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Files lost after drive format/reinstall Windows 10 panic

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  • Actually beyond panic, because surely I'm out of luck. Did a PC Reset with Win 10 as I was having severe and bizarre problems, chose to keep personal files (no idea how Win 10 does this, or how reliably). I'm VERY new to Win 10, and have never tried to reinstall it before), but still had same problems with computer. Decided I didn't know what to do next.

    Took it to shop, and chose their suggested option of format disk/Windows 10 reinstall... BUT stupidly forgot to back up the personal files which Windows 10 supposedly kept on the drive, onto my other hard disk. Stupid of me, i should know better, no excuses.

    The shop can theoretically recover data at big cost after disc format, but say that since Win 10 has been reinstalled, my chances of success are very slim, and they say i'd be wasting my money. It's a 256G solid state Intel drive, and they say that even though Win 10 only occupies a small percentage of the disk space, it has assuredly overwritten the files I have lost.

    I didn't even know it was possible to recover ANYTHING after a disc format. There's numerous programs that claim to maybe do this when I google it, but does anyone have any experience that any of these actually are worth trying?

    In summary, I totally respect what the computer shop says, BUT I just wanted to see if any desperate straws are worth grasping at? I feel stupid asking, but these lost files are photos copied from my wife's iPad, when she got someone to do a factory reset on it (I know nothing of iPads), so it seems they are gone forever.

    Thanks... and please don't blast me - I'm doing a perfectly good job of that myself, and DREADING telling her also.
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  • You may be out of luck if your hard drive got formatted before you reinstalled Windows. You can look in your C: drive for a folder titled Windows.old
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    MrThortan
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  • One of the things you may want to do is to look at all the files in the computer. That would be in the main MY Computer or what ever they have for checking all files. I dont have Win10 so cant help there. The highest I have now is on my lappy which is 8.1. And I dont use that one yet. I have 7. something on 2 lappies but have not looked too deeply into them yet. My brother gave them to me. A backup program as Thortan said would be the best bet. Look for things out of the normal....they may be in there. Good luck Seahawk Fan.
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    Seahawkfan80
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  • Thanks for replies! No Windows.old folder, and so far can't see anything else odd, BUT I am not going to install any programs, etc, until thoroughly checked. Also looked up how to check iCloud storage on iPad, but it is empty.
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  • Sorry man...My wife works at Microsoft and will look into it for you. I am sending her your post. No promises of course but it's worth a shot.
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    Aros
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  • Thank you, Todd. I'm delaying adding programs or files to the hard drive until I've given up hope completely - computer is exactly as it is when I picked it up from shop.
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  • A good computer shop would ask you if there's anything that should be copied off of the computer before they wipe it. :(

    SSDs work completely differently under the hood. On an older (and much slower) spindle disk, a fair amount of it would be recoverable.

    Try this demo and see if it can read recoverable data or not: https://www.easeus.com/data-recovery/ot ... covery.htm

    P.S... Go sign up for Backblaze Personal. Best and cheapest online backup software; $5/mo per computer and unlimited data storage from whatever computer you put it on, and they have very fast speeds for uploading and downloading, too. That way you won't run into this again: https://www.backblaze.com/cloud-backup.html
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    RolandDeschain
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  • Roland, thank you for your suggestion - it is one of the data recovery programs I saw when I searched. The computer shop explained about the SSD being problematic, too, when i discovered my foolish oversights in backing up.

    It was me who asked them to simply format/reinstall win 10, as the computer's behaviour was something I could not describe in a sane amount of time. So... all my fault. Worse, I repeatedly assured them I'd backed up everything. And I have, NEARLY.

    I've got a 3TB external HDD which I backup regularly, BUT, this time I forgot my email (hidden by a privacy program, which I forgot to un-hide), and the backup our grandson did from my wife's iPad, which I utterly forgot to look for and include.

    I'll also look into your backup plan, too. Can't be too thorough, or careful. No, I can't blame the shop (but I did not explain myself here fully/properly before). The worst thing is the reason the computer cocked up (it still behaved weirdly for me after the reinstall)... turned out, after agonising experiments, that the bloody cordless keyboard caused it all. It caused constant spewing of spurious inputs, and constant shutdowns/reboots. I never tried to explain this stupid freaking mess, which in hindsight was my undoing. UGH.

    I'll put that recovery program on my other internal HD (which is untouched) and try running it from there, so I don't overwrite any more of the SSD with the program. Thanks again. I'll be patient and NOT touch the drive directly until any suggestions have been tried.

    I should NOT have charged ahead so fast and carelessly in the first place. Thanks again for replying...
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  • I’m a dinosaur and computer illiterate.

    My first though however, and possibly something you over looked is, it’s possible that the photos from the iPad are in the cloud some place. Might have your wife check her Apple accounts. Possibly you could do it if you’re trying to do this on the “down low”

    My apologies if this sounds condescending, not my intention.
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    pmedic920
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  • pmedic920 wrote:I’m a dinosaur and computer illiterate.

    My first though however, and possibly something you over looked is, it’s possible that the photos from the iPad are in the cloud some place. Might have your wife check her Apple accounts. Possibly you could do it if you’re trying to do this on the “down low”

    My apologies if this sounds condescending, not my intention.


    Thank you, Lon - NO apology ever necessary. Heck, I know you weren't being condescending.

    I checked the iCloud on my wife's iPad (I'm very iPad illiterate, but I googled it) and her free 5Gig backup is empty, so I'm not sure what our grandson did when he reset it for my wife. I did get emails about Apple ID, iCloud, etc, but those emails have gone to the repple-depple, so I can't check them. When he is back at our place in a couple of days I'll ask him, but it tentatively appears nothing was backed up there.

    I must also check in case he used iTunes to back up - and I know about as much about iTunes as nuclear fusion (I've never used it, the iCloud, and only rarely my wife's iPad).

    Well, I did transfer all her old photos to backup safely in October last year, so her photos (not many) of our Europe trip are all safe, and everything else she took since it was brand new in 2014.

    Thanks again to everyone for replies. I'm going to now try running that restore program that Roland suggested, and then begin that awful, awful process of re-installing all my programs.

    Before I shut up, what infuriates me so much, at myself, is that I KNOW BETTER! I normally (and I've also helped other people) go through folders with excruciating care before a reformat, to make SURE everything is backed up. I've reinstalled older versions of Windows at least a dozen times, with no problems. Windows 7 in particular (running on this dear old laptop which was given to me) was so easy. I just found Windows 10 so complicated, but I can NOT blame it for the data losses.

    I'm certainly not criticising our grandson, either. As my wife said (bless her), we all should have sat down and checked things, and she doesn't blame either of us. Got to make sure it never happens again, and damn well LEARN from it.
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