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Has Windows 10 been mentioned at Techie7 yet?

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help' started by janellesnip, Aug 27, 2015.

  1. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    ((Methods, OSs and programs in bold; main problem and main questions in purple.))

    I updated my windows 7 computer to Windows 10 about 24 days ago -- I have until September 3rd to decide whether I go back to Windows 7 or not.

    I did not back anything up prior to the update.
    Several days after the update, I noticed that some of my document, video, and picture file folders are present -- but **EMPTY**. I was not able to find them using the following methods (in fact, I do not even know what file names to search for -- since they were only the contents of folders that did carry over). (I have heard of users not finding ANY of their files; but I have not read from anybody who lost the content of SOME folders.)

    (a) looking in windows.old
    (b) using shadow explorer
    (c) checking some of the places where other users said they discovered their files, including OneDrive (I don't use... ?), and under other usernames.

    (d) I have the full version of Recuva, but do not trust myself to use it correctly. In addition, another user of Recuva told me that a different recovery system called MiniTool had located completely different files in her computer (as if she had been searching two different computers) -- so I question the point of using a recovery program that is only going to find SOME of the lost folders.
    • What I DID do with recuva was to create a disk image (300GB!!!) of my computer in its current state.

    (e) I purchased a WD-ultra 1TB external hard drive. I started to back up the computer with it -- but it is taking FOREVER. In the meantime, I have been afraid to turn on the computer at all, because I don't know what will be deleted forever just by turning it on and off under Windows. This backup is incomplete.

    (f) I renamed my windows.old folder "windows.old.SAVE" -- and had also begun to copy it to the external hard drive. Windows has told me I have about a week (until September 3rd) to decide whether I want to go back to windows 7. --- this has brought my overconfused brain into more confusion:
    • If I save windows.old -- will I then retain the option of going back to windows 7 at any time in the future? (I switched to windows 10 because I think that at some point the support for windows 7 will run out, as it did for XP.)
    • If I return to windows 7, will my missing files reappear; or be lost forever?

    (e) finally, I decided to download a version of LiLi (Linux Live). I chose a linux version called "Redo: Backup and Restore", which seems to have two main functionalities:
    • Creating a disk image (I already have one from Recuva; have one started with the WD-external drive; ... and Redo: got to 41% before the HD got temporarily disconnected; so the backup froze there).
    • recovering files using Photorec.
    • I was not able to find a way to look through the file system of the computer using this version of Linux.

    Now I feel completely stuck on this. I have too many things started; and feel pressured to DO something before my machine refuses to go back to Windows 7.

    • I need to delete two of the backups that I had started to make (I think WD preserves original folder tree structure; but Linux may do a more complete job???) I need help deciding which of the backups to complete; and how to safely remove the other two.
    • (I don't even know what a "disk image" is .... would it give me the capacity to view single files; or is it only a sort of "rescue image" for restoration of a system that has completely crashed.)
    • I need to relocate my lost images and files -- which may include actions such as returning to windows 7; learning to use photorec; or recuva; or minitool; or all three.
    This is too confusing for me to figure out alone in the time I have left.

    AFTER this is all done, I need to create a new backup, create a new rescue drive, purge the computer, and reinstall windows -- this is because a friend told me that I have too many updates or "patches" -- and my system would return to its original speed if I did this exercise in purging and reinstalling. So... once this first problem is solved, I will come back to this future question.

    Is there anyone competent enough to get me through this? And, since Linux is a part of my post, may I cross-post under "alternative OS help"?

    For anyone who has made it through this long help request, thank you very much for reading. :S

    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  2. Digerati

    Digerati Super Moderator Techie7 Moderator

    Recuva is a great program and you should give it a try. Understand that Recuva will not actually recover anything until you tell it to. It will only list what it finds, then let you recover only those files you want recovered.

    I have upgraded quite a few systems now and have not had W10 delete any files though some I did have to look for. So I am not convinced your files became empty because of the upgrade. And a file becoming empty is a totally different event than the file disappearing. If can find the file, but all the content is gone, that does not suggest to me the upgrade did it.

