Friday, 21 January 2011

Windows Vista to Windows 7 In-Place Upgrade – Data Was Gone Afterwards?!?

A client of ours did an in-place upgrade of Windows Vista Ultimate to Windows 7 Ultimate on their home system.

Everything seemed to go okay until they logged in after the upgrade process completed and they were greeted with empty Documents, Pictures, and Videos folders for all four profiles on the system.

We could not find them while coaching over the phone so they dropped the system off this morning.

As a just-in-case measure we slaved up one of the 150GB VelociRaptors (RAID 1 array with OS) and one of the 1TB Seagate ES series (RAID 1 array with data) drives to see what was happening.

What we discovered was the following folder:

11-01-21 Windows Vista to 7 Up - 1 Temporary file storage


There was a folder with that name on both the C: partition and the D: partition. The folder was both hidden and set as a system folder so the default search settings did not pick up its presence for our client.

When we drilled down into that folder on the D: partition we discovered the “missing” Users folder that contained the four profile’s content:


The UsersOLD folder was ours from the original system to system transfer that was done when they purchased this box.

Note that this system had all of the user’s profile folders moved over to the D:\Users folder before the in-place-upgrade was run. After the fact, it was discovered that this is not a supported setup for an in-place upgrade of a desktop OS.

To us, it looks as though the upgrade process was trying to move all of that content back into the “original” C:\Users location but could not do so because the volume of content far exceeded the storage capacity of the VelociRaptors.

In the end our client was happy that the data was there.

Philip Elder
Microsoft Small Business Specialists
Co-Author: SBS 2008 Blueprint Book

*Our original iMac was stolen (previous blog post). We now have a new MacBook Pro courtesy of Vlad Mazek, owner of OWN.

Windows Live Writer

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