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My Documents disappeared


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#1
zellmake2

zellmake2

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Hi-
I just spent the last hour searching through the forums responses to previous users with a similar issue but mine seems to be unique...

I was digitizing music from cassette using a program that I have successfully used for over a year. The program stopped recording and the hard drive was clicking in a rhythmic pattern. It took 5 minutes for the task manager to appear and I shut the machine off. Rebooting started the rhythmic pattern again. It does boot but is very slow. I went to safe mode and the rhythmic pattern is there but stops much quicker and then they system runs reasonably well (but is still slow to launch programs or retrieve files). Because I had not been online (other than yahoo) for a couple of days, I did not suspect a virus. I suspected a corrupted executable or registry setting but I have never been able to get restore to work successfully on this machine (Compaq Presario V5000 laptop). At some point, I went to my Documents and they were completely gone- replaced by standard folders one sees with a new installation. I tried searching using unique keywords (from my folders) looking in system files and hidden files- can't find the documents. However, I can launch Open Office and open recent documents and it can open some of them so they are still there in the same folder locations but XP doesn't see them.

Any ideas how to get at my original My Documents?
Any ideas why the HD seems to be taking inordinately long to read? (I checked the IDE current mode and it is multi-word DMA)

p.s. I am accessing the web via safe mode with networking... hopefully I can continue to limp along to see your response!
thanks in advance for your assistance.
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#2
Ztruker

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Hi zellmake2, welcome to G2G.

If your hard drive is clicking it's dying! They should not make much noise, only a little from the head access movement, definitely not a clicking sound though.

If I were you, I would back up my important data now, before doing anything else. Once that's done you can see what else can be done. I would buy a new hard drive, clone the old one to it so there is no reinstall needed, then see about recovering any missing files or folders.
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#3
zellmake2

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Hi Ztruker-
thanks for the quick response...

let me modify my description of the HD noise- it is the slight metallic sound that from my experience is completely normal when the HD is accessing info. And I would love to backup important documents except that I cannot find them! The datapath of the files that open office "sees" (see my initial posting for a full description) is the normal datapath for My Documents but windows explorer shows no folders or files...
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#4
Ztruker

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If you open My Computer, then navigate to C:\Documents and Settings\<youruserid> do you see a My Documents folder there?

If not, try searching for some files you know should be there. Also, check the Recycle Bin.
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#5
zellmake2

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Hi-
there is a My Documents folder and I just saved a document in Open Office to my desktop where I could see the document and double click to open it. I moved it to My Documents and when I open that folder- it is blank. I suspect whatever is happening in Windows Explorer that doesn't allow me to see any files or folders, they are actually there. I just tried to open the document that I moved to My Documents from the desktop by using Open Recent Documents in Open Office but it was expecting to see it on the desktop and gave me an error stating the file. there seems to be a problem with Windows Explorer keeping track of files and folders??
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#6
Ztruker

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There is malware that causes this kind of problem. To be safe, go to the Malware Forum and run all the steps located in the START HERE. These self-help tools will help you clean up 70% of problems on your own. If you are still having problems after doing the steps, then please post a HiJackThis Log in THAT forum. If you are unable to run and/or post a HJT log, then post that in your initial post in the topic you create in that forum.

If you are still having problems after being given a clean bill of health from the malware expert, then please return to THIS thread and we will pursue other options to help you solve your current problem(s).
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