XP restoring backed up data
by agavegrove - 11/9/11 8:10 AM
My wife's computer is an EMachines W3644 running Windows XP SP2. AMD Sempron 2.21 GHz. 896MB RAM. HD is Western Digital 143GB. Right now she's using 23GB with 117GB free.
She got error messages that she was running low on virtual memory and that she had 0 (zero) hard drive space left. This is plausible because she saves everything on her computer and cleans off nothing - like a hoarder. All of the Program folders in the start menu showed "Empty" and everything on her desktop was gone. She was able to access her Desktop items and programs via Window Explorer.
My first thought was to clean up the computer. I had her back up all her docs and files onto an external HD. I emptied 3.5GB of stuff from the recycle bin, removed unused software. This didn't fix it.
Someone told me to run System Recovery from the vendor CD. It backed up files and programs, then restored the system to it's "out of the box" setting/software/etc. It created a backup folder on the C: that has all her software, documents, etc on it. It also has a new "Documents and Settings" and "Program Files" folder. I copied and pasted all of her docs from the backup folder into the 'new' folders. Still that didn't fix anything.
What makes this bad is that the stuff she needs most were in Outlook Express. OE backed up with the rest of her software. But no matter how she tries to open up OE, it's empty. Everything. All her emails and contacts on Outlook Express aren't showing up. XP's backup feature wasn't turned on so there's no way to go into System Restore and restore from a backup. Safe Mode didn't do anything either, I guess since the OS is fine.
The question: If it backed up OE, why can't we retrieve her data? How can we retrieve her data?
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