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PC Recovery ->Back-up files


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#1
karolk

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Hi all! I have an "HP" a1520n with Windows XP Professional. I was having an issue with a missing volume icon in the task bar. When I went into HP help center, it told me to go into add/remove programs and re-install it. When I tried to re-install it, I got an error message about a file missing. I then tried to do a system restore to an earlier time, but it would not allow me to do that.

This is where it gets difficult. I tried to do a system back-up. I THINK I did a back-up. Then I ran PC Recovery. It deleted all of my "stuff". So, I THINK I loaded the back-up. Now when I try to open Excel documents, it won't open them. When I try to open a Word document it just hangs on the Word screen or shows bits and pieces of it. When I open Windows Media Player, an error screen pops up immediately saying it has encountered a problem and must be shut down. I have many, many, many music files I don't want to lose and also spreadsheets and documents. I should have just been okay with the missing volume icon, I am afraid I have made things MUCH worse!!

This is a media center edition that came pre-loaded with everything so I do not have any discs. Any help would be appreciated!!

Thank you, Karol
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#2
karolk

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Anyone?
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#3
The Skeptic

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Could you tell us how you backed up your data? Was it copy and paste to another storage device? Did you use any backup program? Please elaborate. This will help to understand the root of the problem.
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#4
karolk

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I went into HP's Help and Support Center:

1) I tried to a Microsoft System Restore to an earlier date...it would not allow me to;
2) I tried the "Start Application Recovery Program"...it would not work;
3) The next step was "Start here to backup your files and data"...that is where I THINK I backed up everything.
4) The next step was "PC RECOVERY"...which is what I chose...probably should not have!!!


After that, I realized I lost all of my e-mail addresses, documents, spreadsheets, etc. SOOOOOO..I went into "my computer - C: and found the file named "backup". I opened it and it took me to the backup and restore wizard. From there I chose "restore files and settings". It took several hours to "restore."

Thought all would be fine (silly me!!), now I am not able to open any excel spreadsheets, word documents, windows media player music (tons!!) and who knows what else.

Hope this helps! Thanks, Karol
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#5
The Skeptic

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I would try to use a data recovery program such as Undelete Plus or PC Filerecovery. To save time I suggest that you try to recover only part of the data and see if it's usable. If yes, which I doubt, keep going. If not, the data is probably lost unless you are willing to pay some hundred or thousand dollars to a company that specialize in data recovery.
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#6
karolk

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The data is still there...at least it appears to be. When I do a start-my computer-karol's documents...they are all still listed. I would like to think it is a software issue with excel, word and windows media player. I really don't know, just a guess and I am not savvy enough to figure how to fix that!
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#7
The Skeptic

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If you suspect that the problem is with office then do one of the following:

1: Open Excel or Word. click Help > Identify and Repair. Start the process with the checked box as by default. You will need your Office installation CD. (Please note: I translated the "Identify and Repair" from my own Office which is in Hebrew. In the English version it may show somewhat differently).

2: If this doesn't help then uninstall Office in Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs. This will not harm your documents. Re-install and see if you can approach and open Office Documents.

3: If successful with Office do the same with Windows Media Player. Uninstall, let Windows Automatic updates download it for you, reinstall and see what happens.
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#8
karolk

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Hi Skeptic:

I tried to "detect and repair" and it did not make a difference. Then I removed Microsoft Office via the add/remove program panel. I re-installed it and downloaded any available updates via their web-site. I opened an excel file successfully but it took a VERY long time...I walked away after about 2 minutes.

Then I tried to open WORD and I got an error message:

"Word experienced a serious error the last time the add-in 'c:\program files\microsoft office\office11\startup\azwzrd10.dot' was opened. Would you like to disable this add-in? To reactivate this add-in, click About Microsoft Office Word on the Help menu, and then click Disabled Items"

I clicked on "NO"

Then about 3 minutes later, a blank Word Document page finally opened.

So, the files are still there but taking a very long time to load and error messages.

Windows Media Player will not let me open it...I get an error message immediately stating that "Windows Media Player has encountered a problem and needs to close. We are sorry for the inconvenience.: Then I have the typical option to Send Error Report or Don't Send

Whew...now after all of that...I tried to send you a visual of the error messages but I apparently have not figured out how to do that properly!!

Thanks, Karol
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#9
The Skeptic

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Did you succeed in opening successfully any of the saved file? I am not sure I understood. The reason I suggested to try recovery programs is to see if there are any files that are not corrupted. If the recovery program will not succeed then the problem is for specialists.
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#10
karolk

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1) Excel - I was able to pull up an old file...it just took a VERY long time to open
2) Word - I got the "serious error" message when I tried to open WORD and then a blank page appeared 3 minutes later.
3) Then I tried to open a document that was created in WORD and it opened to a gray page without anything on it.

Ughhh
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#11
karolk

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The Skeptic:

Okay, I downloaded Undelete Plus and ran it. I retrieved my music files, excel spreadsheets, and word documents. I put them all into another file so I wouldn't get them mixed up with anything else.

Now this is what happens:

Excel - opens immediately to a gray screen and then about 3 minutes later the spreadsheet pops up;
Word - the "word" box opens immediately then hangs for about 3 minutes when a gray screen pops up and then about 2 minutes later the document pops up;
Windows Media Player - I removed it and re-installed it and downloaded updates...it seems to be working fine.

Any ideas? Thanks, Karol
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#12
The Skeptic

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First about the recovered files. Can you open them on your computer? If not, copy the recovered files, or some of them, into a storage device and try to open them on another computer. I would like to know what happens.

Aside from the recovered files, how does your computer operate? Can you create Office and music files. Do they run correctly? Do you have any other problems? I am not sure I understand the present situation.
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#13
karolk

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The Skeptic:

I use Norton Internet Security. My subscription ran out about 10 days ago, or maybe a little longer, but no longer than 2 weeks ago. Last evening, I decided to purchase Norton Internet Security 2008 and download it. I followed the directions on the Symantec web-site.

Here's where it gets interesting...all of my documents, spreadsheets and music open just fine. I can hardly believe it!! Is it possible that an expired Norton subscription could have been causing all of the problems? I know I don't want to question too much, if it works...leave it alone! However, I just can't imagine that that was the problem...maybe so!
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#14
The Skeptic

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I don't know. Never heard about such a case but every day I see things which I never expected. That's what makes computers an interesting thing to work with (well,depends on your point of view, of course). I am glad it's solved. Can be a great frustration to lose all your data.
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#15
karolk

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Yes, I am really glad it SEEMS to be working fine. Hopefully that will be the end of it. I am not sure how to report this closed, but it can be!
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