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Windows 7: Find traces of directory names from deleted stuff (after full format)

29 Jun 2015   #1

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate
Find traces of directory names from deleted stuff (after full format)

Unfortunately I have been UNEXCUSABLY in a hurry since I was doing 4 things at the same time and I for some STUPID reason did not check to see if the copy (cmd xcopy) properly copied all the files of one whole partition to another drive.

What I did was rearrange my disks, I bought a new 1TB one, so i had 3 disks and one of them was split to 2 partitions which were E and D ... so i first moved E and D which were around 75% full to the new 1TB in order to reparition the older drive and reformat to a new allocation size of 32K instead of ridicolous 4K that I had before, and I did a full format as with all other drives to check for those bad sectors since, GUESS WHAT, teracopy would CONSTANTLY crash which is extremely rare whenever I tried to move the whole D partition, i worked with E before, but it always crashed after 15-20 percent in, sometimes is crashed around when moving some call of duty files, another time it was battlefield 3, but still XCOPY moved those both games fine, so I think it was random, yes, the missing files are totally random, it's absolutely RIDICOLOUS.

One other thing, I did CHKDSK on the D partition as well, i don't remember exactly it might have had something but i've been in a once-a-year-maintenance-cleaning-super-2-week-a-thon and I did THOUSANDS of tasks around the room with cables, cleaning, rearranings, making clonezilla SSD backup image, tons of electronic tinkering stuff and DIY fans for the two hot routers around this summer time, twice i've been awake as long as 5AM and usually to 2AM as I stretch sometimes and that's probably affecting as well, I'm just a real geek at maintenance I want it good, and I cannot forgive myself how on earth did I NOT FKING look into the transfer of the D partition, i just looked at the ROOT and never went into Program Install and other folders, it just didn't seem right and I thought hmm some root folders are missing

Basically I started moving stuff away from SSD (C:) and i had a lot on D:\Program Install\ ...

Also in the D partition root, there is the games folder of 230GB, I didn't really check exec but I think all of that is intact.

D partition had Microsoft Office installed among other things such as Unity, Epic Games engine, editor the whole UT ... ALL GONE, but these weren't the problem, the problem was in the small apps that went missing, so much stuff I did there too with customization etc.

So what remained on the secondary install folder, Dreamweaver 6 and a few other programs, those weren't even installs, just folders with zip extracts, that's what all this whole folder was, it was utilities and there's no trace of them to find them all now, that's the worst part is that I don't know all what I had.

I cannot for even tho I can find anything imaginable I just can't find me snapping the screen and catching the folder being scrolled through. I have no idea - my estimate is that around 50GB was lost, mostly of that was dolphin ISOs, unity and epic games stuff that I can easily redownload and no user config was lost there althought those ISOs i will have a hard time figuring out which ones I had. Worse yet, some files appear to be missing

More than half of the folders are missing in Program Install, I used to do 3 full scrolls to get down, now it can't even fill one scroll on a standard window.

I have no idea what the HELL happened with XCOPY it just seems EXTREMELY unreliable that it had no errors or warnings or anything, I copied with the same settings I copied the whole E partition which had zero data loss and it was around 400GB

I can get the XCOPY settings i used later ... i just did all the things to ensure hidden files and system stuff is also transferred.

One of the weirdest things is that while the Dolphin 3.5 and 4.0 folders and the program it self remained, the ISOs and SAVES were deleted, VERY FUNNY

Ofcourse I tried Registery ... i could only recover the names of folders of a few, some of the stuff I already know myself since I worked with it recently, I had GTAV and GTAIV tools and my custom user configs and mods, I had tools for all kinds of things, i can redownload it, really nothing that important it just a pain in the butt that I don't know, i just know it was a lot and now 70% just gone.

But I'm ranting and I cant type anymore, recovering from last night lack of sleep so ... just. this:

Is there any software on my PC that may have been sniffing directories and saving them to some cache, that's all I can see now, unfortunately i regularly delete TEMP folders but no I do not use CC Cleaner, i do It all manually and on occasion not really timed automatically or anything.

One thing I had in mind was jv16 PowerTools which builds a "cache" every so often, if maybe I can examine the cache maybe I can find the old directory name, what about TREE SIZE ?

Why is it that ALL i need is the names of the - some stuff was custom and work in progress and user config is lost and I'm pissed about it but if I can at least bring back some of it I had so much useful stuff.

I did notice the loss of data fast so I think I haven't touched the cache or the Temps so, but right now I can't even keep my eyes open so later.

Oh and, I tried scanning for 5 hours deep trace with HDD data recovery software and it really did not find anything at all, full format sealed the deal, there was only some random references to some random files here and there mostly from the gaming side since that's what most of the size of the partition took.

And searching through registry it really doesn't find any of the dirs that were just manually unzipped unfortunately, or maybe PowerTools isn't searching good enough ?

BUTTTT - this data wasn't really that importan in the BIG PICTURE and long term shouldn't be a problem at all, i'm glad everything else that has biggger historical value (non-gaming related) has survived.

OH and ofcourse I'll be a better mood tomorrow, just excuse me for this OP, thanks.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jun 2015   #2
Microsoft MVP


What a mess.

What I can suggest is that you follow closely the steps which have been used by 1.5 million consumers to Clean Reinstall Windows 7 which compiles everything that works best (e.g. avoids most of what you do) to get and keep a perfect install, based on tens of thousands of installs we've directly helped with here since Win7 beta.

It may not answer your specfiic questions which frankly are not answerable IMO, but it will assure you never have those problems again as you will have a perfect install that will stay that way to the exact extent you stick only with those steps, tools and methods.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 Jun 2015   #3

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Well sure will do something about ... like actually snapping screenshots of my folder structure like I do my desktop icons (im so so disappointed at my self that I didn't do this before copying/moving, this is one hell of a learning lesson)

So jv16 PowerTools is out, seems like the cache was rebuilt and there's not even a whole lot of directory/file info in there anyways not sure why it's so small only like 250 kilobytes.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

30 Jun 2015   #4

Windows 7 x64 Ultimate

Okay guys ... now I got a problem with viewing Internet Explorer 10 History.

From registry and my own head i have a list of some 15 items that were lost, more then half of them not critical at all (easy redownload) some of them contained weeks of configs and some work, still not life or business important but I am sure there's more stuff missing.

So ... I had it set up to save my IE history for 800 days, I did that for situations exactly like this and yes I have "week 53" all down to "Today".

Problem is, IEHV seems like it doesn't support the new history structure of IE10, and BrowsingHistoryView says it supports IE10 but it only displays about 400 items that are only from the last few days not even nearly the whole thing.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Find traces of directory names from deleted stuff (after full format)

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