Did a refresh/restore thing on Windows 8 where it said I wouldn't lose files

Discussion in 'Windows 8 Help and Support' started by Ehzoolpoe, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. Ehzoolpoe

    Ehzoolpoe Member

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    I did a refresh/restore type thing on my computer and Windows said "You will not lose any files by doing this. You will however, have to re-install your programs." That was totally fine by me.

    The only thing is I DID lose some files that were within program files.
    For example I lost all the projects I was working on in Program Files/Sony/Sony Vegas/Projects since all my programs were uninstalled, their folders were deleted too.

    So is there any way to get these files back or am I pretty much screwed?
     
  2. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    In all likelihood, you're pretty much screwed. It wouldn't hurt to try a raw un-delete on the off chance that every last byte of your stuff was not over-written. A number of un-delete programs have a low-level or raw mode that scavenges the hard disk for snippets of anything that is not a hard format pattern and links together what it can. The results will potentially contain whole files, partial files, and cross-linked files (pieces of old files grafted to pieces of new files because a link in the chain was over-written). If it does find whole, uncorrupted files, that's when your fun will begin, as you try to figure out whether any of it is your files and if so, which ones.

    Do the recovery as soon as possible because anything written to the hard disk could over-write your old files if the data is still there. Do the recovery to a different physical storage medium so that the recovered files don't, themselves, over-write other recoverable data.
     
  3. Ehzoolpoe

    Ehzoolpoe Member

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    Aw man. Is there anyway to go back to how my computer was before I did the restore?

    Also, how would I go about doing what you said?
     
    #3 Ehzoolpoe, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014
  4. kemical

    kemical Windows Forum Admin
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    You can undo system restores but I doubt your data would return. It can't return what has been removed.
     
  5. Fixer1234

    Fixer1234 Senior Member

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    There is a way to go back to how your computer was before you did the restore. However, it requires time travel. :(

    The restore doesn't do a "hard" format, so there could be bits and pieces of old stuff floating around your hard disk. I sure wouldn't bet the farm on finding much of value, but it can't hurt to look. Download Recuva, a free data recovery program, from here:
    http://www.piriform.com/recuva

    Save it directly to an external medium, like a thumb drive or external hard disk (if you save it to a CD, it will write it to your hard disk first and that could over-write something). It can be run without installing it, which is what you want.

    You want what they call a "deep" scan. It's been a while since I used it and I forget whether you automatically run a standard undelete first or can go directly to the deep scan. The deep scan is the only thing that might find any of what you're looking for (by definition, anything it finds with a normal undelete will be from after the restore). Have it do its recovery to an external hard disk or thumb drive so the recovery doesn't over-write anything.

    See what, if anything, it finds. If it finds some files that look from their size like they might be your stuff, get back and I can give you some hints on how to sift through it in a reasonable time.
     
  6. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

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    Hi

    I think this is one of the biggest problems with Windows 8.

    It was very easy to reinstall Windows 7 to a fresh install condition without losing any of your data, installed software or your old Windows items, like Favorites.

    If you didn't want to pick up settings from you old install you could just create a fresh User ID and then do your install from there. That gave you a really clean install with all your other data in place.

    That just doesn't seem to be possible in Windows 8 you either replace everything and lose all your files or at best you retain your data but lose all of your installed software. I have about a hundred software apps installed. I want' to be able to fix my computer without losing all of them.

    Whats wrong with having a real "Refresh" option that does repair and replace Windows without removing other data and software from your computer.

    There are always a few software programs that need to be reinstalled anyway, Photoshop (because of it security checks) for one, but I've found that many if not most software will still run after the refresh without being reinstalled.

    I have used the repair install option on Windows 7 computers many times, and it always worked without losing any of the data on the computer I was repairing.

    It just seems like that should have been something that they should have thought about when the designed Windows 8.

    More then ever it's important to make a disk image of your computer when you have it all setup and running right.

    Mike
     

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