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Connected NEW pc hard drive to another PC, copied files, now gone!

Last response: in Windows 7
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February 14, 2013 8:10:09 PM

Ok... this is a weird one. But it's happened before so I know it isn't a fluke!

Here's the deal.

Have a brand new Windows 7 desktop from HP. Never been powered up (and user account not set up yet).

Removed the new hard drive, connected to my Windows 8 desktop (only used to xfer files between the two), navigated to the user folder, and copied over Music/Pictures/Documents/Favorites/Desktop folders backed up from the previous Windows 7 desktop. Was around 20gb and took the right amount of time to copy over.

Dismounted the drive (safely ejected from my eSATA dock), connected it back into the new PC, and booted.

This is when I found it was a new PC as it was asking me to accept the EULA, make my user account, etc.

After booting up I checked the user folder and guess what... everything is empty. This makes sense because Windows just created the account.

The drive still shows the space is used up but where on earth are the files?

The 'default' and 'administrator' accounts have empty folders as well.

Do I need to do a data recovery or is there an easier way?
a b $ Windows 7
February 14, 2013 8:37:06 PM

aaron7 said:
Ok... this is a weird one. But it's happened before so I know it isn't a fluke!

Here's the deal.

Have a brand new Windows 7 desktop from HP. Never been powered up (and user account not set up yet).

Removed the new hard drive, connected to my Windows 8 desktop (only used to xfer files between the two), navigated to the user folder, and copied over Music/Pictures/Documents/Favorites/Desktop folders backed up from the previous Windows 7 desktop. Was around 20gb and took the right amount of time to copy over.

Dismounted the drive (safely ejected from my eSATA dock), connected it back into the new PC, and booted.

This is when I found it was a new PC as it was asking me to accept the EULA, make my user account, etc.

After booting up I checked the user folder and guess what... everything is empty. This makes sense because Windows just created the account.

The drive still shows the space is used up but where on earth are the files?

The 'default' and 'administrator' accounts have empty folders as well.

Do I need to do a data recovery or is there an easier way?


Here's my concern over this:

1) You mentioned that this computer had never been powered up and there was no user account, yet you put the drive into a external enclosure to copy over the primary files and folders that had 20Gbs of data even though by your account this computer is new.

2) If the HDD in question is indeed new, there will be no user accounts nor will there be any of the aforementioned files and they certainly would not be 20+ Gb.

Would you please start over and provide us with all the information that you have somehow left out of your initial question? I say this because something doesn't add up.
February 14, 2013 9:24:14 PM

Ok, I'll try to explain it better. It's confusing so it's hard to put into words I guess! :na: 

1) When I connected the drive via eSATA and went to the c:\Users folder there were three; Administrator, Default (hidden), and User. I do realize now what you're saying; why was there a 'User' account already? Sadly this is what I always name new accounts and I must have overwritten the one I initially copied into.

2) The files I had backed up from the old drive and then copied onto (via the eSATA enclosure) the new drive were the 20gb. And it wasn't as if they copied way too quickly or anything like that. The file transfer took the normal amount of time and I did check to make sure the files were indeed in the folders afterwards as I always do.
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a b $ Windows 7
February 14, 2013 9:48:40 PM

just copy it again.
February 14, 2013 9:56:25 PM

heh... yeah. i moved them since it was such a large transfer and i didn't want to have to start over again if it failed for wherever reason!
!