Harddrive crash and lost files

Copper Contributor

A recent hard-drive crash and eventual replacement with a new hard-drive resulted in only a portion of my excel 365 files being recovered. And they are intermittent in dates created, some are older versions and another file a current version. I thought everything in 365 got saved.  Any thoughts?

2 Replies


I'm sorry to hear about the hard drive crash and the loss of your Excel files. It's important to clarify that Microsoft 365 (formerly Office 365) provides cloud-based storage and synchronization for your files, but this depends on how you were using it and whether you had OneDrive or other backup features enabled. Here are some thoughts and steps to consider:

  1. Check OneDrive for Business:
    • If you had OneDrive for Business enabled and set to synchronize your files to the cloud, you should be able to recover most of your files. Log in to your OneDrive account and check if your Excel files are there.
  2. OneDrive Version History:
    • OneDrive often retains version history for your files. You might be able to restore a previous version of your Excel files.
    • Right-click on the file in OneDrive, select "Version history," and see if you can restore a previous version.
  3. Recycle Bin:
    • Sometimes, when files are deleted from a synced folder (like OneDrive), they go to the recycle bin. Check your OneDrive recycle bin.
  4. Office 365 AutoSave:
    • Office 365 applications like Excel have an AutoSave feature that saves your documents to OneDrive as you work. If this was enabled, your files might be in OneDrive.
  5. Backup Services:
    • If you used a third-party backup service or cloud backup solution, check there. Some of these services can recover files even after a hardware failure.
  6. Contact Support:
    • If you're a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you can contact Microsoft Support for assistance. They might be able to help recover your files.
  7. Future Prevention:
    • Going forward, make sure your files are regularly backed up. You can set up automatic backups to cloud services or use an external hard drive for local backups.
  8. Recover from Old Storage:
    • If you have access to your old hard drive, you might be able to recover some files using data recovery software or by taking it to a professional data recovery service.

It's essential to review your backup and file synchronization settings to ensure your important files are being regularly backed up in the future. This can help prevent data loss due to hardware failures or other issues. The text was created with the help of AI.


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Hope this will help you.


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@NikolinoDE . NikolinoDE hi, this was all very helpful, and I will dig into these options further.  Interestingly enough I found one of my more needed xl files buried under "PC".  And when I opened it under my One Drive I suppose, it 'loaded' directly into my Microsoft 365 xl folder. It was not there before, hence my note to you but I'm set now.  Thank you for getting back to me and I'll review your detailed response again. Thanks.