My only backup is My Documents on Google Drive. More on the mess I find myself in at http://dottech.org/forums/tech-support/it-looks-like-files-may-have-been-deleted-from-my-documents-what-do-i-do/#p18230
Service Pack 3
Dell DIMENSION DIM2400
Pentium® 4 CPU 2.66GHz
x86 Family 15 Model 2 Stepping 9
2.05 GB of RAM
Graphics Card: Intel® 82845G/GL/GE/PE/GV
Graphics Controller, 64 Mb
Hard Drive Size 114.4GB
Free Space was 35.8GB; now under 20GB because after backing up My Documents on Google Drive, Google Drive has duplicated the whole darn thing on my hard drive
Motherboard: Dell Computer Corp., 0G1548
Antivirus : Webroot Internet Security
There are only two ways to recover lost files. The first one is to have a backup. The second one is to use recovery tools.
a) You use a backup software to do daily/weekly/monthly/yearly/… incremental/full backups.
b) You use a partition backup software from time to time to save the current state of your system. Not many software allow you to recover a single file with this method though.
a) You install a recovery/undelete software. Never install anything, or write to, a partition where you want to recover/undelete a file from. Usually, a portable application is always better as, theoretically, nothing is written on the system partition (I said theoretically because it's not always true; some portable apps use the registry: check for any .bat file and look inside).
b) Results are unpredictable.
3. Be smart
In order to prevent or minimize the loss of data, you do your homework first.
I mean, if you count on Windows to help keep your data safe, you're making a big mistake. Because Microsoft does not like competition, their OS is organized in such way it limits the possibility to manage intelligently your system. For example, everything is stored on the Windows partition "C:". When the OS is screwed up, chances are data are so too.
a) You should have at least an external HDD (or a USB/SD card for what it matters) to store backups and important files. A secondary backup won't harm.
b) You should have at least one or two partitions for your data, and one dedicated to all temporary/cache files. At any time, a memory flush can compromise the chances to recover files.
c) You should have another OS on your main HDD. Or, a live OS (live CD, bootable USB key). The purpose is to be able to boot the PC without touching the partition where you lost the files.
d) Never store any data on "C:", period. Needless to say, never keep backups on your main HDD.
e) Always delete to the Recycle bin.
4. Why I don't use the cloud?
a) An Internet connection is required.
b) The cloud is not safe nor secure: the service may go down or its terms revisited, files could be stolen, you must be pro-active and manage the cloud as well… If you don't know it already, you cannot trust third-parties vendors.
c) Sync must always be on; then, if you delete a file locally, it will be deleted on the cloud too unless you tell the service to not delete but then folders are not synced and the cloud may unnecessarily keep obsolete files.
d) Depending on the service, uploading could be very slow. Then, uploading is not 100% safe --a bit or two may be missing or mixed up.
Whenever a problem occurs, the first thing to do is power off the machine immediately. If you have a laptop, unplug the cord (and, for laptops, the battery): this is the only way to prevent disk writes.
For the moment, I won't got further because:
1) I got to go
2) You may think my advice does no address correctly your problem
If you want, I can tell you what I've done with my 2008 laptop running 5 OS and 5 partitions for data, and which software I use for backup/recovery.
I used it before and it helped me out of trouble. This tool is very safe and flexible, and furthermore, it is free.
You can visit this website for more information. I really think this tool can help you to solve this trouble, you can have a try.
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