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Is it Possible to Recover Files from Windows 8->8->10?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
Hi,

My boyfriend was running a bootlegged version of Windows 8. I reinstalled his Windows to a legitimate version of Windows 8 so that he could get the free upgrade upgrade to Windows 10.

When we went from Windows 8-->Windows 8, the only option the installer gave us was "Keep Nothing", so we backuped files onto an external harddrive (or so we thought), before the wipe. He had a bunch of important files on his Desktop but it turns out they were copied as shortcuts on the external harddrive and so he can't access any of these files. We didn't know this until we were already running Windows 10. So basically, we installed Windows twice on the same day, which was today.

He's extremely upset about these files he lost. They were a reflection of his undergraduate career. Is there any way to get them back? He's tried opening the windows.old folder but there's nothing there. If he were to restore to the Windows 8 that he had previously, is there any chance? Is there anything that can be done?

Experts, please help. Much, much, much appreciated.
post #2 of 4
Basically, all his files went to "bit heaven". While it's easier to get your files back than it would be to get you grandmother back, a lot depends on whether you did a format (cremation) or not.

There are commercial places that do file recovery (Seagate, for example) but that is extremely expensive, $1,000 plus.

I would suggest that you spend some time with your friend Google and have a look at some of the free programs that are available out there. I've used various ones with varying degrees of success. A lot depends on whether there was a format involved (more difficult) and whether the data has been overwritten. The less you use the computer before you try recovery the less chance of overwriting what may be salvageable.
Edited by billbartuska - 9/27/15 at 5:36am
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post #3 of 4
Depending on how much of the hard disk has been over-written you may still be able to get some of the files back.
Your chances of recovering those files is very slim because overwritten by the installs of Windows.
post #4 of 4
Quote:
Originally Posted by diana139 View Post

Hi,

My boyfriend was running a bootlegged version of Windows 8. I reinstalled his Windows to a legitimate version of Windows 8 so that he could get the free upgrade upgrade to Windows 10.

When we went from Windows 8-->Windows 8, the only option the installer gave us was "Keep Nothing", so we backuped files onto an external harddrive (or so we thought), before the wipe. He had a bunch of important files on his Desktop but it turns out they were copied as shortcuts on the external harddrive and so he can't access any of these files. We didn't know this until we were already running Windows 10. So basically, we installed Windows twice on the same day, which was today.

He's extremely upset about these files he lost. They were a reflection of his undergraduate career. Is there any way to get them back? He's tried opening the windows.old folder but there's nothing there. If he were to restore to the Windows 8 that he had previously, is there any chance? Is there anything that can be done?

Experts, please help. Much, much, much appreciated.

    Your best bet at this point is a deep scan with Piriform Recuva ASAP.  Time is of essence, and any web browsing or installing software will continue to erode the number of potentially recoverable files.  At this point, with two OS installs done, the chances of recovering anything are quite low; however, a stroke of luck could potentially result in recoverable data laying around somewhere, so it is definitely worth checking:
  1. Download, install, and run Piriform Recuva (the free version is fine).
  2. Click [Options] and go to the Actions tab.
  3. Tick all the checkboxes and click [OK].
  4. Click the [Scan] button.  The scan will probably take several hours.
  5. When it is done, look through the list.  Due to overwritten folders and file index information, files of interest may be found in unknown folders, or may even have unexpected names.  You can use the search box to narrow down the results, or click and of the column headers to sort the results.
  6. When files of interest are found, you can right-click and recover them.  You can select multiple files to recover using the regular Windows Explorer [Ctrl] and [Shift] keys.  Be sure to recover the data onto a different drive so that they don't overwrite yet unrecovered data.
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