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Okay. So I screwed up. I'm running Windows ME on a laptop, and it became more unworkable with eacy day. So, I tried to install it over itself, but that didn't work, so then I did the complete reinstall. But I neglected to back up many MB worth of stuff I had stored on my desktop. The wankers who wrote the Windows reinstall CD for Gateway included NO warning about having to back up your files ... so I just assumed they'd be safe. I wasn't reformatting, just reinstalling --and my documents, I thought, were stored separately from Windows--so hey, I'm alright, right? WRONG! Everything I had stored on the desktop went bye-bye.

Now fortunately, I do have Norton Unerase. So I try to run it in Windows, and it won't run--sez I have to run it in a "single-task environment." I assume that means ms-dos, which I know next to nothing about. So can someone please explain to me how to work this thing?

(And yeah, I know all my stuff shoulda been backed up. At the time of the reinstall, I was really pressed for time and just didn't feel I had enough time to back everything up. But I promise, it'll never happen again!)

Any advice will be most appreciated.

Edited by drchicago, 15 July 2004 - 07:53 PM.

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Not sure about the Norton Unerase error. Perhaps if it's an old version it will only run from DOS. You could try starting your computer with a boot disk, and then running it from a floppy.

Here's a list of data recovery tools. As with any data recovery, don't install these, or any programs on the drive to be recovered.


File Recovery is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. The current version 3.x replaces the previous version 2.x, which is now over 6 years old.

For 9x/NT/2K/XP. Restore deleted files that are no longer in the Recycle Bin!

Tool to check and undelete partition
Works with the following partitions:
- FAT12 FAT16 FAT32
- Linux
- Linux SWAP (version 1 and 2)
- NTFS (Windows NT)
- BeFS (BeOS)
- Netware
- RaiserFS


EasyRecovery DataRecovery is a simple, yet powerful tool that recovers data that is lost, inaccessible or deleted. It's the ultimate do-it-yourself solution for nearly all causes of data loss (except physical hardware or system problems) where your hard drive and system are fully functional.

File Rescue 2.5

GetDataBack for FAT
GetDataBack will help you retrieve your files if the hard drive's partition table, boot record, FAT, or root directory have been damaged by a virus, formatting, fdisk or power failure. GetDataBack can even recover your data when the drive is no longer recognized by Windows.

GetDataBack for NTFS
Recover your files when the data is no longer accessible due to formatting, fdisk, virus attack, power or software failure. Get everything back even when the drive's partition table, boot record, Master File Table or root directory is lost or corrupt.
Hard Drives
Floppy Drives
Drive Images
Zip/Jaz Drives

Norton Utilities/SystemWorks
The Norton Protected Recycle Bin helps you recover deleted and overwritten files.
The UnErase wizard helps you retrieve files you've accidentally deleted.


Data Recovery
Fast File Undelete


File Recover 2000


File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
FileRestore is a simple, easy-to-use tool for recovering files that have been lost or deleted from your Windows system. Designed for Windows XP, 2000, NT, Me, and 9x

Hard Disk and Data Recovery Related Tools:
The DiskPatch tool supposedly can rebuild the File System structure depening on the damage to the structure.

Disk Commander
In virtually any situation where you need to recover lost data from a Windows system, Disk Commander is the solution. Disk Commander performs a wide range of data recovery operations.

As a tool to 'UNDELETE' files that have been accidentaly deleted.
This feature is implemented for HPFS and NTFS only.


Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP


Hard Drive Mechanic
It's true. Even if you just re-formatted your entire hard drive, you can still get all of your data back because, unlike what most people believe, formatting does NOT erase your files! With Hard Drive Mechanic's Unformat Feature, you can restore all of your valuable data in about 10 minutes!
demo version:

Filerecovery for Windows
Filerecovery for Windows® is a safe and affordable do-it-yourself data recovery solution that is designed to recover deleted files from all types of media such as Hard Drives, Floppy Drives, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Memory Sticks, and other types of removable media.

You know how upsetting it is to accidentally delete a file that you need—it takes just a moment to lose hours of work. Undelete file-recovery utility captures ALL deleted files including those that typically bypass the Recycle Bin. You can even recover files you purged from our Recovery Bin. With our Emergency Undelete feature, you can recover files deleted prior to Undelete being installed on your system (provided they have not been written over). Buy Undelete and you'll never again be at the mercy of lost data.

Fast File Recovery
A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.

File Scavenge
File Scavenge is the most comprehensive, award-winning file undelete and data recovery for NTFS volumes on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Active UNERASER is a compact and powerful undelete utility that can recover deleted files and folders on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS systems. It can even restore files from deleted and re-formatted partitions.

Undelete 3.0
Undelete 3.0 restores accidentally deleted files within seconds from anywhere on your system. Version 3.0 includes new SecureDelete, full Windows XP support and expanded search options.

FinalData Data Recovery
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

BadCopy Pro
BadCopy Pro is a leading data recovery tool for floppy disk, CD-ROM, CD-R/W and other storage media. It can effectively recover and rescue corrupted or lost data from damaged, unreadable or defective disks. Various damage situations and all file types are supported.

Directory Snoop
Directory Snoop is a low-level forensic utility that can recover erased files in an emergency, wipe sensitive data, and search for hidden data at the cluster level. Step through your File Allocation Table (FAT) and map individual clusters back to the file that owns them. Purge orphaned (and possibly sensitive) file names right out of the directory structure. $29 shareware for Windows 95 through XP (NTFS drives not supported).

http://www.binarybiz.....ndelete winxp
Using patent-pending technology, VirtualLab™ recovers data from most types of rotating media.. recover deleted files, damaged partitions corrupted volumes and even from formatted disks. VirtualLab will perform an exhaustive scan of the drive to locate partitions and the data that was within them. The found data is presented in an explorer-like view of files and directories that you then copy it to a safe location like another hard drive, network volume, Zip® or even a FTP directory. Even if Windows is not able to mount or "see" the drive, there's a great chance VirtualLab can still recover your data. Download VirtualLab and try it free.


200­$250 DOS/Windows Inspects slack space and deleted file metadata.

$2,495 Windows Features sophisticated drive imaging and preview modes, error checking, and validation, along with searching, browsing, time line, and registry viewer. Graphical user interface. Includes hash analysis for classifying known files.

Forensic Toolkit
$595 Windows Graphic search and preview of forensic information, including searches for JPEG images and Internet text.

N/A Windows Handles dozens of file systems. Explorer interface to deleted files. Generates hashes of files. Filtering functionality. This tool only available to the US government and law enforcement agencies.

The Coroner's Toolkit
http://www.porcupine...ensicsl/tct.htm Free Unix A collection of programs used for performing post-mortem forensic analysis of Unix disks after a break-in.

http://atstake.com/research/tools/task Free Unix Operates on disk images created with dd. Handles FAT, FAT32, toolkit. Analyzes deleted files and slack space, and includes time-line NTFS, Novel, Unix, and other disk formats. Built on Coroner's Toolkit.
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Oh, hey--thanks! I've been away for awhile, and just tried not to think about the computer situation. But I will try some of this stuff and let you know if it works.
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