Files Recovered!

Well, it looked like it was going to be touch and go there for awhile, but I got all my files back, and I’m a happy camper once more.

First, the story. When we last left, the Recover My Files program had been running for about 3 hours, and I had to get to bed. I woke this morning around 8:45 because, me being me, I dreamt about the program running all night. I was eager to see if it had found what I was looking for.

I was disappointed, but not for the reason you might think. The program showed it had been running over 8 1/2 hours, and it still wasn’t close to done. It had progressed, but it was going way too deep for my needs. I realized that I needed to stop the program and start it again, this time not having it search for certain types of files. With the program, you can tell it to look for things such as images and text files specifically and it’ll dig for them, but if you don’t need that stuff you can uncheck it, and it won’t bother with them. So I unchecked that stuff and all my MS Office stuff, since I’d found that elsewhere, and a few other things as well. I also then told the program to look for files only in Documents and Settings, because I knew that’s where all my information was. It only took five minutes this time, and when it was done, there were my files. It had renamed them .eml files, because I’d told it to look for email files, but I could handle that.

At that point I had to buy the program, and I did, because it had done its job. I loaded in the license name (I used my name, but could have used my email address) and license number, super long so I copied and pasted it, and then chose Save, and saved it to my external drive. What it did was save it in the folder setup that it originally was on my hard drive, which made it easy to know where I needed to reinstall those files. After running that I went back in and had it search for all my Feedreader files, of which there really was only two I needed, which contained all my feeds, since the laptop would have been deficient on that.

The next step was to open Thunderbird first and create a profile, because even though the program was still on my computer, it, as well as every other program, needed to be created as if it was brand new; I actually had to reload my Office software, and a couple other things, whereas some of the programs just made you start anew. Once I created a profile, I first had to go back to the laptop and move over the entire email profile from there so I could upload it onto the laptop. The reason for that is that I have 7 email accounts set up on Thunderbird, whereas the profile only had one. I could have created all 7 anew, but why do that when it’s easier to copy and paste?

So, after the copy and paste of the previous profile (only the information; you can’t overwrite a current profile name, otherwise Thunderbird will never find it), I went to the folder where the files had been saved, changed the extensions from .eml to nothing, since that’s the way they were in the new D&S folder, and moved everything over. Then I opened Thunderbird, holding my breath, but it was all there; whew! I did the same for Feedreader, moving over the two main files, and that all came back also.

And there you go. Right now, I’m running the main computer again, but for the present time I’m using the wired mouse and keyboard for awhile. Thus far six hours, plus the time I was asleep and had that other program running, and nothing has shut down yet. I just installed the printer and scanner again, both on USB ports, as I’m testing that theory for now, and everything is working just fine.

So, there’s two posts where I hope y’all have learned lessons from my mistakes. Time to go get something to eat, but before I do, I fully recommend Recover My Files, which is below.

Update – – The product below is NOT the program I used originally. Seems the advertiser has expired from Commission Junction, and no one else I’m with carries that program anymore. So, I’ve replaced it with the program below, another program which had been recommended, and which costs less money.

Restore My Files Data Recovery

Price $29.95






Copying Files

I like to think I’m a pretty smart guy. Things will be going along pretty well, and every once in awhile I start believing my own hype. Then something happens that brings me back to reality. Not that I’m not still smart, but that I just fall into some stupid patterns that are pretty stupid.

For those who have been regular readers, you know I had computer problems, and even wrote a couple of posts about the Computer Guy who did his piece, but unfortunately couldn’t get it to stop crashing on me. I’ve had these problems for years, but over the last couple of weeks it just started crashing more often, and earlier today, after it crashed the 4th time, I decided it was time for a reinstall of Windows XP. My thought was that it just might be a driver issue, and by reloading Windows I could start from scratch, loading only a few things at a time rather than everything at once, which I did before, to test things. Luckily, I have the laptop, which I’m writing this on, that I can use as my main computer while I do my testing.

I decided that I didn’t want to format my drive, which would have meant that I’d have had to back up my entire hard drive again. I did that before, and that’s a mess, so I knew I was going to just reinstall it over the present operating system. If you’ve never done this, you don’t lose your files, or at least most of your files. Anything in your Program Files, or any folders you created, including folders where you’ve loaded software, will be just fine.

So, as I started the process, I thought everything was going to be fine. Then I remembered that there were some sound files that I’d moved into the Windows media folder that I wanted to keep, so I stopped the process, went back into the computer, and moved those files. Then I started the process again. You get a warning that tells you it’s going to wipe all system files, and of course you have the choice to just do that or format the entire drive. I selected the first option, then went through the entire 39 minute process of reinstalling Windows.

When it was completed and started back up, I wasn’t troubled by what I saw, which was the original Windows XP screen, that cheesy clouds and grass thing, and only the recycle bin. It wasn’t until I opened Firefox that I realized there was a problem. It seems that the one area I totally forgot about was the Documents and Settings folders; uh oh. In XP, many of your data files are run through folders in that area, and that includes Firefox and IE. All were wiped out; I felt like a moron.

The lucky thing, I discovered, was that I had accidentally recopied all my original Firefox files into a file I’d named Mozilla, and I was able to recover all of them within a few minutes; whew, first tragedy averted. Then I opened Thunderbird for my email and realized I’d messed that up also. Unfortunately, I hadn’t backed those up again, so now I was stuck. I can move over some files that I have on the laptop, but I’m missing a month’s worth of email, including some financial files and passwords that I need; that’s started to freak me out.

But I wasn’t done being freaked out. I then realized that the My Documents folder is actually a part of Documents and Settings, even though it’s out on its own. So, that means I inadvertently deleted every single one of my data files, going back over 10 years. Now that was a real moron move. Yet, I figured I had taken care of that, because I had used the Windows utility to back up my files, and they’re sitting on my F drive, which is my external hard drive. That sounds good, right? Well, for some reason, the backup restore utility can’t find those files, which means I have no way of accessing any of them; what the hey?

Anyway, luckily this story isn’t over yet. We’ve been talking about Twitter a lot lately, actually in my last post, so I went to Twitter and just happened to mention in general what I’d done. One of the people following wrote me and mentioned a program that might still be able to recover files that were deleted from my hard drive. He even gave me the name of a program, though right now I’m running a different one than he mentioned because I happened to click on this link that had the name he gave me before he’d sent me the actual link to the program he was talking about. I’m going to save my talking about that one for another post, but I can tell you that, so far, it’s been running 3 hours, and is only about half way through my hard drive, but has found almost 145,000 files thus far. You get to run the program for free to see what it finds, but when it’s time for recovery I’ll have to pay for it. Hey, if it gets back my data files and email files, it’ll be worth it to pay for them.

And then, another act of serendipity occurred when, on a whim, I decided to look for one file in particular, and I found all my data files. Seems Windows must know that some people are morons, and it created a new folder in D&S called Computer, and in Computer are all my data files; yay! That’s a major lifesaver, because that will be the bulk of the files I was probably trying to recover, and therefore if the program allows me so many free files to retrieve I can now forget all about that data files and only concentrate on the email files.

So, as I said, I should know better. I’ve had everything backed up before, and I should have just gone ahead and done it this time. Frustration will make you do some stupid things at times. But also, it shows that you can get some great help by reaching out, even innocently. Let’s hope this all turns out just fine; I’ll know in the morning.

Jac Zagoory Scroll Pen






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