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

21 Jun 2010   #21

Vista, soon to be Windows 7

Okay, so here's what I've done since my last post:

I got a hold of a friend who is really talented with computers and worked with him for a few hours. We learned that this is a very common issue with Toshiba 1TB external hard drives. We were able to get the backup software working again that I used to back up my computer before installing W7. Anyway, so the "restore" function on the software isnt working, but the sync is. So right now I'm trying to sync my backup folder back to my computer. I'm hoping that somehow the files will translate in the process.

I'll let you guys know if it works... :)

My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Jun 2010   #22


Good to hear that.. even better if you tell us all how it was done when it works
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #23

Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (6.1, Build 7601) Service Pack 1

Hey, bro. As you saw, I had the same problem as you in the past. I could never retrieve my files. You should have never used Toshiba's software to backup your files. I talked to their tech support and they said this is a common issue with it. After being pulled every which way, they finally said that since you're not restoring those files on the same copy of Windows, it won't work. How genius is that, seriously? Backups are frequently used when upgrading Windows as a means of retaining your files. I've said it before, I'll say it again - stay away from Toshiba for Hard drives. If you Google Toshiba 1TB external hard drive reviews, you will see NOTHING but bad things said about it.

Here's some for your viewing pleasure.
Customer Reviews Of TOSHIBA 1TB Black External Hard Drive 3 years Manufacturer Warranty PH3100U-1EXB
Toshiba 1.0TB Desktop External Hard Drive - Toshiba (view from lowest to highest)
Toshiba 1TB Desktop External Hard Drive Reviews | 88 reviews | (same thing, sort by lowest)

And note, most of the positive reviews are most likely people who haven't had the drive for very long. Aside from this problem, the drive has MANY other drawbacks to it. So much that I don't feel like going into detail about all the things wrong with this drive. Why do you think they're going for so cheap right now? Here's a thread on another site that is kinda related to it. Enjoy reading this haha. Virtual CD removal on Toshiba 1tb Ext. HDD - Tech Support Forum

But, yeah.. I'm sorry for your loss. You'll just have to start anew and bite the bullet. You could potentially try to reinstall your last copy of Vista and see if you can restore your files, then either format the external, drag and drop all your files, and retry installing Windows 7 again OR throw that drive out the window, get a good HDD and buy an enclosure for it and use that as your backup. I tried doing this, but it didn't work for me. And I was upgrading from Win7 32bit to 64bit. But I never had an install disk, so my means of redownloading and installing Win7 32 didn't guarantee I'd have the same exact copy.
And there's always means for getting the files you had before, such as music, programs, etc. if you're smart about it. As for your personal documents though, that's not so fortunate. And one last word of advice, don't use Norton. Download AVG9 Internet Security or something similar. The free version has everything you need, but you could upgrade to the full version by purchasing a product key or by other means..

Here's a decent option for a raw drive that you can buy an enclosure for:
Seagate 7200.11 ST31500341AS Barracuda Hard Drive - 1.5TB, 7200RPM, 32MB Cache, SATA-3G (OEM) at
Western Digital WD10EARS Caviar Green Hard Drive - 1TB, 3.5, SATA 3G, 64MB Cache, GreenPower at
or this one, it's pretty close to the same one I got for $99 at the time - Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive -Bare Drive

Then be sure to get a good enclosure; Rosewill is good for those so that's what I'd recommend. Check my system specs to see exactly what I have.

Lemme know if you need anymore advice/help. Take care.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

22 Jun 2010   #24

Win7 Home Premium 64x

Besides the AVG thing (personal preference) I agree with everything you said. I am sorry to hear about the Toshiba problem. I have a toshiba external and was not aware of the issue. I do manual copying for backup.

As for having to have the same version as it was backup up from, you could install Vista in a Virtual Partition on your Harddrive. This acts as a regular partition, but doesn't require modifying the current partition on the drive: Virtual Hard Drive VHD File - Create and Start with at Boot

Install Vista on it then get your files and then delete the VHD.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Jun 2010   #25
Microsoft MVP


Based on these reports, to retrieve your files: shrink your new installation in Disk Mgmt to make enough space to install your old OS, the one which you used Toshiba's worthless piece-of-crap Backup/TransferNot program. Or use a second HD, preferably with your new OS unplugged during install so that boot is managed only by BIOS.

Now boot into the old OS which you have reinstalled to retrieve your files, recovering them if possible into the correct directory folders on the new install's drive. If not, recover them in pieces to rescue partition's OS desktop or directory, then copy them over to your new install's matching directory folder.

Use Toshiba's Tech Support if necessary to get the files retrieved via the old OS you have rescue-installed but don't tell them its a rescue install or they may use it as an excuse to blow you off.

Once you've succeeded, post back a screenshot of your full Disk Management map and we will give you the steps to remove the rescue partition and recover the MBR back into your new installation - steps which we give every day here and are easy to achieve. Use Snipping Tool in Start Menu to post back the DM screenshot.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

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

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