Where did everything go? :/

Hi there, today i was on my computer, watching youtube vids and it was time to eat so i turned it for for a bit to go eat with my family. After i turned it on an error came up saying i need to use system repair to fix it. So i did, but it didn't work so i decided to install windows again, but when i choosed the first option it said 'there has to be an existing OS' so tried the next option, which worked, but when it was time to choose the HD i want to install windows on, it had full space, i only had 20GB free before and now i mysteriously got full space. I decided to install windows and when it was finished i searched all over but all my files were gone :( Over 5000 pictures i took with my camera, all my music, videos, save files for over 20 games, its all gone :( Any ideas what just happened?
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  1. Best answer
    when you installed windows you wiped your hard disk. you can attempt to recover the data.

    TestDisk, Data Recovery
    TestDisk is powerful free data recovery software! It was primarily designed to help recover lost partitions and/or make non-booting disks bootable again when these symptoms are caused by faulty software, certain types of viruses or human error (such as accidentally deleting a Partition Table). Partition table recovery using TestDisk is really easy.

    TestDisk Step By Step to recover lost partitions and repair damaged FAT/NTFS boot sector
    Recover deleted files from NTFS partition

    NOTE If seeked lost file are still missing, give PhotoRec a try. PhotoRec is a signature based file recovery utility and may be able to recover your data where other methods failed.

    PhotoRec is file data recovery software designed to recover lost files including video, documents and archives from hard disks, CD-ROMs, and lost pictures (thus the Photo Recovery name) from digital camera memory. PhotoRec ignores the file system and goes after the underlying data, so it will still work even if your media's file system has been severely damaged or reformatted.
  2. Thanks for the reply. I tried both test disk an photorec and photorec worked but i got over 900 folders, in each is about 5-6 files that i need, if i'm lucky... I tried Recuva, Pandora Recovery and Undelete. Undelete worked but my most important, the png's and jpg's weren't there :/ Is there an easier way?
  3. Sorry for the double post but i got all my files back, there's just one problem, the pictures are either corrupted and cannot open at all, or there's a black area on it. How can i fix this?
  4. Best answer selected by gabrielorie.
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