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Windows 7: If I do a custom upgrade, how do I get my files back?

21 Jun 2010   #11
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

What backup program are you using?
Is your father backup from other PC?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jun 2010   #12
madtownidiot

 

Instead of making a backup, simply copy all your media and personal files to your external drive using the copy and paste functions. That way the format doesn't get changed. As posted earlier, you will have to reinstall all your programs, so there's no real need to make a backup anyway.

When you're sure you have everything you want to keep, then insert the install disk, restart your computer and boot from the DVD.

One recommendation I make is to use the drive options to repartition your HDD, 1 partition of at least 40 GB for windows and programs and the rest for media and personal files in a separate partition, so that in the future, if you ever have a problem that can be more easily solved by reinstalling windows, you can do so without having to worry about losing any of your files. Smaller partitions also make windows run faster. I have a 4 year old dell that boots in 32 seconds and outperforms many of the newer dual and quad core systems that come preloaded with windows 7, partially because of the way I formatted the HDD, and partially because it's a clean install with no factory bloat or unnecessary startup programs.



Good luck
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #13
Mercuril

Vista, soon to be Windows 7
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by theog View Post
What backup program are you using?
Is your father backup from other PC?
Yeah, my father has his own laptop, and I have mine. We put both backups on the external hard drive.

I am using the backup program that came with my external hard drive. Before I upgraded to Ultimate, whenever I plugged in my hard drive to my computer, a little popup asking me to okay the backup program would pop up, but it's not doing that now.

What the backup program said it does, is this: The first time you backup, it scans all of your files, and then uploads them one by one onto the external drive. That took like four hours the first time I did a back up. Then every other time you do a backup, it scans your whole computer again, but then it only uploads files that have been modified since the last backup date. So the backup I did yesterday only took an hour or so.

My external hard drive is a terabyte that I bought from Best Buy; it was made by Toshiba.

xx

madtown, you're assuming that I havent switched from Vista to W7 yet, but I have. It is too late for me to back up my files. I would have loved to have seen this information before I did the software switch, but it's too late for that now. All my files are gone.

xx

I am not a hardcore gamer and my life isnt based on my computer, so I am trying to tell myself that maybe I should just give up. I found my music and video files that are compatible with iTunes and iPod, so that's what would have hurt financially. I havent reinstalled iTunes yet, but I'm sure those files are fine. They are files that I recognize.

What really upsets me is that I'm a writer (unpublished, with a desire to stay unpublished, so at least it's not a career problem). And I have copies of old stories and new, all sorts of drafts, and now they are gone. If you are not a writer, you would not understand, but those documents are honestly a part of me, and I look over them from time to time to improve myself.

What does frustrate me is that all of the sudden, my Norton Antivirus Spyware I had, is gone. I guess I have to reinstall that too. But I dont know how to do that, so I will have to wait until I see my dad... And he will not be happy that I screwed up the backup...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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21 Jun 2010   #14
Thorsen

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

Have faith friend, your files should still be there if the backup was done. Did you install the backup program to your new win 7? or is the program stored on the external?

You can also look on your C: for a windows.old file. The install might have created this type of file/folder to hold all of your data when the new install took place.

Another good thing to try since this can be confusing is to write down the names of all the backup files available and check each one to narrow it down so you know where it is not.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #15
electrotune1200

Windows 8 Pro
 
 

USB_Portable_Ext_Hard_Drive Support

If you go to this page... A little more than halfay down the page, you can download and install the Toshiba backup software.

Installing that will probably retrieve your backup.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #16
Mercuril

Vista, soon to be Windows 7
 
 

Thorsen, the backup program came with the external hard drive, so it is not on my laptop and is still stored on the hard drive.

I'll do a search for the .old files too; I didnt know that's how they did that...

Electrotune, thanks for the link; I'm about to start reading it and will download it if it's the right one.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #17
Thorsen

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

the windows.old folder is where windows stores all your previous files when you do an upgrade. This is an option though when you do the upgrade so I dont know if the system created the file, but its worth a look.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #18
Thorsen

Win7 Home Premium 64x
 
 

As for the text files, as these are small, there is a good chance they have not been overwritten during the upgrade. If they have not, you can use diskdigger to search for these files.

Tech info: When files are "deleted" they are not really deleted they are taken out of the list of files and changed to "Free space". This free space can then be written to, but the data that was previously there is not changed unless a file is written over it or you format the drive and overwrite the free space. This is usally done be changing all place values to zero's. (Edit: more info) Using programs like Diskdigger or Recuva look in this free space for files and allow you to restore these files if they have not been completely overwritten.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #19
theog

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

ME/XP/Vista/Win7
 
 

You may need to download the update for win7 for your backup app.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #20
gregrocker

 

As long as you are sure you were using the Toshiba external driver's own backup app - and not the one built into Vista which just popped up and started working for you - then this is a time when you should call Toshiba Tech Support to get them to help you make their backup utility work for your new Win7 install. They have all of the workarounds, know its limitations and emergency methods to extract data.

If you are within a year of purchase, support should be included in the warranty. If not, they may give you enough help to get you on your way before charging you for it, although it may be a price you're willing to pay for your data. my friend got tech support to retrieve data from an off-brand which is almost a year old.

Remember: Drag and Drop in the future. It is as easy as dragging the folders over to your external in the explorer tree to left, or drag your entire named User Account to be sure you get everything. Don't let the folder go until you are sure it is gonna drop in right directory.

Good luck.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 If I do a custom upgrade, how do I get my files back?




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