Windows Vista - Where do restored backup files go?


  • I am working on my Niece’s computer where the original Windows Vista Home Premium was so badly corrupted that I did a Windows based user file
    backup to a USB external drive.  The Wizard then took the system through a reformatting and reinstall of the OS.  The OS is now functioning normally and I have been successful in upgrading it to the current SP-2 release.  In attempting to do a file recovery it became apparent that the system based recovery did not see the external drive backup files even though they could be viewed as compressed files on the external drive using Windows Explorer.  This was also the case if I copied the same backup folder to the C: drive desktop.

    If I used the Vista Restore Wizard and then the advanced mode and attempted to use the “from a different computer” it still failed to recognize the files on the USB drive as backup files.  The Browse function did not allow me to select the external drive Backup folder.

    The first file in the external drive backup file folder though was an .exe file.   I allowed it to execute and now have a folder at the c: root titled “System Recovery Files”.  This contains all of the original user files from the system before the backup and OS restore in unzipped format. Is this the extent of the recovery or should I be expecting it to insert/merge the user files back where they were in the original file structure.  For example should word processing documents be restored automatically in the User>My Documents folder or is this a manual process?

    Saturday, March 31, 2012 6:25 PM