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I did not back up my files in Windows 7 before installing Windows 8 on top of it, and it appears as though they are all lost.

Is my data recoverable?

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From your comment below seems it's not so much Win7 itself you want to restore but your files. I've edited your question accordingly. –  Karan Jul 14 '13 at 3:39
    
Is there a folder called windows_old or windows.old or something similar in your systems drive (typically c: drive )? It should contain your data if you upgraded. For a fresh install you would probable need some recovery tool –  Shakehar Jul 14 '13 at 4:45
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2 Answers

Unless you had performed a backup, in which case it does not appear so, you would not be able to restore your Windows 7 installation.

Your best bet is to copy off any files/documents that you had prior to the upgrade and start fresh with a new Windows 7 installation.

Instead of downgrading, what issues are you experiencing that makes you want to revert back to Windows 7? Maybe this community has some solution to your OS woes.

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Personally, I've upgraded to Windows 8 on my production machines and have not looked back. I still use Win XP/7 at work and am frustrated with the lack of features that I find on my home environments. Having played with Windows 8.1, I'm excited to continue expanding my Windows experience. Don't get me wrong, most of my time is spent in linux virtual boxes, but am required to use Win 7 as my primary platform since some of the software I use is proprietary and only supported on Windows. –  kobaltz Jul 14 '13 at 2:37
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Oh, don't get me wrong. Windows 8 is a step forward. I am just wanting to reach back and grab all the files I left behind. –  barb Jul 14 '13 at 2:43
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Check if you have a Windows.old folder on your system partition:

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The Win8 Upgrade should have created it, and unless you specifically got rid of it it should still be there. Keep your fingers crossed and search inside it for your files.

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protected by slhck Jul 23 '13 at 6:58

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