Recovery when the operating system has been reloaded
A very common cause for loss of data is when the operating system has been reloaded, often while trying to repair a problem with the computer. Most recovery procedures do allow for retaining data, but at times these do not actually repair the system enough to run again.
Fortunately, when an operating system (of the same type) is reloaded from scratch, the system files will be placed in very similar locations to the original load. This means, that although they can not be accessed, the user data will not be overwritten, and hence CnW Recovery software can recover the lost files.
For NTFS, the recovery can be very straight forward. It is necessary to use the manual mode of recovery and ensure the following two options are selected. Recover from file entries, and Scan all MFT entries. The program will scan the whole disk and determine both current files, and also previous files. The files will be copied to the hard drive in two sections, with all files recovered from a previous installation will be saved in a !RECOVER directory. Typically over 95% of original files will be recovered intact.
If files are still missing, the the option Recover unused space can also be used.
Recovering files from an overwritten FAT32 system is not as straight forward as the NTFS system described above. As above, use the manual mode of recovery, and on the options screen select the following two options, Recover from directory stubs, and Ignore FAT. The reason for ignore FAT is that the drives current FAT will have no knowledge of the previous layout of the disk. It does mean that fragmented files may be corrupted, but fortunately many short files are stored in a single run, with no fragments.