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Virus deleted all/part of my OS

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Forgive me if i posted this in the wrong board.

Well today i woke up to find my computer was "Missing Operating system ..."

Its an hp prebuilt(dont have any specs on hand if they are needed, at least ones that i can find), i never made recovery disks (yeah i'm stupid). I figure I'm gonna have to buy a new OS, but i wouldnt know where to go from there.

Is there no chance of recovering any of my files(music, movies, pictures, etc)?
Would i have to wipe my hd? if so how(I'm not techy thats why I am posting)?
What kind of problems should i expect to run into, with stuff like drivers for my hardware?
And finally and probably most important, which OS? i'd prefer windows since all the software i have gotten till now is for it, and once again i'm not techy so linux probably isnt for me. So its more like XP(previous OS) or Vista?

Edited by eludius, 20 May 2008 - 03:34 PM.

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Well you can buy another operating system but I doubt that you will be able to recover any of your files... sorry.

Many people like XP over Vista because of Vista's tend to ask so much, but I wouldn't mind.
Your best buy is to go with XP because it has more programs available for it.

You would have to wipe your Hard Drive because if you dont, remnants of the old installation of Windows may still be there, causing problems of course. If you buy a new Operating System, there will be an option to format your Hard Drive when installing the OS.

If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.
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The Skeptic

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You can recover your data in few ways:

1: Take your hard disk out, connect it to another computer and use the other computer's operating system to reach and backup your files.

2: Download Puppy Linux from my list of links below. Download "puppy 2.16.1 seamonkey fulldrivers.ISO". Burn the ISO file to create a bootable CD. For this purpose you can download BurnCDCC from the links below. It's a very simple tool, used exclusively to burn ISO files.

Insert the disk into the CD/DVD drive and boot the computer. If it doesn't boot, please set boot order in the BIOS so that the CD drive is first priority boot device.

When loaded click the icon that looks like thumb drive. This will give you approach to your folders and will enable backup to another storage device.

3: If your computer is not bootable you can try BartPE to boot, save data to a storage device and perform some maintenance operations such as checkdisk.

BartPE is a windows based, very small operating system that loads into the computer's RAM.

Use the link in my signature to download the necessary file. Follow the instructions how to create the bootable CD by using an XP installation CD. It's quite simple.

To backup your data boot the computer, click GO, click PROGRAMS and then click A43 FILE MANAGEMENT UTILITY. Windows explorer will open and you can copy the necessary data and save it to a storage device.
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