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I'm fixing a friend's computer (windows XP), and there's an interesting issue. I hooked up the hard drive to a usb hookup and the document folders have vanished. "My Videos", "My Pictures", and "My Music" are all gone, and she says those are what she wanted.

The physical drive has nothing on it, is the problem. "My Documents" is still there, but it is empty (and she said that isn't true).

I'm currently using recuva to scan over it, but I have never really had to do this kind of data recover from a potentially damaged drive.

In which manner should I go about this in this particular situation, and also in general if there is hdd damage and I need to recover it?

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Are you sure those folders have not been relocated to another drive/partition? – BJ292 May 5 '12 at 5:51
There were no other hard drives/partitions for them to relocate to. And a quick recuva scan shows a lot of the missing photos. – Duall May 9 '12 at 2:43
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Using a utility like MiniTool Partition Wizard (free home edition), you can explore the partition and find the files if they are still resident on the drive. You could also recover the partition and information with this tool.

In the utility, right click the drive, click explore, open the "users" file and then open the pics, music and whatever else you like to verify the data is still there.

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