    That is not likely to happen. I have only seen that when a computer is highly infected with malware, or when the drive is failing corrupting drives - neither of those are due to Windows misbehaving.

    When your 30 days is up, it is up. And not only are you right that support for W7 will end, but remember that W7 is already over 6 years old. W10 is more secure and faster and it is best to stick with it.

    It is not likely your empty files will become full of content again, sorry to say. And at this point, it is not certain they disappeared (or became empty) just because you upgraded W10. If they were intact immediately before upgrading then you checked immediately after and they were empty then you could say with more certainty that is what did it.

    I really wish I could tell you what happened, it is a mystery, but I would urge you to stick with W10 and see what Recuva finds for you.
    janellesnip likes this.
  3. nukecad

    nukecad Established Techie7 Member

    I updated from 8.1 to 10 with no problems, OK one or two caused by later MS updates but these were minor and easily sorted.

    You didn't think to make a data backup (and recovery media) before installing a new windows version????

    Do you have your original Win7 discs, or at least did you make recovery media?
    If you have these you will be able to reinstall 7 at anytime.

    You say that you have 'empty' files, but that you don't know what filenames to search for?
    How is that possible? If you have an 'empty' file it must have a filename to be 'empty'.
    Are you meaning empty folders? Just because a folder is empty doesn't mean it must have had files in it at one time.
    Are you sure there were files there in the first place?

    Having said that-
    A friend of mine has also reported that some, not all, of his downloaded video files have gone missing in the upgrade from 8.1 to 10.
    Not 'empty' filenames, stuff he though he had that has now gone altogether, and only a couple of videos.
    They were also long(ish) files so were probably fragmented across the harddrive, shorter files were still there.
    On further questioning it seems that these had been downloaded from bittorrent, etc. and may not have been strictly within copyright.

    I suspect its likely that some files have been moved about during the update to give a contiguous disc space for Win10 system files.

    If these moved files were not strictly coded correctly (hacked / cracked copyright material), or not coded to industry standards, the fragmented data in them could get lost and overwritten.
    The folder and/or filename may still there but the links to the content has been lost.
    Download them again.
    If you cant remember what they were, and they weren't important enough to backup to start with, then is it much loss?

    I'm afraid that making backups of what is there now is going to be of no help getting you missing files back, you can't backup what isn't there.

    You may be able to get something back off your hard drive but a lot will depend on whether it has already been overwritten, and whether what you are doing now is still overwriting anything left.

    Sorry I can't be of more help, but it does seem to me that at the moment you are just throwing things at the problem without thinking.

    Sit back, decide if you need any of this 'missing' stuff if you dont even know what it was.
    If not then forget it and concentrate on getting used to Windows10.
    Make a recovery drive, and remember to backup your data files regularly - especially before making any major changes.
    A Windows 10 recovery drive, including system files, will fit on a 16gig memory stick.
    You may never need it, but if you ever do then the cost of a 16gig stick has paid for itself many times.
    janellesnip likes this.
  4. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    nukecad, THANK YOU. You have lots ofquestions -- but they are exactly the ones I need to think about. I pared down your quoted message and enumerated the questions. Replying in order:
    1. THINKING of making a backup and actually making one are two different things. I was too lazy to buy a HD and thought I had better things to think about. // it kept prompting me to go ahead with the update so I did.

    2. Don't have the original disks (it was a hand-me-down computer). Never made rescue media. I was dealing with other difficulties in life -- although not so many that I never would have had the chance to learn how to create rescue media. So going back to my own version of Windows 7 is now or never. It sounds like if I go back, I will completely overwrite whatever was partially overwritten.

    3. I meant "empty folders" -- I suck at precise terminology. I will correct the error shortly, in my original post. Well, after seeing ONE empty photo folder, I thought maybe it had been empty all along... but after seeing SEVERAL empty folders scattered across my libraries, I recognised all of them as ones I KNOW to have had content. (yes, ONE random folder may have been empty -- but I have never been in the habit of creating and naming folders and leaving them empty.)

    4. These would have been photos, videos, music files and documents I recorded myself, on my own media (phone, camera, computer). All legally mine. None with huge content or huge names.
    ((This makes me worry even more: do I have to scour all of my folders for missing content? If I use Recuva, MiniTool or Photorec -- how many windows on how many devices do I have to have open in order to compare lists of missing vs. extant files?))

