Install disaster. Not cool Microsoft.

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Brambley, Mar 29, 2010.

  1. Brambley

    Brambley New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Not cool at all.
    First let me say I have been a Microsoft fan, fanatic and apologist since the mid 80s. A professional computer user. But I think Ive finally reached the end; I'm going to start saving money for a Mac.
    My brother had been using PCs even longer; now he is a Mac evangelist. Since DOS 1 he had made a good living creating MS products and applications. Last year he announced "I have finally found the killer app that convinces me to switch to Apple".

    The killer app? ... Microsoft Vista.

    I tried to upgrade to 7 yesterday. Not wanting to reinstall all my applications yet again, like for every version of DOS and Windows for the last 25 years, I opted for an upgrade.
    Didn't work. At the last minute 7 said "Cannot install a driver, upgrade failed". No clues to which driver and no restoring to Vista. Everything was gone.

    Poop.

    OK I half expected that. All my data, passwords, email and notes on reconstucting my computer life are safe on a separate drive partition; I'll just do a fresh install. Worked fine, or so I thought. But when I looked at my data drive I see all the file folders just where they should be but NO DATA. They are all empty.

    ACCKKK SPIT C@@T &$@# FR##K @&#$%&#$%. My entire life since my last backup. P@@P S**T C@@T &$@# FR##K @&#$%&#$%

    OK I've calmed down now. My question for you: Do you think there's any chance at all that the data is still there but hidden somehow?
     
  2. busydog

    busydog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    31
    Try Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download. If you haven't overwritten anything yet, chances are you can reclaim it.
     
  3. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I would first say there is a chance you stuff is still there, unless you allowed the install to overwrite that partition.

    Do you have one hard drive with two partitions?

    Was a compatibility check done prior to the install?

    You have Vista up and running, but the second partition is not accessible?

    Did you have any type of encryption or compression on the partition?
     
  4. Brambley

    Brambley New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thank you Busydog. While I'm waiting for Recuva to scan my disk:

    Yes, one drive with two partitions.
    Compatability check was A-OK
    The first attempt to upgrade to 7 destroyed my Vista. At the end I was left with a very pretty windows 7 background and a command line box. No menus, no net access. After booting to the DVD System restore failed and I was forced to do a fresh install. I successfully installed to the first partition and am running Win 7-64 bit. THe second partition/drive looks normal. All the file folders are there but when I look deeper they are all empty. Empty empty empty.
    No compression, just normal files in normal folders.
     
  5. Brambley

    Brambley New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    OK, Recuva found a whole swack of files. All the file names are gone so I won't know untill I restore and go through them one at a time what I have lost. THe next question is, is this the best way? If I restore them it will overwrite the clusters, yes? Is there a way to recover the files to a different drive?
     
  6. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I keep wondering why the files themselves would have disappeared and not the folders. Since I do not have an answer for that, just some points.

    Can you put that drive in another computer or install it in an external exclosure to look at?

    Are you using the same user name and password now as before?

    Were these normal folders you created, or library type folders you moved from the C: partition?

    Is the drive letter the same as it was in the prior install?
     
  7. Brambley

    Brambley New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    Can you put that drive in another computer or install it in an external exclosure to look at?
    My only destop I'm afraid.

    Are you using the same user name and password now as before?
    I'm not sure. I didn't use a password to access Vista. I may have a new name but that wouldn't explain the intact folders.

    Were these normal folders you created, or library type folders you moved from the C: partition?
    Normal folders and files. I like to keep my data and apps separate for just this reason. Windows and apps: Drive C:, Data: Drive D:

    Is the drive letter the same as it was in the prior install?
    No it has changed but I rearranged the letters under Vista.

    I've seen this before, long ago. I remember the bad old days when Norton's Tools was required for any serious computing. I suspect the switch to Win 7-64 overwrote some drive sectors not normally used for the Vista OS. By scanning the actual drive I will be able to save most of the files if not their names. This may be a bug report for Microsoft. Maybe they will fix it in Windows 8.
     
  8. busydog

    busydog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    1,056
    Likes Received:
    31
    Just a thought..... right-click on an empty folder and see what the permissions are. Maybe you are somehow locked out.
     
  9. Saltgrass

    Saltgrass Excellent Member
    Microsoft Community Contributor

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2009
    Messages:
    15,157
    Likes Received:
    393
    I'm not sure after the failed installed, it would be considered a bug, but maybe. You are the first posting of this type I have seen.

    Have you checked the setupact.log in the Panther folder? It might give you a clue about which driver was giving you problems. As you probably know, if Win 7 can't complete it's install, it should roll back to Vista.

    Maybe even doing a Custom install, even though it will not allow programs to be kept intact, might clear up your problems. If you said all your data is on the other partition, you might give that a try.

    If you are using any type of special software or multiple monitors or external USB devices, or anything you can turn off or remove, even in the bios, you might try that to reinstall.
     
  10. Brambley

    Brambley New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Likes Received:
    0
    If you are young you won't remember that up to about 15 years ago hard drives crashed with distressing frequency. I have a fair sized box full of drives going back as far as a $3000 (in 1985 dollars) 10 Megabyte Maxtor (about the size weight and shape of a common red brick). (Yes, that's MB not GB) One of the regular results of a crash, if you managed to get the drive going again, was a drive filled with binary data but no file names to go with them. You do know that when a file is erased the data isn't destroyed; just the name and location of the file is hidden. The name and location; and the data, are kept in separate places.

    This describes almost exactly what has happened to my computer. It looks like the file names have been overwritten by the windows 7 reformat and install. Recuva was able to scan the drive and locate most of the original files and assign new names.


    Any log files left from the original failed install would have been wiped clean by the new install.


    A failed install might not be a bug. A successful install that also wipes the data from a separate partition? Sounds pretty buggy to me.


    In any case I thank you all for your time. I have a working computer and a drive with approximately 3000 sequentially numbered files to sort out.


    Tonight I will be dreaming of Snow Leopards, Mac Pros, and 27” displays.
     

Share This Page

Loading...