Windows 7 Upgrade deleted all files

Hello, I have Windows Vista. I have two partitions--one for OS/Programs and one for documents. I attempted to install Windows 7 RC to the OS/Programs partition and everything was looking fine, but when I returned there was an error message to the effect of "required driver not found." It then said setup was reversing the installation and no changes would be saved. The computer rebooted and booted to a setup rollback program, but that program failed with an error regarding "winpeshl.dll."

I saw that it still had my Windows Vista OS listed, so when it restarted I attempted to boot into Vista. The Windows 7 installation continued and booted my into a Windows 7 sans all my programs, drivers, etc.--a completely clean reboot. Some of my files on the primary partition were saved, but all of my program files were wiped out. I checked my second partition to see if my files were still there, and all the folder architecture is still there but all the files are gone. The partition is still listed as having 40 GB or so used, so I assume the files are still somewhere.

I attempted to install Windows 7 again to see if it would fix everything and now it's a completely clean install--my second partition is listing as only have 1 GB used. I'm assuming that somewhere in the process of transferring settings/files/etc. the installation failed and all my files are still encoded or something, and may still be accessible. Is this true? Is there anyway to get any of my files back? I think the second install of 7 may have wiped out any data that was remaining, choosing instead to backup my "settings" of the previous Windows 7 installation. I have all my documents backed up minus 1 or 2 days, but it would be great to get all of it back without fussing with the backup, not to mention all my programs/OS settings/drivers/etc. Thank you for any help you can provide!

all i can say is.... oh dear!

There's really no reason to keep your OS and documents/files on separate partition. It just produces likelihood of problems occuring. I'd recommend just going through the Windows 7 installation again, formatting/deleting all the partitions (if you're looking into a clean install) and then installing it on a single partition where you'll keep your other files too--trust me, it's easier this way.

For data recovery I'm not sure if I can really help you, though you may want to try Recuva (it's made by the same people as Defraggler).

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