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I recently deleted a user from my Vista by going to Account -> Settings -> delete.

I have photos under this users, can I restore them? I don't have any backup.


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When you delete a user account, Windows asks you whether you want to delete or keep the files.

  • If you chose to keep the files, you can still access them with any administrator account.

    Start an Explorer with administrative privileges (press Win + E and run explorer) and go to the deleted users' profile (usually C:\Users\USERNAME).

  • If you chose to delete the files, you'll need a third-party program to undelete them.

    I've used Recuva in the past, and it worked quite well.

    It's imperative that you make as few changes as possible to your computer right now, as any data written to your hard disk might overwrite the deleted files and makes them unrecoverable. If you can – as @Moab suggested – shut your computer down right now and attach the affected hard disk to another computer for the recovery process.

    If that's not an option, at least choose an unaffected hard disk, partition or flash drive when asked where to save the recovered files. For the same reason, you shouldn't download or install the recovery tool on the affected partition.

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Since its photos photorec might also be a good option. – Journeyman Geek Jul 21 '12 at 0:45
Installing recovery software in the same drive could overwrite the files, best to remove the hard drive and attach to another PC for recovery purposes. – Moab Jul 21 '12 at 0:49
Thanks Unfortunately, I did it ont he same drive. I chsoe saved files. Under users I can see the account, but it was dated back 2008. WTH? It also said the folder was empty! I ran the recovery but it didn't get me too far. MOstly are just Internet cache :( Any more suggestions? Thanks,. – user1012451 Jul 21 '12 at 18:28
Try activating Options ... -> Actions -> Scanning -> Deep Scan. – Dennis Jul 21 '12 at 19:08

Try this method:

  • Go to my computer,
  • then determine which partition in your drive where your operating system installed (Usually it is in drive C:)
  • from that drive locate for the folder name (User) cause even if you delete accounts in vista the system still store the whole account on that folder with all of its sub file and folders in it
  • from this point you can check for your file then.

If that doesn't work, you can use 3rd party software and based on my experience Kernel windows data recovery always worked for this problem.

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I just deleted a user profile by mistake and went to multiple places with quotes ranging between $150 and $600. I ended up recovering the user profile for free and in 30 mins:

Reboot computer and press f8 to get to recovery options. Select the repair option and then select system restore. Choose a point in time before the date you deleted the account. Wait for the restoration to complete and you're good to go.

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bro use Recuva in professional mode then use recovery only on your lost account folder(c:/users/deleted account name ) . then magic happens and you got your deleted files but be sure during recovery choose different local drive path...

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Dennis's answer already mentioned Recuva. Each answer is intended to provide a substantially different solution to the question. Tweaks or clarifications should be done in a comment. – fixer1234 May 23 at 6:36

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