getting the PC to function rather than recover any data. In fact when I asked about data recovery I was told he only goes to the extent of attempting a clone and if unsuccessful then it's out of his remit and I need to get someone else to look at it, unfortunately he'd already replaced the hard drive and loaded up a clean install of Windows 7 before telling me what he was doing.

So I went to the next level and enquired about data recovery and the response wasn't great, along the lines of "Are you sure you need the data, it's a big hassel, blah, blah blah". They told me they would have to send the drive to a specialist company which will take time and money.

Turns out IT Support aren't as supportive as I'd hoped so I'm taking it upon myself to fix the problem.

I've recovered data from a seemingly dead hard drive in the past but I'm a little stuck with this one and just wanted to know if there are any procedures or advice that I can follow to help?
My System SpecsSystem Spec

24 Jun 2011   #4

Windows 8.1 Pro x64 x3 + Windows 10 Preview, Ubuntu

Do you have administrator rights on the system?.

If you do you can try to take ownership of the users tree on the now slave drive and thin give your current username full access to these files in the permissions dialogue.

this may allow you to see and recover any files remaining on the old drive

If this is in a domain environment it may be that the user files are actually stored on a server somewhere rather than locally - check with the domain admin
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Jun 2011   #5

Windows 7 Enterprise

Thanks for the advice I'll give that a shot on Monday morning!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Jun 2011   #6

Windows 7 Enterprise

One thing I forgot to mention, Windows is detecting that the slave drive has only used around 10gb of data, whereas in fact it should be around 60-80gb.

I'm really hoping this doesn't mean what I think it does and that because the user profile may be corrupt an possibly the system files on the slave drive that it's causing some sort of an issue with calculating used data.

I don't think I have administrator access as I tried to use some data recovery software which prompted me to sign in as the administrator.

I won't find out for sure until I go back in to work on Monday but it's causing me a lot of anxiety and has wrecked my weekend thinking about it.

Thanks for all your help so far!
My System SpecsSystem Spec
27 Jun 2011   #7

Windows 7 Enterprise

Okay, I'm back at work. It appears I do have administrator access to the drives.

The slave drive is being detected with less data than it should have on it.

I've had a play around with 'test disk' and 'photorec' to see if either of these apps could see any files associated with my user profile but it doesn't see my user profile at all.

Is there any way of trying to repair the user profile now I'm on Windows 7 (and the slave was originally XP)?

Does anyone have any suggestions on why the drive is being detected with less data on it than there should be?

Any help is much appreciated, I'm really desperate!

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 Jun 2011   #8

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient


Check the hard drive with the manufacturer's diagnostic tools.
Hard Drive Diagnostics Tools and Utilities (Storage) - TACKtech Corp.
HD Diagnostic

You may be able to recover some of the data with this apps.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Recovery of lost data

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