Recovering important data when Windows wont boot

A task that frequently appears in computer repair jobs is retrieving the data on the clients PC when a hard drive has failed (or failing) or Windows wont boot and they want me to do a Reinstall. This article is intended for people who are comfortable working in DOS or some other command line, however if you are a beginner a GUI tool such as Ultimate Boot CD will be extremely helpful.

Here is how to retrieve clients personalized data such as emails, favorites and their documents when Windows does not work.

Emails can sometimes be a little tricky as Microsoft likes to hide the location of these.
Here are the default locations of the Microsoft email clients:

Outlook Express
Emails: C:\Documents and Settings\User Account\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\{Random Numbers and Letters}\Microsoft\Outlook Express

Address Book: C:\Documents and Settings\User Account\Application Data\Microsoft\Address Book\User Account.wab

Microsoft Outlook
C:\Documents and Settings\User Account\Local Settings\Application Data\Microsoft\Outlook

C:\Documents and Settings\User Account\Favorites

My Documents:
C:\Documents and Settings\User Account\My Documents

C:\Documents and Settings\User Account\Desktop

Bryce Whitty

About the Author

Bryce Whitty
More articles by me...
Bryce is an Australian computer technician and the founder of Technibble. He started his computer repair business when he was 17 years old and is still running it 9 years later. He is an avid traveller and spends at least a month of the year in another country.

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