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Upgrading to Windows 10 Wiped Your Data? You May Be Able to Recover It

Windows 10 is the latest operating system from Microsoft and it’s apparently going to be their last. Released for free to consumers of Windows 7 and 8, this operating system is seen more as a service that will be continually upgraded.

If your computer is compatible for the upgrade, you’ll definitely know about it. Microsoft has been very forceful in pushing upgrade notices. For many, the upgrade to Windows 10 will be smooth sailing. It doesn’t take very long to upgrade and all your existing data should stay intact. But they key word there is “should”.

While the majority of users will move to Windows 10 without any problems, there may be a small number who suffer from data loss. If this is you, don’t worry – you might be able to recover the data.

Firstly, though it might not be the best time to hear it, you should always do a full back up before you make any sort of major change to your operating system. Not only should you have a regular backup plan in place anyway, but go one step further and take an image of your drive using a tool like R-Drive Image. This will ensure you have a full replica of your drive to move back to in case of disaster.

Okay, so that’s what you should do in the future, but that’s not going to help you get your data back right now. First, navigate to C:\Windows.old and see if this folder contains the data you thought lost. This is a folder that is automatically created during the upgrade process and stores old files should you wish to roll back to your previous operating system.

If the data you need is in here, transfer it out to an external drive first before doing anything else. Windows.old is designed as a temporary folder, so it’s best not to rely on this as a main data point.

If your data isn’t in this folder, don’t panic just yet. While it might have been overwritten or deleted in the upgrade process, there’s still a chance of recovery. For this, use a recovery program like R-Studio.

When data is removed from a hard drive it isn’t actually removed until it’s overwritten. How quickly your previous data is removed will depend on how fast you’re writing new data to the drive – so bear in mind every operation you perform is increasing the amount data writing.

As such, clone your drive to an external and then run a tool like R-Studio to see what data can be recovered. If it finds what you need, you can then transfer this data back to your main system where you have Windows 10 installed.

For most, the upgrade to Windows 10 will be perfectly fine and you won’t run into any problems, so don’t be put off by this article if you’re planning to upgrade. And remember, if you want to be protected then invest in a proper backup plan so that you don’t have to rely on data recovery.


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