Recovering from a hard drive failure

So your hard drive died and you need to recover sticky notes from it.  Sorry to hear that!  We'll help you get back on track.  The instructions on how to recover your notes differ based on which version of StickyPad you were using on your old computer or hard drive.  (StickyPad 2.3 came out in October 2010.  If you're not sure which one you had, start with the 2.3 instructions because they're easier.)

If you were using StickyPad 2.3 or later

If you were using StickyPad 2.3, it's easy to recover sticky notes from your old hard drive.  The location they're stored in depends on which version of Windows you were using originally.

Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista:  C:\Users\your name\AppData\Local\Green Eclipse\Notes
Windows XP, 2000:  C:\Documents and Settings\your name\Local Settings\Application Data\Green Eclipse\Notes
Extremely old computers:  Your My Documents folder

Your AppData folder is hidden by default, so if you don't see it there, you'll need to enter the path into the address bar manually, or enable the display of hidden files in the Folder Options control panel.

Find the files here and then copy them to your new computer or hard drive's desktop.  Then, double-click on the notes to open them back up.  Once you've opened them up you can delete the files you copied over, and you're done!

If you were using StickyPad 2.2 or earlier

If you were using an old version of StickyPad (or you aren't sure and the instructions for 2.3 didn't help), it's still possible to recover your notes, but the process is complicated.  This procedure will recover all of your notes from your old computer as well as all of your StickyPad settings (such as color and behavior options).

Sorry, these instructions will not work on extremely old versions of Windows older than Windows XP.


If you're not confident making these changes, find a knowledgeable friend to help you.  You can cause damage to your computer if you make a mistake while following these instructions, and we might not be able to help you repair the damage.

Preparing your new computer

You should not perform these instructions while StickyPad is running.

  1. Install the latest version of StickyPad (2.3+) on your new computer if you haven't already, and make sure that it's started by creating a new sticky note.
  2. Close all of your notes by clicking the (X) button on each one.  Then, click the StickyPad icon next to the clock and right-click on the (X) button to close down StickyPad.

Find the NTUSER.DAT file from your old hard drive

Your NTUSER.DAT file contains settings for your programs, including StickyPad.  You'll need to find it on your old hard drive.  But, it's hidden by default, so first you'll need to show it.

  1. Open a folder window (such as Computer).
  2. Press Alt to show the menu.  Then, click Tools and then Folder Options.
  3. Click the View tab, and then check Show hidden files, folders, and drives and uncheck Hide extensions for known file types and Hide protected operating system files.  (If you receive a warning, click Yes.)  Then, click OK to close Folder Options.
  4. Find this folder on your old hard drive:
    Windows 2000, XP:  Documents and Settings\your name
    Windows Vista, 7:  Users\your name
  5. In that folder, look for the file named NTUSER.DAT.  (There might be other files with names like NTUSER.DAT.LOG or ntuser.ini; you don't want those.)  Copy this file to somewhere on your new hard drive, such as your desktop.  (Do not attempt to replace the NTUSER.DAT on your new hard drive with the one from your old hard drive!)

Recovering notes from NTUSER.DAT in Registry Editor

Now you should have the NTUSER.DAT file from your old hard drive on your new computer, and you can recover notes from it.

  1. To start Registry Editor, click Start, type "regedit", and press Enter.  (On old computers, click Run before typing "regedit".)
  2. Find HKEY_CURRENT_USER.  Right-click on that and click New and then Key.  Type "OldRegistry" and press Enter.
  3. Make sure that OldRegistry is highlighted, and then click File and then Import.  Click Registration Files and change that option to Registry Hive Files.  Choose the NTUSER.DAT file you copied from your old computer and click Open.  You'll be warned that you're replacing the contents of OldRegistry; click Yes.
  4. Expand OldRegistry and then find Software\Green Eclipse\Sticky Pad.  Click Sticky Pad and click File and then Export.  Change the option to Registry Hive Files again, and then give these settings an easy-to-remember name like "StickyPad Settings" and click Save.
  5. Now you're done recovering your notes, so highlight OldRegistry again and press the Delete key.  Click Yes to confirm.
    (If you receive an error when trying to delete OldRegistry that you don't have permission to do that, you can work around that.  Right-click OldRegistry and click Permissions.  Click Advanced.  Check Replace all child object permissions and click OK.  Click Yes to confirm and then click OK to close Permissions.  Then try deleting again.)

Importing your notes into your new copy of StickyPad

Registry Editor should still be open.  Now we'll use that StickyPad Settings file you saved to restore your notes.

  1. Find HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Green Eclipse\Sticky Pad.  (OldRegistry should be deleted now; make sure you're not in that.)
  2. Click Sticky Pad and click File and then Import.  Change the option to Registry Hive Files again, and find your StickyPad Settings file you saved in step 11 and click Open.  Click Yes to confirm that you want to replace all of your current StickyPad settings with the ones from your old computer.
  3. Close Registry Editor.

Getting back to normal

You're finally done!  Follow these steps to get things back to normal again.

  1. Click Start, then All Programs, and then New sticky note to start StickyPad back up.  You should see all of your old notes.
  2. Double-click any notes that you closed in step 2 to open them up again.
  3. You can now delete that copy of NTUSER.DAT that you brought from your old hard drive in step 7, as well as the StickyPad settings file you saved in step 11.
  4. Open up Folder Options again like you did in steps 3-4.  On the View tab, return your settings to the way they were before: usually that means that Don't show hidden files, folders, and drives, Hide extensions for known file types, and Hide protected operating system files are all selected.  Click OK to close Folder Options.

If you have any questions about this process, please contact Green Eclipse support for assistance.