General discussion

Computer reset self to factory default

I have an Asus G51VX. Today I came home from college with my laptop in tow so I could do a paper over the weekend. I sent it into hibernate then put it in a carrying case and in the passenger seat of my car. When I got home and turned it on, the Windows Vista setup screen was present.

I have Windows 7, and a lot of work is/was saved on my hard drive. I haven't touched the laptop at all as I'm afraid anything I may do will permanently destroy my data.

Is there anything I can do to get back what I had?

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It would be unusual

and I suspect very difficult for a Windows computer to reset itself back to factory settings as there would need to be some sort of keyboard input to get that going.

First thing first, if this really has happened then the best way to get your files off is with a Linux Live CD, like Ubuntu Live. This is an Operating System wholly contained on a CD. The CD is inserted, the computer started, and it boots into Linux from the CD. No changes are made to the hard drive. You can get Ubuntu downloaded and burned to a CD as an iso from here;
and Google has other options.

The great thing about this is, if the hard disk is readable Ubuntu will read it and you will be able to navigate to your personal file folders and copy them to some other external media, eg a memory stick or external USB hard drive.

That way whatever happens, your files are safe. I have to say they would have been safe anyway if you had had backups, but such is how we learn.

Once that is done and with the system closed down and the CD withdrawn, you can then investigate whether the computer really has reverted back to factory default, or whether there is some other explanation.

I hope that helps.


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Here is what I tried

On my grandparent's desktop (the computer I'm currently using), I burned an Ubuntu Live CD. I put it in my laptop and then started it up. Upon start-up I was given two options, Windows Vista 64bit (which should be Windows 7 as that's what I had before this phenomena) and Ubuntu. I chose Ubuntu and it brought me to a desktop that I spent a little while navigating. When I managed to find the hard drive, there were two listed. VISTA C: and DATA, each being about 160GB. I checked them both for my files from before and couldn't find a single one.

I reset the computer and started again, this time choosing the Windows Vista option instead of Ubuntu and my laptop started up as it would have with vista and the Vista setup screen appeared. I shut down the laptop several times and not once did my Windows 7 startup and log in happen.

As for "and I suspect very difficult for a Windows computer to reset itself back to factory settings as there would need to be some sort of keyboard input to get that going." No such keyboard input happened before startup and after I prompted it to hibernate. I let the laptop power down, put it in my bag, the car, and then removed it when I got home. It was secure in the bag and the only button pressed at all was the power button to turn it on.

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Was this Laptop came with the pre-installation of Vista

with the option of a free upgrade to Win.7?

If so, re-insert that disk and renew your upgrade to Win. 7.

From any browser and, from this Support Page of Asus, download all files available from that page. Do the Bios Flash first, though, then the rest of them. The Bios was found having a major bug with its own storage setup matrix.

Good Luck!

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