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My Computer Crashed I had the system drive replaced I need to reinstall the program

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I'm not certain what you mean when you say that you did a recovery, but if your files are missing after the recovery, then this is not a good thing. In fact, I'd venture to say that at least some of your files are lost and gone forever.
The problem is that a recovery that involves something like reinstalling the operating system from scratch will almost always erase and overwrite whatever was on the hard disk. That means that your installed programs and your data may be overwritten by the newly installed operating system.
The good news is that it's possible that some of the data was not overwritten. However, continuing to use that hard drive decreases the amount of data that can be recovered with every moment that it's used.

Recovery steps In your shoes, these are the steps that I'd consider performing to recover lost files:

  • Start with search. It's possible that your files have not been erased or deleted at all. Perhaps your recovery was an install of Windows that preserved all of the files on the disk, but set up a new, empty "My Documents" folder. You might expect your files to be in this folder, but as it's a new, empty one, they're not. Use the windows Search function to search the entire hard disk for one or more files whose filename you know. If found, examine the containing folder and you may find more of your documents. Copy them to a safe location.
  • Run CHKDSK. Specifically, "CHKDSK /R" in a Command Prompt window (possibly run with administrative privileges in Windows Vista or Windows 7). If the file system has been corrupted by the crash, it's possible that CHKDSK may uncover lost files. If it reports that it has fixed something, repeat the previous step of searching for your files.
  • Run SpinRite. If CHKDSK reports unrecoverable read or CRC errors, then you may want to consider running a disk surface recovery tool, such as SpinRite. It's not free, but depending on the data that you might have lost, the cost could be very reasonable in comparison. After SpinRite completes (which can take hours), search for your files again. Note: SpinRite can be excruciatingly slow over a USB connection. If you elect to run SpinRite, you'll want a direct connection internal to your PC or perhaps an eSata connection if the computer and drive support it.
  • Run Recuva. Recuva is a free file recovery utility that scans the currently unused free space on your hard disk for files and file fragments that used to be stored there. Any files which were deleted by the recovery process, but not overwritten by subsequent use of the hard drive should, in theory, be recoverable by Recuva.
If your files haven't been recovered at this point, then chances are that they are gone forever.
One last straw to grasp at If you have a large budget (I believe we're talking hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars) and the data that you've lost is that important to you, then it might be worth contacting a data recovery service. Make sure that they do more than what I've just described (many basically do pretty much the equivalent of the list above).
Specifically, ask if they attempt to recover data that has been overwritten. This requires special tools and techniques not available to the average user and would be the reason for contacting them and using their services.
If all that they do is recover deleted files, then you're quite capable of doing that yourself as outlined above.
Above all, learn the lesson

Posted on Apr 20, 2015

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Posted on Jan 02, 2017

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