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It is always recommended to backup your data before updating from Windows. But if you haven’t and have just switched to Windows 7 and, for some reason, your data is missing after the upgrade, here are some troubleshooting steps you may want to try.
Data missing after upgrading to Windows 7
1 Check if you can recover your data in the Windows.old folder.
2 In case of incomplete data migration, you can search files in the folders $Windows.~Q and $INPLACE.~TR.
3 If you cannot find the data in the two steps above, use an administrator prompt to check if data files are missing on the entire drive.
For example, to search for images :
Dir *.jpg /a /s > %Userprofile%Desktopjpg_files.txt
4. If you can identify the location where the data was copied, use drag and drop or robocopy.exe to move the files to a more accessible location.
5 If you cannot find any data files on the machine, check the file WindowsPantherSetupact.log and make sure it is an upgrade installation. If this is not the case, you can determine if the partition has been formatted in the log and check the data of the other partitions.
For more information, see item KB930890