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Windows 7: All of my documents have disappeared from my computer

05 Dec 2014   #1
Person723

Windows 7
 
 
All of my documents have disappeared from my computer

This problem is happening on an old Acer netbook I have that is running Windows 7 starter. For some reason all of my documents are just gone. When I go to my documents in my library there is only one folder for OneNote Notebooks (I have never used OneNote before), everything else is completely gone. It is the same in the public folder (with the only folders there being microsoft and screensaver). When I go to use Microsoft word, the some documents show up in recent documents but when I attempt to open them it says they are not found.

When I tried looking up files I knew by name in Computer they were not found. When I searched the recycle bin it had a bunch of my files and pictures there that I know I did not delete.

If someone can tell me what caused all the files to delete themselves and how to get them back to the way they were that would be great. Please and thank you.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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05 Dec 2014   #2
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

First stop using the computer. The more you use it the more difficult to get the lost documents.
Hopefully Shadow Explorer will get everything back
ShadowExplorer.com - About
You probably lost them due to a power surge or an incorrect shutdown. It may have been a virus. There are so many possibilities.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Dec 2014   #3
Mark Phelps

Win7 Pro 32-bit, Win8 Pro 32-bit
 
 

If that doesn't work, you will need to consider using data recovery apps to get your documents back. A free app is known as "recuva". You would have to remove the hard drive from the netbook, connect it a working PC, download and install recuva -- and see if it can find your deleted documents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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06 Dec 2014   #4
gregrocker

 

Download, install (declining trial version), update and run a full scan with Malwarebytes, SUPERAntiSpyware and ESET online scanners.

There may be additional disinfection needed by one of our Security experts.

If there are files you cannot find and you are infected try using Unhide.exe - A introduction as to what this program does.

There really isn't anything else that could delete your files if someone else didn't do it.

In addition look at your Programs and Features list to see if anything has been installed that you didn't install yourself, same for your browser Add-On's or Extensions. Establish a Clean Boot and check the condition of System files from Troubleshooting Steps for Windows 7.

Report back on all steps for more which may be indicated.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #5
Person723

Windows 7
 
 

I just downloaded shadowexplorer and it got back everything from 8/27 that was in My Documents everything after that date did not have the files. So thank you! But now I don't know if other things are missing too. I'm going to try to run all the spyware and see if I can find anything.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #6
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Glad that you got all your important stuff. Shadow has not failed me yet. Spyware will give you the possible cause of the problem, and not find documents.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #7
gregrocker

 

Nice find, Rich. Is that an interface to System Restore's Shadow copies?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #8
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Yes Greg. All of Vista could use Shadow. All of 7 could use Shadow except the Ultimate and one other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #9
Berton

Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit, Windows 8.1 64-bit, Mac OS X 10.10, Linux Mint 17, Windows 10 Pro TP
 
 

This page says it will work on my Win7 Ultimate:
ShadowExplorer.com - About
Quote:
About

ShadowExplorer allows you to browse the Shadow Copies created by the Windows Vista / 7 / 8 Volume Shadow Copy Service. It's especially thought for users of the home editions, who don't have access to the shadow copies by default, but it's also useful for users of the other editions.

Shadow Copy


From time to time, Windows Vista / 7 / 8 creates point-in-time copies of your files. This allows you to retrieve older versions from files you accidentally deleted or altered. This service is turned on by default on all versions of Windows Vista/7, but Microsoft grants access to these copies only in Ultimate, Business, and Enterprise editions [Emphasis mine]. This is where ShadowExplorer comes into play. For more information on Shadow Copy, visit Microsofts website.

ShadowExplorer

Since the Volume Shadow Copy Service is included, and turned on by default, in all editions of Windows Vista / 7 / 8, why not take advantage of it? All it takes is an additional tool like ShadowExplorer, that can access the shadow storage and make the point-in-time copies accessible to the user.
Features

  • Show available point-in-time copies
  • Browse through Shadow Copies
  • Retrieve versions of files and folders
Limitations

Shadow Copies and ShadowExplorer are in no way a replacement for regular backups! This is very important and can't be stressed enough. A Shadow Copy is kept on the same disc as the original data. In case of a disc failure all data is lost, including the Shadow Copies. ShadowExplorer is a good addition to regular backups, but not a replacement.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Dec 2014   #10
richc46

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 10, Home Clean Install
 
 

Yes it works on all editions, but the two best editions have it built in with another name.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 All of my documents have disappeared from my computer




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