Recovering files in Windows XP Mode

May 28, 2010
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I have a problem. After working for an entire afternoon in Windows XP mode (Windows 7 Professional, using an old version of Corel Photo Paint, not compatible with Windows 7), I exited the virtual machine with the option to remove all changes (the undo disk was enabled). I don't know how I could do that!! I was distracted by a phone call...

My question is: is there any way to recover my files (e.g. using those programs I have heard about which recover deleted files)? Or everything in the virtual machine is really and irremediably destroyed when quitting it discarding changes?

Thank you!


Win 7/Linux Mint Lover
Nov 13, 2009
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Marcello1984, welcome to the forum! I've used (and still using) different VM's, and it looks as if you've just learned the lesson that I did on my first one. Never cut it off like you would your computer. I don't believe one of those file undeleters will help you in this situation. The only possibility that I can think of, and keep in mind that it's only a possibility, is System Restore. If you've had this VM prior to the last updates (this past Tuesday), you may be in luck. The update process places a restore point on your system. You have nothing to lose by trying it, hopefully it will help.

Also, something else you should strongly consider in the future, is backing up your computer regularly. If you depend on this VM (as well as the entire computer) for employment or business purposes, backup at least weekly. Windows 7 has a good built in backup & disc imaging program, and Macrium Reflect is another excellent free program. I've used both, and recovered with both. Acronis True Image is perhaps the best paid backup & recovery program on the market. And drives are reasonably priced, too. If you're working on a special project, backup as you go, it doesn't take long.

I hope that you recover your data, I personally know it's a bad experience to lose it. Hopefully, my post is of use to you, and should you require further assistance, feel free to post back at anytime.


Fire cat

Established Member
Mar 7, 2010
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Cat is right.

Though, I suppose when you say files, you mean documents, like images. If it is the case, then system restore won't work. System restore only changes system files and programs, while leaving documents unharmed.

Virtual hard drives don't work the same as real hard drives. A virtual HD is a file who's content can be edited, removed, etc...

On a real HD, data is written to a solid element, thus leaving a mark on it. Even when you delete a file, that mark can't be totaly removed. That's why recovery programs work.

An other way to be safer with files, is to have them on a real drive, even when using a VM. This should ensure that they can be recovered with softwares.


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