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Dell database local backup lost files

by andrewspence / February 5, 2011 3:43 AM PST

I have a Dell inspiron M501R athlon P320 4GB with windows 7 home premium laptop and after many problems with startup and programs stoppping, I did a Dell datasafe local backup to my C drive as directed in the instructions. ( I assumed that all the files I checked would be backed up, and all the rest, including the ones that were causing the original problems, would be deleted. Then I did the same thing to a USB flash drive. Both seemed to go well, and the computer shut down, and restarted automatically. Then it said welcome and we can set up for the first use. I entered the required information. Then all my desktop shortcuts had vanished and Word and Excel wanted the product keys typed in. The programs that were connected to the shortcuts were not listed. I looked and although many files and folders for those programs were there, the .exe program files were not, so I have lost them. I left a message to Dell about this. After messing around all day, i suddenly got a Dell UPDATE to the datasafe local backup - I thought OK they have seen my complaint and found the answer but NO. The files are still missing. IT looks like all my data files (photos, music, text. word, excel) are ok and where they were before the backup. I hope someone knows whats gone wrong.

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Re: Dell datasafe
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 5, 2011 4:23 AM PST says what it does. It restores the PC to the original factory state, but it keeps your personal file and data.

From your description, that seems more or less true. It says nothing about saving programs you installed yourself. So it seems that all you've got to do is install them again. That's why most of us save and backup the install programs also. Didn't you?

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Dell datasafe local backup lost files
by andrewspence / February 5, 2011 7:48 PM PST
In reply to: Re: Dell datasafe

Hi Kees,
thanks for your reply. I am always pleasantly surprised that people give their time to help idiots like me. Yes, I have got all the 'lost' programs backed up or have original disks, so I have now installed them all again. Just a pain to have to go through all that. You are right it doesn't say anything about program files. However, it restored all the program folders, but not the actual application file. If it had said beware~ applications will not be restored or backed up, I would have underestood. Now I look further, I have lost some DATA files such as notepad, word documents and excel spreadsheets. I have looked at the contents of the USB flash drive but all the files there are gobblegook to me, quite unlike the actual files that I thought were backed up. One question: if I use windows explorer to move or copy program files to a backup such as flash drive or disk, is there something that prevents those applications from running? Thanks for your patience and help. Andrew

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Re: restoring programs
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 5, 2011 8:02 PM PST

Copying the program file folders to a flash drive and copying back later after a clean install works for some programs, but not for all. Changes they do in the registry, and files they put in the Windows folder aren't copied this way and a lot of programs need those. But not all.
So for each program it's a guess if it does or if it doesn't. If it doesn't, an official reinstall is needed.


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copying program files
by andrewspence / February 6, 2011 2:10 AM PST
In reply to: Re: restoring programs

Thanks Kees,
now i will keep a written ( not on the computer) list of the programs i use, and how/when I installed them and if they copy OK. Should save me time. Tell me when someone makes a copy program that gets round the moves that you mentioned. Andrew.

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There is no plan for such a thing.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / February 6, 2011 2:20 AM PST
In reply to: copying program files

If one could restore an app like that the piracy of such would likely wipe out the company that made such an install friendly app.

There is some history about this which can be condensed to the year 1995 when Windows 95 arrived with a move to this sort of install. While the makers tout ease of install the real reasons are well discussed.

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Transfer programs.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / February 6, 2011 2:54 AM PST
In reply to: copying program files

Just for curiosity, here's a list programs I transferred from my Windows XP to my Windows 7 PC without installing. Some originally came as an exe or a zip (or even still do), others turned out to work like this. There might have been more, but such an event is a nice opportunity to download the latest version of the installation program, so I only followed this route when it was the only option.

- diagtransfer (only installed under Windows 98 for some reason, related to authorization perhaps)
- eclipse
- flexicd (a Windows 95 CD playing program from Microsoft)
- gyula's navigator
- notepadplus (there are several unrelated programs with this name, however)
- photo editor (from MS Office 2000)
- the best of windows entertainment pack (from Windows 3.11 or older, with the unforgettable jezzball game)
- the latest version of the sysinternals suite
- a dutch teletext browser
- wsftp95 lite


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