After an HP Computer Recovery

A customer ran HP’s Recovery procedure on her Hewlett-Packard desktop PC. It ran Windows XP Professional. Before doing so, she had copied all of her data files unto an external hard drive.
After the Recovery, she thought that she’d lost many gigabytes of drive space.
Where did the files go?
It turned out that the HP Recovery procedure first creates a directory called C:\USERDATA\ and then, as user SYSTEM, moves a bunch of files, including C:\Documents and Settings\, into this newly created C:\USERDATA\ directory.
This is fine, but normal users can’t see the contents of C:\USERDATA\. The result is that, after Recovery, to most users the disk seems to be missing a large chunk of its storage space.
How can I restore these files?
By rebooting into XP’s Safe Mode and logging on as Administrator, I was able to change user rights on all files and directories that were contained in C:\USERDATA\. Because we had already restored her files from her external hard drive, we were safe to delete the contents of C:\USERDATA\ to free up disk space. If you didn’t back up your files before performing HP’s Recovery procedure, you should probably move these files to their original locations.
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