Well, my nephew dropped his laptop with win 7 (Dell) and their software/recovery stuff is cr*p (you don't get an actual windows disk when you buy the product - thanks Dell!) and it won't boot so I tried to help him recover gigs of music etc from the "bad disk". Using win 8.1 I was able to buy some software to recover the needed files from his old HD. I set it up to do so and it found the files and I left it overnight to "recover" them. That's where things got dicey. It seems that he used the default win7 file structures from msft (documents/music/videos ""libraries" and they were under his user/user name section of system files like all windows installations. I learned a long time ago to NOT use these default windows libraries/folders for such files to avoid the very issues I ran into recovering his files. It seems since these files were part of his old HD "system" folders they will NOT show up as recovered on my HD with a different user/etc which is my user info. Adding him as a user on my computer and logging him in did not help. Does anyone have any ideas how to get around this limitation ? If I could "restore/fix the mbr on his old HD that might do it but I have already spend $$$ on programs that say they can do this but actually cannot which you do not find out till after you buy them. I bought a new HD and another copy of win 8.1 for him but would love to be able to get all the files he needs off the old HD. Any suggestions appreciated.