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Lost Documents

Posted on 2011-03-07
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Last Modified: 2012-05-11
Had to rejoin a system to a domain after replacement of server, now documents of previous profile not available.  Workstation is XP Professional, Server is SBS 2003.

In Docs and Settings have old profile, but when I go to my documents folder, it is empty.  My Recent Documents shows shortcuts for all the documents.

How can I find these documents.
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Question by:mdwhiteside
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Expert Comment

by:dbrunton
ID: 35061701
Attach this disk either as slave or USB to another computer.

Install data recovery software on this other computer and scan it.

Try GetDataBack http://www.runtime.org/  Free to try.  If it sees the missing files you pay for full functionality.

Also look at PCInspector http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm and Recuva http://www.recuva.com/

Both are free.

I'd try GetDataBack.  If it sees your files then try the free ones.  If they work you save money.
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35061753
dbrunton - I have tried GetDataBack also and Recuva.  Recuva has saved me more than once!
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Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 35062123
There is no reason the documents shouldn't be in the old profile.  Joining to a new domain is not going to remove them.   But you have to have Local Administrator Access to see them.
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Expert Comment

by:pwindell
ID: 35062133
Domain Administrator should also work since the Domain Admins group gets added to the Local Administrators when joined.
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Author Comment

by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35062209
I agree that they should be under the old profile, but My Documents is empty.  I just tried the GetDataBack program, but it is not showing anything either.

Is there some relation with the fact that the user name and domain name were the same?  What changed was that the server was replaced, but with the same domain name.

The user had been previously off site and was able to access his files (logged in as same user and domain).  When he brought his system in, I disjoined the compter from old domain and rejoined to new (again even thought they were the same names)
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35062245
Are you using roaming profiles?  If so, check the profile folder on the server and see if the documents are there.  Also along the same line is folder redirection, make sure the files are sitting out on a server somewhere.
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Author Comment

by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35062298
Not using roaming profiles
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Author Comment

by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35062326
user has been using laptop off premises for some time so files on local drive are the ones needed.  Even though there are some on the server, they are not the ones he needs right now.
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35062341
Hrm.. the case of the missing files!  Was the My Documents folder redirected to somewhere else on the hard drive??  Can you do a search for files on the laptop and see if any turn up?
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Author Comment

by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35062352
Again, what is very strange is that in the old profile, under recent files  - there are shortcut links to all the files.  When I go to properties of the link, it gives me the path of the old profile, however, when I go to My Documents of the old profile, it is empty.
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Author Comment

by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35062391
New information, My Documents of the old profile was redirected to a network drive.  This means that the user must have been using offline files, since he has been away from the domain for some time.  Where would the off line files be for the old profile?
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35063003
C:\ Documents and Settings\<username>\Application Data\Microsoft

C:\ Documents and Settings\<username>\Local Settings\Temp
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Accepted Solution

by:
mdwhiteside earned 0 total points
ID: 35063127
Found Solution:

The offline files are cashed in directories located
"%systemroot"/CSC/% these directories are labeled d1,d2,d3, .... You can
locate the your file by the files data/time stamp and size. If you copy
the file to a temporary location and rename it to the name and extension
needed you will be able to open it
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Expert Comment

by:lloydclinton
ID: 35063211
Glad you found out you were using offline files.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mdwhiteside
ID: 35115446
Needed location of Offline Files, which I found through other reference work.  Answer is displayed here.
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