Question Does backup using file history wipe drive?

nbartolo7

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Ah... <Mod Edit> I think I messed up

I backed up my files using windows 10's file history backup feature, on my external hard drive, but now when i went to look inside, all the stuff that was in there is gone. I'm almost sure I had some stuff there. Did it format drive? If so, can I hope to retrieve lost info? Bringing drive to a specialist or something?

Any help appreciated.

Thanks :/
 
No, it shouldn't. It creates a folder called FileHistory in the backup drive and places the files there. It leaves everything else alone.

If you already completed the backup. Then any deleted data on the drive is likely non recoverable. Maybe there is some still left. But anything written over or partially written over is gone. You can try using data recovery software. You'll need a blank drive the same capacity or larger to place the recovered data. There will be tons of garbage data to sift through afterward.

Whatever happened. I couldn't say. Somehow the data was lost. In the future. Backup drives should only be used for backups not storage.
 

Math Geek

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so you ran file history backup and now when you look WHERE exactly is it empty?

i'm a touch confused about that part of it? is the backup data on the external and not on the main drive? or is the backup location empty but data is still on the main drive? is all the data gone from everywhere?
 

nbartolo7

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No, it shouldn't. It creates a folder called FileHistory in the backup drive and places the files there. It leaves everything else alone.

If you already completed the backup. Then any deleted data on the drive is likely non recoverable. Maybe there is some still left. But anything written over or partially written over is gone. You can try using data recovery software. You'll need a blank drive the same capacity or larger to place the recovered data. There will be tons of garbage data to sift through afterward.

Whatever happened. I couldn't say. Somehow the data was lost. In the future. Backup drives should only be used for backups not storage.
So, you're saying it shouldn't but yet it did? I'm not 100% sure I had something in there, but I'm almost positive.
 

nbartolo7

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so you ran file history backup and now when you look WHERE exactly is it empty?

i'm a touch confused about that part of it? is the backup data on the external and not on the main drive? or is the backup location empty but data is still on the main drive? is all the data gone from everywhere?
file history backup only works if you use an external hard drive, you can't do it on your main. So i connected one, did the backup, but now I can no longer find the personal folders and files i had in there previously. So i am wondering if backup using file history wiped my drive in the process? Like I said, I'm only 90% sure (not 100%) that there was data in the drive. But velocityg4 seems to say that it shouldn't have formatted drive but instead simply added the folder called FileHistory, which comforts me a little. But he's right, I should not use storage drives for backups.
 
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Math Geek

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he is right that it should only create the back-up. i've used it many times and never had anything disappear. that's why i wanted to clarify where exactly you feel files are missing. sounds like you're library folders are now empty and you're not sure if there ever was any actual files in there.

the easy way to check is to go back to file history and see what is in the back-up. if it made the backup, then you can easily restore the files back where they came from. that's the whole point of file history. if the back-up is also empty, them most likely there was never anything for it to copy over in the first place.
 

nbartolo7

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he is right that it should only create the back-up. i've used it many times and never had anything disappear. that's why i wanted to clarify where exactly you feel files are missing. sounds like you're library folders are now empty and you're not sure if there ever was any actual files in there.

the easy way to check is to go back to file history and see what is in the back-up. if it made the backup, then you can easily restore the files back where they came from. that's the whole point of file history. if the back-up is also empty, them most likely there was never anything for it to copy over in the first place.
Thanks for your answer. But what do you mean "check file history and see what is in the back-up"? Doesn't the backup concern only my main drive? The files I am looking for are my external hard drive's files, not my main. The drive I am concerned got formatted is the external one, not the main one. So how can I go check file history? Do you think it also backed up the external hard drive as well?
 

Math Geek

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ok so that's what i was trying to understand from the start. so it sounds like you used the file history back-up and now the files that were already on your external drive (before you ran the back-up) have been deleted. is that right? nothing on your main drive is missing but rather whatever you had on your external has gone away?

at this time the external drive is completely formatted (no data at all only empty space?) and you want to know if you can recover any of that data?

do i have it right?
 

nbartolo7

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ok so that's what i was trying to understand from the start. so it sounds like you used the file history back-up and now the files that were already on your external drive (before you ran the back-up) have been deleted. is that right? nothing on your main drive is missing but rather whatever you had on your external has gone away?

at this time the external drive is completely formatted (no data at all only empty space?) and you want to know if you can recover any of that data?

do i have it right?
Perfect yes, now you got it. But like i said, maybe i had nothing there to begin with, but i seriously doubt it. A friend of mine told me there are some paid softwares out there to recover stuff that has been overwritten. Is that what you were going to suggest? Any help is appreciated. Thanks
 

Math Geek

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yah that's pretty much all you can do. but to have the best chance of recovering anything, don't do anything with the drive until you run the recovery software first.

data will stay where it is until it gets overwritten. so long as you don't copy anything else to the drive, whatever was there might be recoverable. it is not 100% though as files can be fragmented and if a piece f it is not found the whole file may be corrupted and unusable.

this is a decent free option that will at least show if there is anything to recover

https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva

no need for paid stuff yet until you know for sure there is data to get and that you actually need to recover it.
 

nbartolo7

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yah that's pretty much all you can do. but to have the best chance of recovering anything, don't do anything with the drive until you run the recovery software first.

data will stay where it is until it gets overwritten. so long as you don't copy anything else to the drive, whatever was there might be recoverable. it is not 100% though as files can be fragmented and if a piece f it is not found the whole file may be corrupted and unusable.

this is a decent free option that will at least show if there is anything to recover

https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva

no need for paid stuff yet until you know for sure there is data to get and that you actually need to recover it.
Thanks so much. But just to be clear, from your personal experience, you say it shouldn't have deleted anything, and simply added the folder "file history" to the drive correct?
 

nbartolo7

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that is correct. it is simply making a folder and copying files to it. it does not even have an option to format the drive that i recall seeing.
Quick update. I ran Recuva and it found 1TB of data. Which kinda matches the amount of data I thought I had in there. But it also matches the size of the backup of C:. How can I be sure that it's not just the files that were backed up from C: that it found? Or does it only look for deleted files?
 

Math Geek

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it should only scan the empty space looking for whatever might still be there.

if it is empty, that means the back-up did not work right for some reason. if you have the room, then let it recover whatever it thinks is there and sort through it. when i run the scan it shows me all the files it can recover and what folder it was in. should not be too hard to skim the list and see what it found. hopefully you know how you organize things. should be real obvious what is not in the "back-up" folder and what is if it was made and had files added to it.
 

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