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Can't access hidden files after Windows XP reinstallation

By singhpa ยท 4 replies
Feb 17, 2011
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  1. I got a WINDOWS/SYSTEM32/CONFIG/SYSTEM error and tried repairing Windowns, but ended up reinstalling it (probably a mistake). I know my old files are on my hard drive (because 22gb of the 30gb hard drive is full, but I can't access any of my old files. The pie chart and "free space" are nearly the same as before I reinstalled windows. Please help me get my files back. Much appreciated.

  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    The install process usually reformats the drive before installing. There are specific steps to avoid this happening, and possibly you were not aware of that. So your old files would be gone in that case.

    On the other hand, your files may still be there, but you need to re-establish 'ownership' of them. You should state which version of Windows you are talking about.

    Also time to learn about the topic 'backup' !!
  3. LookinAround

    LookinAround Ex Tech Spotter Posts: 6,491   +183

    When you reinstalled Windows it would have asked you
    > What partition to install to
    > If you wanted to do a Quick or Normal Format

    If you chose Quick, it only would have erased the "Table of Contents" but if you didn't ick Quick your files may have been erased.

    Try PC Inspector to see if it find/recover lost files. Click its Help key to see the 4 steps to recovery to use the tool

    Get Data Back NTFS is also good. It'll show you filenames it finds for free but you need buy it before it does the recovery.
  4. Greg S

    Greg S TechSpot Staff Posts: 833   +411

    There really isn't much to do other than trying file recovery programs, but you could always get an external hard drive for backup for the future. You could store everything besides the OS on your external hdd then so that your internal drive is cleaner. I have to say though, whenever you stick in the windows install disk you should be very careful, especially if you don't have a backup.
  5. Luthfi

    Luthfi TS Rookie Posts: 20

    If your problem is you can't access the file (the files was never actually got deleted) then just take ownership of the container folder (easier than taking ownership for each file). And then you'll get to access them.

    If the files was deleted, just find an "uneraser" program and try your luck. :)

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