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Computer crashed, can I get back lost files?


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#1
PaulG!

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Last week my computer told me it had to do something drastic because of some reason. It wouldn't boot up so it reset everything, screen savers, internet icons, some (but not all?) programs, and I discovered all my camera images (thousands?) don't turn up in any searches. What happened to them?!? Is there any way for me to recover them? Maybe they just got 'lost' somewhere and just need to be found?
I've got a presario sr1911x, AMD Athlon 64 bit maybe 4-5 years old? running windows xp. Anyone know of any software I can download or buy to get my images back? Some pictures were very important, evidence pertaining to a lawsuit but most were just cool family pics, hobby stuff and memories. I know, I know I should have backed everything up... I do have a few things on CD but not everything. Thanks for taking the time to read this, any help is appreciated!
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#2
Broni

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it had to do something drastic

...like?
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#3
123Runner

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I use the free version of ZAR to get the images back. Note that it is free for digital pictures only. It does say its use is for the memory cards, but I have used it on a hard drive.
The down side of using it on the hard drive is that it will get every picture, image, bmp, gif, tif, ANY icon associated with any program. In other words you will have a lot of images to sift through depending on disk size.
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#4
happyrock

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get picasa here...when you install it ...it will ask if you want it to search your computer...say yes...
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#5
PaulG!

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Wow, you all rock! Gimme a minute to try everything. I hope something here works!
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#6
Vectris

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Something like this happened to me once and the computer "reset" itself but my programs were still intact.

I actually found out that none of my files were gone and that Windows will sometimes simply create a copy of your user with everything set to default if there is an error with it.

I'm not sure if that's the case here but if it is then all of your files are fine and are just on another user.

To confirm whether this is/isn't the problem double click My Computer, go to Documents and Settings, and see if your User Name is there (if you recently changed it because of the lost data see if your Old User Name is there). If it is, open it and you'll see another My Documents folder in it, open that and see if it has your old files.

Edited by Vectris, 14 July 2009 - 09:31 AM.

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#7
PaulG!

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it had to do something drastic

...like?

Yeah, I'm sorry but I don't exactly remember. Just surfing or playing flash games... then it crashed and I didn't think anything of it then it came up with that message and I thought was going to just reboot, not reformat or whatever and reboot. I was surprised to see my screen background changed, then started to panic.
I tried picasa, nope.
I tried the freeware, nope. It didn't finish right though; it stopped after scanning, then a screen (like in the online how-to) flashed and it went back to the xcanning page without the 'next' button colored in (active). I will try this again, 'cause heck, it's free!
ok, I'm officially bummed about losing the pics. Thanks for the ideas, I will still look here for more suggestions. Thank you all and please continue to post!!!
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#8
diabillic

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Any blue screens?
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#9
Vectris

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Just want to make sure but did you read my previous suggestiong PaulG?
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#10
oberlisc

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Do you have access to another computer, take the HDD out of your Compaq and put it another machine as a slave or put it in an enclosure/caddy and see if you can access the pictures that way (Worked for me loads of times)

Edited by oberlisc, 16 July 2009 - 03:23 AM.

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#11
123Runner

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Another freeware program that is supposed to be good is PC Inspector.
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#12
edge2022

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Try PhotoRec: http://www.cgsecurit...g/wiki/PhotoRec
Here is a tutorial: http://www.cgsecurit...ec_Step_By_Step
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#13
PaulG!

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Yes Vectris, I tried that, I don't see my pre-crash name on that screen, but I don't see it anywhere else either. No blue screens, just a long startup that ended up wiping my drive or something. I'm trying to download the PC Inspector but am coming up with some "blahblah.exe is infected, do you want to launch your antivirus software?" I say yes and it wants me to buy Antivirus System PRO for $50. I thought the prompts to buy the antivirus software was because my computer thinks its new again? I'm going to have to visit the other section of this site to get scanning tips to figure out what happened. I'm still trying to recover the pics though! Wasted a nice day today doing it too. :)
Oh! I did get some kind of warning screen ... it said something about hard drive failure is imminent back up files now. I took a picture of that screen but that was pretty much the gist of it. Anyone ever see a warning that their hard drive was about to go ka-put?
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#14
123Runner

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I'm trying to download the PC Inspector but am coming up with some "blahblah.exe is infected, do you want to launch your antivirus software?" I say yes and it wants me to buy Antivirus System PRO for $50.

Based on your last post, I would say you are infected with malware. You need to go to our malware forum and start the procedure.
Go to Malware and spyware Cleaning guide.
Most often doing the preliminary will get you clean, but to be safe you should post and get a clean bill of health.

If after the malware forum you still have issues, you can return here.

As for drive failure, it could be coincidental or related to the malware.
In my signature is a link to hard drive diagnostics. Download and burn to a CD the program for your drive. The file will be an iso file so you will need to put it on the CD with Burncdcc (from my signature). Burncdcc is only for iso files.
Boot from the cd and run the tests. This will tell you if the drive is failing.

To find out what drive you have...
go to start
go to run
type in devmgmt.msc and hit ok.
expand out disk drives and you will see the drives and the manufacturer.

123runner
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#15
PaulG!

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Right on. I was just in the malware section, trying to download the recommended antivirus, avast!, and had the same "... is infected, cannot run..."
Thanks again for your help and attention. If malware did 'eat' my pics, is there another, more specific solution to getting my pictures back, like a specific malware-un-doer program?
Still hoping...
I will use the links in your signature to find out what else is going on here. What a fun weekend this is going to be.
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