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Windows 7: How do I undo a cut/paste of a huge number of files from library docs?

28 Dec 2014   #1
Lee85

Windows 7
 
 
How do I undo a cut/paste of a huge number of files from library docs?

So my mother came to me for assistance with her laptop running windows 7 home premium. Basically the lappie is on its last legs and she wanted me to get all her files off it and help organise them so we can dispose of the laptop and copy it to her new computer, which is already up and running.

Upon beginning the dire process of sorting through several years of utterly unorganised and incoherently-named files (literally about 4000 documents including powerpoint, pdf, docx, tif, jpg etc) I created a new folder, in which I was going to transfer everything to be kept and delete everything that would not be kept.

As we know, windows 7 included a little thing called the "Libraries - documents" folder. What I DIDN'T know was that this is actually (or at least now seems to be) a compilation of every single document on the computer. I discovered this after I had cut and paste every single file to be kept into a different folder. There were a few thou that were being disregarded, and it was easier for me to search by file type for the documents being kept and cut/paste them out, leaving the files to be deleted as residual, rather than going through and just deleting the files that we wanted removed. I sincerely regret that decision.

When I eventually jumped into the /user/documents folder, I discovered that many of the documents were actually well organised into individual folders, and that my actions had removed many thousands of documents into one single, unorganised file, and that is where I realised what I had done.

So now I am appealing to the elite on this forum to please tell me an easy way of moving all of those documents back into their original folders. I actually did manage to use Ctrl+z which from what I can see has moved a few hundred documents back into their original position, but there are about 4000 files and I am getting an error blip when trying to ctrl+z the rest, so I assume it is because of limitations in the short term undo-able memory that windows holds.

Please tell me there is a relatively easy way of undoing this.

Many, many thanks in advance.

Lee85


My System SpecsSystem Spec
.
28 Dec 2014   #2
ignatzatsonic

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Home Premium SP1, 64-bit
 
 

Hmmm.......

There may be a way to directly do what you want--return files to original location. I don't use libraries, so I can't help with such an idea.

Actually, I think this command using xxcopy:

Xxcopy source destination /srr

can rebuild sub-directory structures if you've previously copied a bunch of files to a single directory--as you've done. But since you didn't use xxcopy to make the copy, I don't think you can use it to "undo". And it seems you did a cut rather than a copy.

But a few things you might want to clarify:

1: I assume nothing is outright lost? You've got all the files, you just don't know their original directories?

2: Are all of the files in question her personal files--as opposed to Windows files, application files, or anything presumably needed for the laptop to function correctly?

3: You say the files are "utterly unorganized" and "incoherently-named". Is there no hope of getting her better organized? I'm wondering if you could not create a new more organized directory structure on the new laptop and copy these unorganized files to the new directory structure, batch by batch, if necessary. Possibly "all PDFs", "all images", "all Word files", etc, if nothing else? You could do something like that from the command line.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2014   #3
Lee85

Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
Hmmm.......

There may be a way to directly do what you want--return files to original location. I don't use libraries, so I can't help with such an idea.

Actually, I think this command using xxcopy:

Xxcopy source destination /srr

can rebuild sub-directory structures if you've previously copied a bunch of files to a single directory--as you've done. But since you didn't use xxcopy to make the copy, I don't think you can use it to "undo". And it seems you did a cut rather than a copy.

But a few things you might want to clarify:

1: I assume nothing is outright lost? You've got all the files, you just don't know their original directories?

2: Are all of the files in question her personal files--as opposed to Windows files, application files, or anything presumably needed for the laptop to function correctly?

3: You say the files are "utterly unorganized" and "incoherently-named". Is there no hope of getting her better organized? I'm wondering if you could not create a new more organized directory structure on the new laptop and copy these unorganized files to the new directory structure, batch by batch, if necessary. Possibly "all PDFs", "all images", "all Word files", etc, if nothing else? You could do something like that from the command line.
Hi, cheers for the reply. In response to your questions, yes I did use a cut/paste, not a copy.

1. Nothing is lost at all; the files are there but I don't have or know the original directories.

2. Yes, all personal files.

3. The reason for the post is because I don't want to now have to go through every single document - when I said they were unorganised, that was my impression because I was looking at the files in the Libraries file, thinking they were all placed into one big folder without labels which is what caused the problem in the first place. They were actually organised, and I have undone that, hence needing assistance.

Appreciate the help but doesn't sound like the fix I need. I pretty much just need to undo the entire cut/paste event to place them back where they came from.

There must be a way - can anybody else assist?

Many thanks in advance for any help - it will literally save me days of going through files and cutting/pasting about 4 thousand documents into their original folders, assuming I even know which ones they are.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

29 Dec 2014   #4
Wandering one

Win7 sp1 Pro 64bit / XP sp2 Pro (games only)
 
 

Any chance that there was a backup done shortly before you started?Art.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2014   #5
lehnerus2000

W7 Ultimate SP1, LM18 MATE, W10IP VM, W10 Home, #All 64 bit
 
 

If you Delete/Move/Rename files in Windows Explorer, you can use "Ctrl + Z" to undo those actions.

You should have been able to do a "Ctrl + Z" directly after the action.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Dec 2014   #6
whs
Microsoft MVP

Vista, Windows7, Mint Mate, Zorin, Windows 8
 
 

If you have an earlier restore point (e.g. from the last update), you can get them back from there. See here:

ShadowExplorer - Recover Lost Files and Folders
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 How do I undo a cut/paste of a huge number of files from library docs?




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