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6 posts

Wannabe Geek

#16082 24-Sep-2007 10:30
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I was wondering if anyone knows anything about data recovery?(I hope this is posted in the right forum.)

I did a reinstall of my windows XP operating system using the recovery CD on my old Compac Presario Laptop. I had photos and music stored on it that seem to have disappeared?!

When I right-click on my local disk C drive, it says the total size is 27.9GB while there is 2.5GB of free space(File system NTFS).

I have been through all the folders in C drive using windows explorer and there are some old photos and document files but that barely accounts for 1GB of information.- I'm wondering how I can access the other 23-24GB?(I'm presumming its still there as it says the total size of the drive is 27.9GB while 2.5GB is free so there should be 24.4GB somewhere?? Is that right??)

I have been using google and see there are data recovery programmes that might help? Or am I better taking in to see some professionals?

If anyone has any ideas or input that would be fantastic!

Thanks. Smile


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Uber Geek


  #87858 24-Sep-2007 10:44
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I have found PC Inspector usually does a pretty good job. Best of all it's free.

I'd check in administrative tools, computer management, storage, disk management whether the partition is unallocated or something as well.


6 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #87927 24-Sep-2007 16:22
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Hey thanks heaps allstarsnz for replying.Smile

I tried your suggestion re:using administrative tools and checking disk management. I'm not exactly sure what I'm looking for but it kind of summarises what I said early which was the C drive NTFS file system is healthy and the capacity is 27.94GB with 2.4GB of free space. - How do I check if a partition is unallocated?

I also tried PC Inspector but I'm not sure if I'm using it properly??

I selected search for lost files in C drive and tried to save them to my external hard drive. Each file was named cluster w/ a number after it. ie cluster 12345. All the files were exactly the same size being 1,472 KB. It also said it would take 72 million minutes to transfer all the files it found to my external hard drive.(So I presume I'm doing something wrong??)

Any ideas? - I really appreciate the advice.


122 posts

Master Geek

  #87967 24-Sep-2007 19:26
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Always backup data before doing anything major (reinstalling the OS would qualify).

If Windows is reporting the disk space as used, it's a good bet the files are still there somewhere. Perhaps you don't have permission to view them? Are you a local administrator when you hunt for the files? I've never recovered XP before but if it creates a new user account you won't be able to see the files in your old account (due to permissions). Just a thought.

Generally, 'recovery' programs are used when files have been accidentally deleted. In this case, the disk space would be marked as free.

One last thing - if your partitions have gone awry, try using a Linux LiveCD to view all NTFS partitions and recover the files you want. Simply boot from the CD, find the files you want (Ubuntu will automatically place any NTFS devices it finds on the desktop) and copy them to an external USB drive etc.

You can download a Ubuntu ISO here:


6 posts

Wannabe Geek

  #88424 27-Sep-2007 22:15
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You guys have been a great help so far..

What I think I need is a partition recovery tool? I tried a free one I found using google but it wasn't free like it implied where I had to pay to recover the files it found! At least I know they are still there as this program did find them - I just need to find a better way to recover them now.

Any more ideas?


6 posts

Wannabe Geek

#89976 7-Oct-2007 17:30
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Hey everyone,

I managed to recover all my lost files!! Smile

After trying various recovery tools like Partition Magic & Acronis which didn't help I tried one called "Active file recovery" - this one actually worked!!!

All the photos I was looking for are now safely stored on my external hard drive and when I get some more time I'll upload them onto a site like flickr so I will never have this problem again.



BDFL - Memuneh
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#89982 7-Oct-2007 18:25
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Instead of using Flickr, which would just work for photos and is a very slow way of doing a backup, why not look at Carbonite, Xdrive or Mozy?

These are real backup services on the cloud with automatic backup of modified files - you just set and forget!

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