Solved

User Data Lost

Posted on 2011-03-16
13
576 Views
Last Modified: 2012-05-11
All the user data, in fact all of the user accounts on a pc running XP Home sp3 seem to have been lost. Instead of the folders within documents and settings all that appears when the hard drive is placed in another pc (or viewed via Knoppix live cd) is a small file that has the user account name on it.

I guess the formatting has been lost but is there anyway of getting things back as they were to recover the data?
0
Comment
Question by:alfaro
  • 8
  • 4
13 Comments
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:LeDaouk
ID: 35146286
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35146423
Recovery will not work always and data that can be recovered will less than 100%, but still there is a chance.

Two way can be done Manually and using tools.

Manually
=========

You might be lucky if you set or enable System Restore. If enabled follow these steps.

1.)Open My computer
2)Click Tool---> folder options--> view---> uncheck Hide Protected System Files
and also select Show Hidden Files and FOlders
3) Now open drive letter say D: find the System Volume Information and open it. Here in this folder you will have most of the data that has been deleted manually or accidenlty done or formated.

Using Tools
=========
TESTDISK-6.11.3

Read documenation before starting.

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk
donwload

You can also go with the link provided by LeDaouk.
0
 

Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35146631
I've taken a look at the TESTDISK utility and it can actually see the user account and reports it as around 35gb in size. However, Windows just shows it as a file of a few kb's. Is there anyway to get access to this account "normally", ie. through Windows or am I going to have to recover the data somehow?
0
 

Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35146661
Running Recover My Files it found all the files I can already access but doesn't find the missing user account at all..
0
 

Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35146712
Oops, my mistake. When I said it had found 35gb of data it turns out that I was misreading things.. It looks like it has can only see the same 35kb's of data in the user account file. The same as in Windows...

How can I restore Windows using the process you describe? I can access the System Volume Information and in it there are lots of files called RP followed by different numbers. Inside each are various .dll's. How do I go about restoring these?
0
 

Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35146738
I think I know what you meant regarding the System Volume Information. If you mean copy the backed up registry files into system32\config, I have just tried that and Windows gets as far as the login screen and then stops, as before. This is presumably because the user account no longer exists. This also applies in safe mode when I try to boot into the administrator account..
0
Save on storage to protect fatherhood memories

You're the dad who has everything. This Father's Day, make sure your family memories are protected. My Passport Ultra has automatic backup and password protection to keep your cherished photos and videos safe. With up to 3TB, you have plenty of room to hold the adventures ahead.

 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35147134
Sorry! I made a mistake. Its not SYSTEM VOlume Information. ITs RECYCLER

In RECYCLER you will have the files and data that has been deleted or lost.

Using TestDisk you retrive the files but not accounts.
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35147148
Once you backup/retrieve data try System Restore and check whether the accounts and settings are restored.

Regards
Bitla
0
 

Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35147395
There's nothing in Recycler, probably because the user accounts weren't deleted as such. They just sort of disappeared..

The overall occupied size of the disk is still the same as it was before the user accounts were lost so the data is still there somewhere..
0
 

Accepted Solution

by:
alfaro earned 0 total points
ID: 35147477
Bingo... Using Tree Size Pro I saw that there was  an awful lot of data in the Erdoundocache folder. A bit of poking around and I found the entire user account...
0
 

Author Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35147488
Sorry, I meant ErdUndoCache folder, of course...
0
 
LVL 4

Expert Comment

by:bitla
ID: 35147499
Good and all the best, thank you for sharing the info.
0
 

Author Closing Comment

by:alfaro
ID: 35205037
Good old ErdUndoCache folder...
0

Featured Post

Better Security Awareness With Threat Intelligence

See how one of the leading financial services organizations uses Recorded Future as part of a holistic threat intelligence program to promote security awareness and proactively and efficiently identify threats.

Join & Write a Comment

In this CloudClass Webinar, Quest (http://www.questsys.com/) CTO Mike Dillon gives an overview of the steps involved in building a dynamic disaster recovery plan. Through case studies and an examination of software/hardware tools for monitoring an…
Finally comes the third version of VMware Virtual SAN, whose name is 6.1, and comes loaded with new features many of which really are excellent and even surprising.
In this Micro Tutorial viewers will learn how to restore single file or folder from Bare Metal backup image of their system. Tutorial shows how to restore files and folders from system backup. Often it is not needed to restore entire system when onl…
This tutorial will walk an individual through setting the global and backup job media overwrite and protection periods in Backup Exec 2012. Log onto the Backup Exec Central Administration Server. Examine the services. If all or most of them are stop…

747 members asked questions and received personalized solutions in the past 7 days.

Join the community of 500,000 technology professionals and ask your questions.

Join & Ask a Question

Need Help in Real-Time?

Connect with top rated Experts

12 Experts available now in Live!

Get 1:1 Help Now