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Ghosted Win7 over WinXP; need to recover files from old partition

Created: 24 Mar 2014 | 1 comment

Greetings -

I am upgrading a double-handful of Windows XP computers.  After imaging one computer with a bootable Ghost USB I discovered the profile I copied over the network was corrupt.  Is there a tool, or does someone know a way, to attempt to recover any files left over on the WinXP portion?  The files from the profile I am attempting to recover were the last ones created.  I am hoping that the Ghosted Win7 is not going to overwrite all the files from the WinXP installation.  One issue I can think of is that the Win7 is using NTFS and WinXP using fat32.  The other one is that file fragmentation from the WinXP install may mean that some of the blocks of the files in the profile were within the scope of the Ghost Win7 image and have been overwritten.

My hope is that the Ghost software did not reformat the drive but simply overwrote the blocks with the NTFS Win 7 image.  I know this doesn't make too much sense, but like I said, it's my hope.

Tony -

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EdT's picture

I have used R-Studio in the past with noteable success:

It is not free but it does work and you can see what files are recoverable from the eval.

HOWEVER, even with fragmentation, it is unlikely that entire files can be salvaged unless the XP installation had a lot of apps on it, and the core files were basically larger than the Win 7 install, which is usually several times larger than an XP install.

I would suggest you learn from this and perform a file comparison with something like WinDiff before you trash a machine, so that you can be sure that a profile has copied over correctly. Meanwhile, I suspect any effort in file recovery is likely to be wasted but if you need to pacify the user then by all means give it a shot.

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