Strategy for recovering as much data as possible in Win10


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I've managed to screw up my Win 10 installation so that some things work and some don't, some data is there and some isn't, and some opens and some doesn't. By this I mean that I have data files which I can open and others of the same sort that I can't open. I have no system backup but an external hard drive with a backup of much of my data from a while ago (some months or years). I have another external drive with nothing on it, on which I promise to put a complete backup once things are working as well as they can again. But I'm at a loss as to how to proceed. Does someone have a strategy to suggest or a place to look for one? Thanks.
 
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If Windows can still boot up and File Explorer opens, I usually do simple file copying to an external drive, either a USB HDD or a USB Thumb drive that has sufficient room for storing whatever can be copied. Most data created by a User will be in C:\Users\USERNAMEHERE such as Pictures, Documents, Downloads, Music, Videos and those are the Folders I copy to the other drive. But check your computer, Windows may be installed on/booting to a different drive/partition than C:.

If Windows itself won't run I boot to a Linux Mint LiveDVD and then do the same. Linux Mint has an .iso file that can be downloaded and use by a disc burning program to create the Bootable DVD-R or DVD+R, don't use the RW discs. Even though the RW discs are closed out properly they don't always successfully boot.

After saving data one can do a System Reset, check Start, Settings, Update and Security for the Recovery choices.
 
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This is a good image system creation tool. easy to use.
Once you have a stable win10 OS I use this tool constantly to keep my system backed up.If win10 does down its just a matter of replacing the system image. Do make a macrium bootable rescue disk
 

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