ME to XP upgrade install problem

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Mike Frezon, Dec 30, 2005.

  1. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    After years of being happy with Windows ME (unlike many others...nary a problem for me), I finally decided it was time to move up to XP Home.

    After a successful upgrade on my son's computer, I developed a problem in the final stages of my upgrade install. With about 11 minutes to go I got an error message that it could not load c:windowswin9xmigDevUpgrdMigrate.dll.

    After pushing "OK" to the error message, the machine would back up to the 41 minute mark of the install and begin all over again. I was stuck in this loop and couldn't figure out a way out.

    So, I decided to remove the HDD and replace it with a larger drive that I was planning to install as a second storage drive in the machine. I did a clean install with no problem.

    The problem arrives when I hook up the original drive now as a slave. I figured I would re-install all my software on the new drive and then be able to access all my data files on the old drive and go from there. Wrong!

    While MOST of the old files are there...including my DVD Profiler back-ups (thank goodness!)...I cannot find my "My Documents" folder with all my Word docs or my MyFiles folder with my WordPerfect docs or my My Pictures folder. Also missing are my e-mails and address book from Outlook Express. Amazingly, most everything else seems intact.

    Some internet searches have directed me to right-click on the old drive in Windows Explorer and migrate to the Sharing & Security tab. I tried the "sharing" techniques in an attempt to make the folders/files visible, but with no luck. There is no "Security" tab. I tried this in safe mode as well with no success.

    I am networked to a machine still running Windows ME. I made the drive available to that machine via the network and could still see nothing.

    I have contemplated physically removing the drive and setting it up as a slave on that existing ME machine to see if that would work...but I am starting to have my doubts. I am beginning to wonder if somethying funky happened during the XP install to those files. Maybe its the difference between FAT 32 and NTSF (or whtever the XP file format is called)? But why just those files? I am bewildered.

    If I cannot retrieve the files...It is my own fault. Normally I overthink any computer upgrade and have everything as organized and backed up as can be. But this time I blew it in the aftermath of the success of overseeing my son's XP upgrade and failed to back up anything.

    Any help anyone?!

    A couple of year's worth of Weekly RoundUps are riding on this...although I suppose they really don't have all that much value anymore! [​IMG] Having those darn e-mails back would be nice though....... [​IMG]
     
  2. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    You should plow through the old hard drive's "Documents and settings" directory to find your "My documents" etc, in your user profile folder (for the usual login name you used for your ME PC setup.

    Outlook's address book file name is usually "outlook.pst" (do a search on the old hard drive for that name). Don't know where the emails are located, though.
     
  3. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Patrick: The "documents and settings" folder contains only two folders: "All User" and "Default User". Both are empty.



    A complete search of the old drive for "outlook.pst" yielded nothing.

    Some of what I've read on the internet makes me think that maybe some of these folder/files MIGHT still exist but are hidden because the new configuration under XP doesn't want to give me access to them...thinking they should be protected for someone else.
     
  4. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I seem to recall that Outlook and Outlook Express actually use different file names for things personal address books, personal folders, etc. (As do different versions of those programs. Ah, Microsoft. [​IMG])

    I would do a scan, not for "outlook.pst" but simply for "*.pst" for personal folders and "*.pab" for personal address books. Also search all files and folders for "*.doc", "*.xls", and "*.wpd" files to track down any stray Word, Excel and Word Perfect docs. It is indeed possible that some of your files just got lost thanks to the failed upgrade (the file allocation table for NTFS - New Technology File System - may have lost track of them.)

    You might also check Download.com for some safe freeware file recovery utilities. I used one at work several months ago (sorry, have forgotten the name and don't have it on my home PCs) to recover files from a virus-ravaged PC with a badly-scrambled hard drive. Even on a damaged drive much or all of the data may still be there, but the flags that mark the files as files and which give them names may be missing, so they're "invisible". (BTW, it couldn't hurt to check the Recycle Bin for your missing stuff, not to mention unrelated folders which may now have other folders inside them.)


    Possible. Open the drive in My Computer. Click on the "Tools" menu. Click on the "View" tab and under "Files and Folders" select "Show Hidden Files and Folders" and remove things like "hide file extensions for files of known type" - a particularly idiotic default setting that Microsoft selected in its on going effort to protect us all from ourselves and from the strain of thought. [​IMG] See what that makes visible to you.

    Regards,

    Joe
     
  5. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Welllllll. I thought I hit paydirt. I found a folder labeled "undo" with a huge zipped file called back-up. In it was a .cab file with tons of files which I was able to retrieve. It had three main folders: My Documents, Program Files and Windows. Unfortunately, the My Documents was empty except for two sub-folers (My Pictures and My Webs) which were empty except for a desktop file. A cursory glance at the Program Files and Windows folders seem to indicate that those folders contain files that still servive on the old drive.
     
