While repartitioning my home Windows XP box’s hard drive —
something I’vce done at least half a dozen times before — I have
rendered my old “My Documents” folder inaccessible to me. If you’ve
seen this before and have a suggestion, I’d appreciate it!
Here’s what happened:
- I used to have two partitions created using PartitionMagic on my 160GB drive: 120 for Windows XP, 40 for Mandrake Linux.
- I was running out of space on the Windows side, and since I do
most things Unix-y on my Mac, I decided to reclaim the 40GB that
Mandrake was using. I used PartitionMagic and set it up to delete the
Mandrake partition and then append it to the Windows partition.
- No, I didn’t make a backup. Bad move on my part. I was tired.
- PartitionMagic did its thing, reclaiming the partition. It then
rebooted the system, and on rebooting, the monitor displayed “
L 99 99
99 99 99 99…” in text mode and the computer stopped. Just a little
MBR (Master Boot Record) problem; nothing I haven’t seen before and
easy to fix.
- With the MBR fixed, I was able to boot into Windows. The problem:
PartitionMagic left a program that runs on boot-up that restarts the
machine. Which boots into Windows, which then hits this program, which
reboots the machine. Which boots into Windows, which then hits this
I can’t find where PartitionMagic put this program.
- I try a little trick that’s worked for me before. I reinstall
Windows XP without erasing the partition first. I get the standard
warning and reinstall Windows into a new directory, C:\WINXP (the
original is in C:\WINDOWS). The main user of the old system was
“Administrator”; the main user of the new system is “Joey deVilla”.
- I now boot into Windows. Under C:\Documents and Settings, I see
the old “Administrator” folder, the “My Documents” folder for my old
system and where all my files are stored. I try to open it, I get this:
Windows reports that this folder’s file size is 0.
Looking at the hard drive capacity, I see that all my old files
are still on it — about 118GB of my hard drive is already taken up
with files. I just can’t get to them.
(I’ve done this before and have always been able to get back to my old
“My Documents” folder. Damned if I can figure out why this time is
Most of what’s in this is eaither backed up of easily replaceable. What
I really want are the past few months’ photos, which I can never
replace, although having my MP3 collection would be a bonus.
Anyone know how I can get to these files? Let me know either via email or in the comments!