Getting my files back

i posted a question earlier about my pc being caught in a restarting loop, i was able to get out of this by boot to the cd and re-installing win xp pro. upon completion i noticed that all my files are gone, but based upon the free space on my hardrive they are still there. I think i installed another copy of the OS. Can someone please help me get my files back? I cant use the system restore because when you reinstall i believe it erases all previous dates....please help
Who is Participating?
motherboardConnect With a Mentor Commented:
Try and do a search in windows with the windows search wizard for your files, they could be in a preivous account from the last O.S you had in your system, I am aware that if you use another CD to re-install windows with, other than your own origional, you do loose the configuration and your data to a point.

The program files/my documents/windows folders become newer installations and are like a clean istall but somewhere your documents must be there.

Unless you chose the option to format the drive while running the installation or pressing 'L' to delete a corrupted partition i can only say that you should try to find your files with the search wizard if they are still there,

Maybe some of the other members of EE maybe able to give you more assistance

Good luck

rralphAuthor Commented:
when i do a search i can see all my files and applications so they are there.
Here's a shareware file manager that might help you out.
Brings back fond memories of DOS....
Kyle SchroederConnect With a Mentor Endpoint EngineerCommented:
OK, where were the files stored?  I.e. in My Documents or some other folder?  Most likely you need to look in C:\Documents and Settings\<your username>.  There may be multiple entries with your username, i.e. joesmith,, joesmith.winxp, etc.  Check those to see if you find your files.

If the files were just in a folder on the C: drive (i.e. C:\Downloads) if that folder is there and your files aren't, then that is a different story...

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.