    5. moved to where.

    6. Of course I do remember what they were -- I just cannot rattle off a list of tens- to hundreds of missing filenames, partially named by date and time.

    7. I can back up what IS there-- to prevent future losses. And also in preparation of purging the system and getting a clean installation of windows. (so: which program to back up with: WD-backup; Redo-Linux; or System Image created by Recuva. . . the only one that is complete at this point is Recuva. Recuva is not as easy for me to use as it should be. But that would be a software question....)

    8. I have hardly done anything new on the drive since updating to Windows 7. Have hardly saved any new files. -- but afraid to turn on the computer at all -- as you said -- in case I would accidentally erase more of what is hypothetically still there.

    9. Of course I do not "need" it to continue to eat, sleep and breathe -- but yes, I do "need" it.

    10. "Make a recovery drive" sounds like something I will do as a next step... after I figure out how to recover as much as possible of what is still recoverable.

    Summary: It looks like the time-constraint is moot -- since reverting to windows 7 will erase even more. // I can use school computers for most of my computing needs until this is resolved. I think the first thing I still want to do is to back up what is still there, so that I can then search for what may be lost. // so question 1 would be: which backup to use? For example, would the Linux backup damage existing material the least? // The next question would have to do with which recovery to use (recuva, minitool, photorec -- I feel incompetent in all three)--- how to quickly compare lists of recoverable files with existing files (or where to search for lost files that may have been "moved elsewhere" in the update.)

    When I have a few more answers, maybe I will know how many HDs I will need to buy; etc.

    I have to stop writing now. this is long as it is. Thank you again.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
  5. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    May I cross-post to "alternate OS"? (since Linux could partially be my solution to the problem)
  6. nukecad

    nukecad Established Techie7 Member

    I'm wondering if the files are still there but just not visible?

    You have got 'hidden items' checked on the view tab in file explorer haven't you? sorry if thats a bit of a simple question but it's the sort of thing that gets overlooked.

    Are you logging in as the same user account that you were before? (see below).

    From some things I have read online its may be possible that windows has moved them into a temporary folder during the upgrade, then not put them back where they should be.
    If your can remenber even one filename, or even just a part of it, then you can search the hard drive to see if it is in a temp folder somewhere.

    Some things I have come across, that relate to files going missing after a Windows Update (these were updates to win 8.1; not the Win10 upgrade).
    They might be worth a try-


    (I'm not sure if this one will work if you never made a manual restore point though its worth a try. EDIT thinking more about this your windows 7 restore points probably got removed and so will not be available from win 10).

    Regarding your question of which backup programme to use, I wouldn't.
    I just select the (data) folders I want to backup and copy/paste them into a folder called 'backup-date' on an external drive.
    I'll usually have three of these with different dates on the drive and delete the oldest when I make a new one.
    Of course thats only backing up the data but that's what you want, the OS and any programmes can be reinstalled from elsewhere.

    As far as deleted file recovery goes if you still need it after trying the above, then sorry but I'm not your man.
    I've never had to do it, I usually have a backup if needed.
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2015
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  7. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    Thank you so much, Nukecad (nifty name, I think?) I am going to follow your advice back at home -- and until this is fully resolved: I can still use a browser on a Live Linux stick and it wouldn't delete anything off of my drive. I will report back when this is resolved as best I can. I am very glad you took the time. You explained your solution in simple enough terms. Something I can do on my own! Bye for now.
  8. nukecad

    nukecad Established Techie7 Member

    To explain my online name -
    When I first started being active on forums (back in about 2004) I needed to think of a good name to use.
    At the time I was doing design work for the Nukelear (sic) facility at Sellafield, using Autocad.
    So the contraction seemed a good idea at the time and it stuck, I now use it everywhere online and even have it as an email alias.

