Recover Files before OS Install?

i need to reinstall windows 7. can i recover files before i reinstall???
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More about recover files install
  1. Yes, but if Windows is broken on it (won't run) you'll need to remove the drive and install it on a working PC as a second hard drive.

    Or buy an external enclosure for it, then plug it into a working PC's USB port. That saves you the trouble of installing it inside the PC.

    To recover files from your user account folders you will need to take ownership of them by setting up permissions for those folders. Or follow this guide to take ownership of the entire drive:

    Incidentally, since you need to recover data from the drive, does that mean you do not keep backups anywhere?
    If you did, you wouldn't have the hassle of retrieving data when you want to re-install the OS.
    And what about when the hard drive fails (as it surely will one day)?
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