Windows 10: Upgrading to Windows 10 deleted previous windows.old folder

  1. Posts : 1
    Windows 7 Home Premium
       11 Oct 2015 #1

    Upgrading to Windows 10 deleted previous windows.old folder


    I would appreciate some help, just upgraded to windows 10 and all of my files are gone.
    I restored my laptop a couple of years ago and this created a windows.old folder. Since this contained a large volume of files, I did not copy them over to the new windows folder. I decided to just work from the windows.old folder and therefore this is where all my files are (I didn't think this would be a problem at the time).

    I updated to windows 10 today and in the process, this original windows.old folder containing all my files is gone and replaced with another one which doesn't contain any files. According to this guide:
    Windows.old Folder - Delete in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums
    the original windows.old folder should have just been renamed but this hasn't happened and I can't find any trace of the original file. I have searched a number of locations suggested by various threads and looked in hidden folders but I can't find anything.
    I restored back to windows 7 with the hope that it would restore all my files but unfortunately this hasn't happened.
    I also downloaded ShadowExplorer based on recommendations but when I open it, it's blank.

    I haven't backed up my laptop for a while (definitely regret not taking the time to back up before the upgrade) and had a couple of holidays since then (loads of photos), so if anyone has any suggestions on how I can retrieve my files then that would be much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2. spapakons's Avatar
    Posts : 2,479
    Windows 10 Pro 64-bit 1803 (April 2018 build 17134.48)
       11 Oct 2015 #2

    A hope is to use a data recovery utility (such as GetDataBack) and search the hard disk for deleted files. It will take very long as it scans sector-by-sector. Once finished you will be presented with a file tree, See if you can find your files there. If you do, you are given the choice to copy them to another place. You need a spare disk for that as you are not allowed to copy back to the same disk for obvious reasons (the disk is supposedly faulty). Beware! Find a free tool or register because unregistered version doesn't allow copying the files found!

    I don't want to say that but there is little chance that you can find any old files. Even if you do they may not all of them be valid as new data may have be written on the same sector. This practically means that even if you find some photos they may be damaged (overwritten by new data) and not display correctly or not open at all. But hope dies last, as we say in Greece.

    Good Luck.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    11 Oct 2015 #3

    As a first advice: You should not store your actual files in the Windows.old folder! Note that something like 30 days after the upgrade to Windows 10, Windows will remove this folder again!

    Is the renamed folder maybe hidden? Or does it have a name different from what the tutorial says?

    Should the folder in fact not only be hidden, but should it be deleted:
    For data recovery it is important that you do no longer touch the drive, on which you lost the data. That means: Stop using this Windows installation. Access it externally, e.g. by connecting the hardrive with another PC or by booting your PC from a CD with Knoppix or something like that. Then use some kind of data recovery tool and see, what it gives you.

    However, if that folder is not only hidden, but if it really got deleted during installation, then I would say chances are really low - the installation writes a number of gigabytes of data to the disc and once overwritten the data previously stored there is permanently lost.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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