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  • Unable to Access Desktop on a Recovered Hard Disk

    Posted on kstephens43 Comment on the AskWoody Lounge

    Home Forums AskWoody support Windows Windows 10 Questions: Win10 Unable to Access Desktop on a Recovered Hard Disk

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      • #2286210 Reply
        kstephens43
        AskWoody Plus

        I was running Windows 10 (appropriately updated) and then experienced a failure to boot.  After trying the usual techniques to get back in, I thought that my hard drive might have failed.  Unfortunately, my backup did not work.

        I removed the hard drive and used another computer to mount it.  Yeah!  I could read the drive.  However, I could see apparently everything other than my Desktop (where I had especially important files).  When I try to see the desktop, it shows, but is empty.  I made sure that hidden files are visible.

        Although I use up-to-date security software and anti-virus, there is a possibility that someone maliciously wiped my Desktop.  It is more likely, however, that there is a logical reason I cannot see the desktop.  Does anyone have any ideas I can try?

      • #2286213 Reply
        PKCano
        Da Boss

        With the removed drive connected to the other computer, look on C:\Users and see if there has been a new and unknown User created. If so, you may have been a victim of the disappearing Profile bug. If that’s the case, your data will be under the new User ID. There are methods for fixing this if you can get the computer to boot.

        Find a computer with the same version and bitedness as your computer. Create bootable Rescue/Recovery media (CD/DVD or USB). Boot the computer from the Media – it will give you choices to access Restore Points (if created) on the drive, and other utilities for recovery. You may be able to test the hardware or reset the Windows installation from there.

      • #2286227 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        I’d make an image backup of the disk before doing anything. This will make a copy of everything.

        You can usually mount an image and restore individual files at a later date.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2286250 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        k,

        FWIW, this is one of the reasons NOT to keep important files on your Desktop (under C:\), but rather to move them to a Data disk (e.g., D:\), with shortcuts on the Desktop.

        Zig

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #2286298 Reply
          Microfix
          AskWoody MVP

          Yup, learned that the hard way eons ago with WinXP and secondary storage was the new hardware configuration going forward. Alternatively, consider partitioning the primary drive in order to store personal data on the secondary partition.

          Win8.1 Pro x64 + Linux Hybrids x86/x64 + Win7 Pro x86/64 O/L
        • #2286435 Reply
          Paul T
          AskWoody MVP

          No need to split data from OS, just backup regularly, preferably a daily scheduled backup so you don’t forget.

          cheers, Paul

      • #2286579 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        Paul,

        Nonetheless, it’s too easy to accidentally delete important documents if they’re stored on your desktop.

        Zig

        • #2286582 Reply
          PKCano
          Da Boss

          If they are stored on your desktop, and you delete them, it really doesn’t matter where they are physically located. They are deleted. Unless, of course, you don’t use your desktop. LOL 🙂

      • #2286621 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        That’s my point; SHORTCUTS on the desktop, actual files elsewhere.

        Zig

      • #2286676 Reply
        Paul T
        AskWoody MVP

        Important documents require proper backup – for the day your hardware goes pear shaped. A bit like a spare copy of the house keys.

        cheers, Paul

      • #2286683 Reply
        Zig
        AskWoody Plus

        No argument there.

        Zig

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