Last year after upgrading to Windows 10, an update caused my OS to crash resulting in my Dell Vostro laptop being unable to start Windows. After much research, I was able to use a recovery program burned onto CD, which succesfully stored my existing files up to that point into a Windows.old file folder and replaced the corrupted OS with a new uncorrupted version of Windows 10, which has worked fine since then.
Fast forward to last Friday. I had been avoiding the most recent Windows 10 update, which noted it will take a long time due to many enhancements and new features, by clicking on "remind me later" button. I was just too busy and had not backed up my files since last year's debacle. While away from my computer on Friday, Windows forced the update, which took a few hours. When my computer finally restarted for the final time, my Windows.old file folder and the hundreds of files and documents therein were no longer to be found. When I clicked on the recently opened documents in MS Word, I got a message that the file directory does not exist.
I have researched the issue and tried contacting tech support at Microsoft, but after hours of getting nowhere, I tried to undo the update by reverting back to the previous build of Windows 10, thinking that would undo whatever was done to hide or delete my files. The previous build works fine, but did not produce the missing files.
Yesterday I had an hour long session with a MS tech who speaks very broken English (after an hour on hold and getting disconnected). The tech tried to tell me that Windows.old files are temporary files only and automatically disappear after a few weeks. I kindly informed the tech that I have been accessing the hundreds of documents in that file folder since around June of last year, so he was mistaken or uninformed. When he tried to argue with me, I asked him to escalate my call to the next level. He eventually put me on hold and came back after talking with a manager and tried to search for hidden files in my computer with remote access but was unsuccessful and claimed there was nothing that could be done. He also insisted that Windows updates do not delete files but could not explain what happened to them.
I asked again for him to escalate my call to the next level because someone from MS should be able to explain what happened to my files and why. He agreed to have someone call me today, but so far I have not heard from anyone. I previously searched the MS community forums, but the missing file topics discussed there seem to center around a temporary user account being created, which is not relevant to my situation.
So, I am turning to my brilliiant MGoBlog community to see if anyone has experienced anything like this and has any suggestions for how I can recover my missing files. Your thoughts are greatly appreciated!
UPDATE: A big thank you to all of you who responded and especially those of you with constructive suggestions. I downloaded the EaseUS recovery program as suggested by a few of you, which located the missing files after a few hours of scanning my system. I have yet to actually preview or save them due to having other work to do first (on a deadline). So, I will have to wait until tomorrow to see the fruits of my labor and your recommendations.
I knew reaching out to this amazing community for your input was the way to go... thanks again and Go Blue!