Quite a number of times I have fallen a victim of losing lots of data as the operating system of my computer comes to anything that requires re-installation. This is in many cases issues of virus infection where you find the OS unable to load. By all means you may have to re-install either the same version or even a later version of the OS.
A few months ago it took close to 4 days while i could not access the GUI for allowing me to copy my data to my external HDD, simply because i wasnot yet aware of the difference between the GPT and MBR disk partition modes. I formatted my partition C and all the data including the current OS was lost, and the solution was to delete all the partitions and re-partition the HDD again. No data could stay. Though i lost some that was not in folders, but i recovered some. It took me further to read and know about the MBR and GPT disk partition modes.
Below are the steps to follow to back up your data in case the OS crashes before you had a backup. This case can happen and you can no longer have that GUI to help you trace that network or external storage device to backup your data and worse of all you might have had only one partition on your HDD or even you want to repartition this disk during installarion.
This works when you are doing it by yourself. As an ICT teacher, this is something that you ought to do yourself. First, know the size of the data that you need to back up and have either an external HDD or flash disk having space that can accommodate your data.
Also, by this method, only data that is in folders may be recovered, so you may lose the one that is not in folders.
Have your installation disc ready (CD, Flash disk or External HDD) with the OS you want to install. Follow the normal procedure of installation, i shall get at the step when you have selected the version of OS, sampling with installation of Windows 8. I shall skip some steps of installation, only to get to the point of back up.
All steps followed, you get at this step when you have to select the version you want to install, or at a later stage when you have to select the partition on to which you want to install the OS.
Press a keyboard shortcut Shift + F10, to activate the command prompt, and there type notepad then Enter. Notepad as a free text editor will open.
You ought to have inserted the disk onto which you want to back your data; say a flash disk or external HDD.
Select File in the notepad interface then save as. A dialog box shall be given listing all the drives and partitions in your PC. Identify the drive that has the folders that you want to copy, then copy them to the external drive that you inserted. After all the data you want is on the external drive, you may then remove the drive and continues installation.
I wish you all the best as you try to recover your data, as i did.
Kanyike Simon Peter Kiviiri; +256 784 827 500; firstname.lastname@example.org