  6. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Mike:

    Can you scan the .cab file for the .doc, .xls, etc. to see it finds anything?

    It is odd that created a folder called undo. But I guess Microsoft creates an undo folder to backup all your original files when you are upgrading.

    This may not work but have your tried reinstalling ME on that hard drive to see if it reinstalls all your old files for you and then you can migrate them over?

    Parker
     
  7. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I'm willing to try anything. What would be the best way to proceed? I've never installed a second OS on a system. I don't want to screw up my new C: drive. Can I safely install ME on the slave drive without interfering with XP on the master?

    WWPD? What would Parker do?! [​IMG]

    I think re-installing ME seems like a grand idea. If the changing of file formats to NTFS (what a stupid name...but I guess no more stupid than FAT 32!) is what screwed up the files...maybe changing them back would work. Although, I am doubtful. It would seem to me that if the files WERE changed to NTFS, they would be apparent (exist) in XP.
     
  8. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    You can't revert NTFS to FAT32. It's a one-way change. And I don't think NTFS is supported in ME, which means the drive would have to be reformatted to perform the install.
     
  9. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Joe: Do you know why just certain files seem to have been "wiped out" in the failed install (or conversion to NTFS)? And why did it have to be the documents, e-mails, etc.?

    I wonder if that's true, if maybe another attempt to install XP on the drive would reclaim the missing files?
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Moderator
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    If the folders where nested inside the user profile folders (underneath the usual "Documents and Settings" folder), then you always run the risk of losing them if the install process tries to migrate user profiles from one OS to another OS.

    That's why I never let Windows tell me where to put my documents, I file them away in another non-default location on my hard drive, whether it be on the boot partition, or another partition or drive to keep things nice and clean and separated (OS vs. files vs. programs)
     
  11. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    I don't think I would try another attempt. Reinstalling would likely only overwrite any file fragments from the files you are trying to recover. Once a fragment has been overwritten, you cannot recover that file. The same goes for attempting to install anything on that drive. Do not defrag and do as little as you can to cause any write operations to the drive.

    Your best bet (on your own) will be some kind of file recovery tool, which may or may not work. You will have to have the tool on a primary drive and the messed-up drive as a secondary drive.

    Your last resort, and only if the missing data is worth the money, would be to find a professional hard drive recovery company.

    I had to use one once when a business drive died at a time when I was too lazy to make backups. I learned my lesson and now have all data contents of all computers on my network backed up to an external drive attached to a server 2-3 times a week.
     
  12. Parker Clack

    Parker Clack Schizophrenic Man
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    Mike:

    I was talking about trying to reinstall ME on your old drive but if Joe says don't try that I wouldn't. It sounds to me like the install probably overwrote all the files and they are just gone.

    Joe:

    We were in the same boat here. We had a hard drive fail and never got the old pictures, etc. back. And even though we thought we were backing up all the data we found out after the fact that we weren't. Believe me now we are backing up everything.
     
  13. Joseph DeMartino

    Joseph DeMartino Lead Actor

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    I agree with Joe K. Another re-install attempt over what's already there is likely to completely destroy any files or fragments that survive. When files are "invisible" to an OS they exist until the space the reside in is over-written. That's why file recovery is possible. The only initial difference between a regular file and a "deleted" file is that the "don't use this space" flag has been removed from the "erased" file, and it has been removed from the FAT. But the file will stay there forever if you don't use the space it is sitting on. Conversely the more write operations you do to a drive, the more likely it is that you'll over-write any space marked "free" that in fact contains data. The longer you wait to attempt a file recovery and the more you access the drive, the poorer your chances of getting your stuff back.

    This program looks like a reasonable freeware tool that would be worth trying. (I would install it on the good drive and then run it against the bad one for obvious reasons. [​IMG])

    Later,

    Joe
     
  14. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Joseph, Joe Kauffman, Patrick & Parker:

    Thank you all for your help!

    Joseph: I downloaded that very program to which you provided the link. It took quite a while (seemed very thorough). It actually saved quite a few files which had been lost. A couple of Word docs (unfortunately not the ones I wanted...why is that always the way?!) and some WordPerfect docs and the few images that I had stored on the drive.

    Still missing are my e-mails and one folder of Word docs. The folder is there...but, alas, its empty.

    Not bad for the price! [​IMG] Thanks for the tip!
     
  15. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Mike, I'm glad you were able to at least recover some of the files.

    Now, do you promise to set up some sort of reular backup solution for the future?
     
  16. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I p-p-p-promise! :b
     

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