    Hope you have some sucess finding your files.
    janellesnip likes this.
  9. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    Thank you, Nukecad. I am recovering a whole bunch of files using disk drill and recuva (why, oh why does photorec not work on windows10?) -- then going back to windows7 -- tonight. The missing files seem to have been in formats not supported by windows10. I want my computer back the way it was. Among other reasons, here is one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=33&v=GLiozMpqV80

    Take care. I will report here one more time after rolling back tonight -- to let you know whether the missing things reappeared.


    Edited on Sep 2nd 2015: The missing files seem to have been in formats not supported by Win10. (originally I had written Win7).
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
  10. nukecad

    nukecad Established Techie7 Member

    That could explain it then, windows has ignored non-native files during the upgrade.
    Bit remiss of them, but partially understandable.

    As for the privacy settings on Windows 10, this is just the usual bullshit.

    Everytime a new version of any major software is released the conspiricy nuts start shouting that everyone is being spied on for nefarious purposes.
    Go into settings and/or the control panel and switch the stuff off.
    Give it six months and the conspiricy nuts will be shouting about a new Faceache setting, or a twitter setting, or some setting in some other software.

    Your online activity has been being tracked for years, windows 10 is doing nothing that others haven't.

    How do you think Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc., etc. are able to catalogue everything on the web?
    They have bots and webcrawlers that read everything you have ever written and posted online.

    Now if somebody told me that Google were looking to replace all governments and take over running the world, I think I could believe that.
    janellesnip likes this.
  11. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    Dear Digerati,
    I am as always (since 2006) very grateful for your input.
    Recuva was confusing for me at best:
    • First I was stuck for a couple of days on the disk-image thing: I had it make a disk image; but was not sure what the use of having a disk image was (just as a backup in case scanning C:/ ended up destroying more files?) Finally I let it scan the disk itself.[In the meantime I have heard from Piriform support, that you actually can scan the image if you know how to mount it first.]
    • Second problem was that it finds ***hundreds**of**thousands**of**files**** in any given folder (documents, pictures) (using the deep scan) -- far more than have ever been in a given folder in its cumulative history.
    • Thirdly, I somehow was led to understand that files are named differently if they are found through the deep scan -- so that there does not seem to be a way for me to compare results to determine whether the regular scan had been sufficient to find everything I wanted to.
    • Fourthly, both during scan operations and during recovery operations, the program would randomly exit due to "insufficient working memory".
    • Fifthly, it does not let you select which file types to look for -- only whether to include undeleted items or not.[Piriform Support just sent me a message specifying how to in your reply -- this information ought to be in the user guide -- that is, available to anyone. Thank you for making it available to me.]
    • Sixthly, since it counts all of the data fragments it finds as actual data, it comes up with humongous memory requirements -- it found something like 1.1TB from my 320GB computer. That was too many filenames even to go through prior to recovery. [when files were found I could not readily determine what they were (part of an image, maybe?]
    • It was too much for me to take in and mange all at once.
    I gave up on Recuva on the first day I tried; as well as just a couple of hours ago (prior to restoring Windows7).
    Recuva recovered several GB of random files for me -- I will never know what most of them are. I will delete most of them after trying to understand what they are. (Recovery is incomplete due to Recuva quitting on my intermittently (see above)).

    In between using recuva and recuva, I tried my luck with photorec and Disk Drill. Photorec installed to USB stick; but would not run from there. I COULD have made myself another live linux USB stick; started the computer with it; and used photorec from there; but felt under pressure to complete my work prior to September 3rd (possible cut-off date for Windows7) and with no more spending money. I might still run photorec later. As opposed to Recuva, it will let me choose what file types to restore; and whether to scan empty space or everything. I will have files sorted by type. That is wht I need. (I may also run recuva again -- in fact, that may be most of what I ever do with this computer from now on.)// Disk Drill is free to Windows users at this time (not so for mac) -- it recovered 325GB of files from my 320GB HD -- (a) the recovered files all seem to be corrupted and cannot be opened; (b) without exception, the pictures recovered are from various facebook pages I had saved visited -- no personal photos at all. (c) without exception, the document files (such as odt and pdf) have been renamed, so that I cannot recognise ANYTHING. When I am go to a public computer, I will try to repair some of the recovered files; and report back on that.

