System Restore problems (files deleted)


New Member
Hi guys

I'm new here so forgive me if this's been covered before (I did a quick scan of related threads but didn't find anything similar).

Recently I booted up my laptop to error messages saying I had HD failure. I could still use Firefox and Word fine, but nothing else. So I conducted a system restore, and everything returned back to normal - except, almost all my files in my personal folder (Docs/Music/Pictures/Videos etc) were missing - I assumed deleted. A few random files in a couple of the folders were left, but generally nothing was visible. Weirdly, however, I can still access the files that appear to have been deleted. For example, I can open documents from my docs history in Word that don't appear in my My Docs folder, and play songs in iTunes that don't appear in My Music.

Does anyone know what on earth is going on?? I've run a few misc antivirus/spam programmes (avast, spybot) but they haven't detected anything. I'm totally confused.

Any help would be much appreciated!



Microsoft MVP
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Run a search for one of the filenames which is opening but which you can't see in your docs folder. This should tell you where it is actually located.

Windows restores files including Documents from a specific restore point. Maybe you did not have those files when that restore point was made.
Note: If you have encountered problems with Windows, do not restore the whole system and files entirely, instead use the option that restores Windows only without affecting any documents.


Senior Member
technically your files are net deleted, files are only deleted when the same part of the hard drive is rewritten with data, this also applies when u click delete fro mthe recycle bin, this just removes the path to the file if u like leaving the file in place ready to be rewritten, this is why so many recovery programs are able to locate data,

depending on hard drive space etc this may take from 2 to 15 hours plus,

i recommend using a program called RECUVA, its made by piriform and its a great utility to recover lost images, music etc. im not saying u will be able to get every single bit of data backk and im not saying its the quickest but u may have a better shot at recoving older files if needed.

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