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That's why I don't trust external media to "save some files after reinstall".
1. create a partition for the data
2. move the data
3. confirm all the data is there
4. wipe the old OS/data
5. Install the new OS
6. configure a mountpoint to mount a partition with saved data on-boot (fstab)
7. tell your client his/shes old data is in there, let him/her move it back. wherever/however fit.
I always avoid external media as if it were a plague... It is too unreliable.
lastNick4046dI would always try to upgrade to a new HDD and put the old one on the shelf additional to a reliable backup. With the new MacBooks the HDD is soldered to the MB :( but my TimeMachine backups were reliable for the recent 10+ years. I’m not using Apple HW for the TimeMachine backup BTW.
Windows has a thing for that. Specially if you copy a lot of files and eject it without safely removing it
Don't do any writes on it. Just run a tool like Easeus Data recovery or similar. They are pretty good.
Apparently windows flushes any pending writes / committing files to disk when you do safely remove and without doing so, your files will be present in the disk but possibly not in the hdd index.
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