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Help Restoring my computer

by gkefas / September 26, 2008 5:08 PM PDT


I need serious help restoring my computer but I cannot use System Restore for it. My computer malfunctioned and erased my information a couple of months back and my restore point was created on the day I got my computer up and running. The previous restore points were all gone, meaning my computer only restores back to the point where I basically started from 0.

A couple months ago my computer acted up. It kept freezing on my desktop when I turned on my computer and it ended up not even starting. I started a "restore" that was prompted on my screen but instead it just erased half my programs and left the other half. All the videos and pictures I had were erased. I need to get those back. Can anyone help me without using System Restore?

I would be eternally grateful and very appreciative.

Thank you,


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Doesn't look good.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 26, 2008 7:10 PM PDT

I'm not sure from your post how you got the Operating System back up and running, you didn't say, but if you performed a complete reformat and re-install of the OS, then those files are gone.

System Restore does not delete personal files such as images or videos. it just backs-up critical system files and settings, and if need be, restores those. However, a "Recovery", either using the manufacturer's recovery disks or recovery partition, or a reformat and re-install from the XP CD, will wipe everything off the hard disk.

If you are serious about trying to recover these personal files, then stop using the computer now, (continued use may over-write the files on the disk), and take the hard disk to a professional data recovery service to be analyzed. Such services can prove to be very costly.

What happened to your backups?


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uh oh
by gkefas / September 27, 2008 3:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Doesn't look good.

I got the operating system back and running by using the system "recovery" prompt when i restarted my computer. The screen would turn blue and it would say "HP Recovery" or something of that sort. I am guessing this is the reformat you are talking about. But when I did this, some of my main programs were still there while other were erased. I don't get it.

Backups? You mean backup disks? I never thought of making them and that was my mistake.

I have a D:/Recovery section in my computer. Is there any way I can recover anything within this section?

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Can you recover from the D:\Recovery partition?
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 27, 2008 6:40 AM PDT
In reply to: uh oh


That is the partition that HP called HP Recovery. It is usually hidden from normal use, (it probably doesn't show up in My Computer), and it holds all the data needed to restore the system back to factory default, ie the way it was when it was sold.

That will be where those programs that still work come from, they were pre-installed. Anything you installed yourself will have been lost.

That hidden partition holds nothing of importance to you now, unless you need to use it again to restore the system back to factory state.

Sorry. Not making an issue of something you can no longer do anything about, but this is why we backup all our personal files, like documents, music, photos, videos, etc, to CD/DVD for just such occasions.


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by gkefas / September 27, 2008 10:23 AM PDT

Thing is, some programs I did install were actually still there. Not many, but some were still there and worked properly.

But it looks like it's the end. I basically lost all that and cannot get it back, right?

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Data recovery may work
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 27, 2008 8:40 PM PDT
In reply to: well..

but on a recovered system like yours it may be difficult and expensive.

The more you use this computer before attempting recovery of deleted data, the more you risk over-writing the file remnants themselves.

You can try some of the utilities available on the internet. Try Googling XP data recovery and see what is available.


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Thank you!
by gkefas / September 28, 2008 8:25 AM PDT
In reply to: Data recovery may work

I had to pay $50.00 but I recovered my music, picture, and video files. I really thank you for your help. Greatly appreciated.

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Glad that worked for you.
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / September 28, 2008 7:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Thank you!

$50 is a small price to pay to recover those, "can't lose" files.

Backing up would be nice, and might save you more dollars in the future.


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