    2. I had miswritten "file" instead of "folder". Some folders made the leap to Windows 10; but when I looked in them under the Win10 system, they appeared empty (and I had already set to "show hidden files). Said folders were not picked up by Disk Drill OR Recuva.

    3. I really do think that the ability to restore a previous version of windows depends on the retention of the Windows.old folder. I had renamed that folder to prevent its deletion, which Win10 would have performed tomorrow, Sep 3rd, 2015. And when I tried to roll back, it told me that the files required to return to an older version of windows had been deleted. So I went back and gave it back the name Windows.old -- and voila! It was able to roll back to Windows 7. In doing so, my computer went from about 96 GB of free space to about 124 GB of free space. The folders that had been empty are either not there or still empty. I don't even care at this point. I will go to my husband's computer tonight and see what I can find on the disk image. I really don't even care at this point -- just happy to be rid of Windows 10.

    By the way, I know I had said I had been too lazy to back up -- but the way the update happened is that I have this silly "windows app" in my tray, that kept prompting me to update. I had let it do all the backup work; and had rescheduled the installation of Win10 to two days later. I think I was going to back up my files in that time. I don't know any more. After rescheduling the update, I shut off my compuer. As it was shutting off, it asked me ONE. SINGLE. Question: whether I would like to install updates. I clicked yes; and all of a sudden it was making the conversion to Win10. It was late at night. I COULD have held down the on/standby button to prevent the installation; but it was very late and I didn't even think of that.

    As I rolled back to Win7 last night, it asked me multiple times whether I had all of my data backed up, etc -- something it OUGHT TO have done before installing Win10 in the first place. This time I did have everything backed up as well as I was willing to.

    What I did in the last stage of the attempt to save my folders is: (a) saved a disk image on my husband's work computer; (b) recovered what I could with Disk Drill and Recuva; (c) Returned to Windows7. I am missing a ton more data -- and I don't care. Just happy to have Win7 back. (See Katherine Albrecht's warnings concerning Win10 on youtube.) If I ever have the money to buy a computer again, I will get one without an OS and install Linux (Mint, Debian... or anything). At this point, everyhing Linux is both more affordable (free) and easier to navigate than anything Windows. The games are also less brain-deadening.

    As far as security, I still have my XP also -- I did discover all kinds of PUP software (Astromenda, for example) on it using Malwarebytes -- but I still do connect it to the internet regularly. I also do not download anything. It is doing just fine.
  12. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    Nukecad, After observing the procedure with rolling back to Win7, I remembered how the installation of Win10 took place. (See response to Digerati above.): I had PREPARED the computer for the installation; but asked to postpone the installation for two days. When I shut down the computer on August 3rd, 2015, it asked me "proceed with updates?" I clicked yes. It automatically installed Win10 -- not asking me any questions at all. I did not think to stop it by holding down the power button. When rolling back to Win7, it asked me very specifically whether I had backups of everything. At that point, I did have backups of everything that still existed at the end of August, so I let it proceed. The rollback reduced the content of C drive from 96 GB of free space to 124 GB of free space.

    There is a linux version that will make a recovery disk for you even if you don't have one already and cannot access your computer. Although I CAN access it, I will use linux to make a recovery drive. For this one; and for one to which I indeed have no access.

    As I said above, this has been my last round with Windows. Any further computers I buy will be barebones.
  13. janellesnip

    janellesnip Established Techie7 Member

    Now, how do I get rid of the pesky Windows app, that still wants me to re-update to Win10?
  14. nukecad

    nukecad Established Techie7 Member

    I note that my windows.old folder is still there, and still populated, one month+ on.
    Although the "rollback" option is no longer on the recovery page of windows update.

    Not that I was going to rollback anyway, I'll probably remove windows.old using disc cleanup if its doesn't remove itself soon.
    You need to use disc cleanup as it seen as a system files.
    (As noted before I have an 8.1 recovery drive if I do ever need reinstall it).

    You need to remove, and 'hide', a windows upgrade- KB3035583

    Another thing I would do is to check your windows product key (CD key), you will have been given a new one for Win10, and now probably another for rolling back to win7.
    I'm not sure how they are working this they may give your old win7 key back but its worth checking with keyfinder or similar.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2015
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