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New motherboard, no internet connection, files wiped


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#1
MissNikki

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Hi.

I have multiple hardware/software issues so I'm not sure where to post this.
My brother built me a 'new to me' computer. It has a hyperthreaded Intel Pentium 4 (E210882) motherboard.

He assumed I had backed-up my HD before he moved it to the new computer and I assumed since he was doing the work, he would back it up but he didn't. (Huge mistake on my part I know.) He moved my HD, reinstalled WinXP with no issues (my files were all intact) but I couldn't connect to the internet. I was researching that issue and looking for drivers but I only had 3 days to register Windows via the internet. I couldn’t get it online to register so I was locked out of my computer and unable to fix the internet issue, even if I’d found a way.

A friend of my husband’s (who worked as a computer tech for a large SF hospital for years) said he could fix it no problem and since he made his living doing these things I trusted him. (2nd huge mistake).

He reinstalled Windows...again...and omg, he managed to wipe my HD :) . He couldn’t fix the internet issue either and basically said, ‘uh sorry’ and left in a hurry.

So...

Here’s my questions.

1. Is there any way to recover my files from my HD?? What about recovery software programs? Do they work? Any recommendations to brand or what I should look for or what I can do now? Of course I am completely desperate to recover them.

2. If I purchase a NIC–PCI Ethernet adapter (internal or external USB style), will that allow me to bypass my driver issue and connect to the internet??

Any help or recommendations would be sincerely appreciated.

Thank you for your time,
Nikki :)
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#2
123Runner

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Hi MissNikki and welcome to Geeks to Go.

I am sorry to hear about your problems.

1. Is there any way to recover my files from my HD?? What about recovery software programs? Do they work? Any recommendations to brand or what I should look for or what I can do now? Of course I am completely desperate to recover them.

There are some programs out there that will recover files. Of course some are better than others.

Easeus Data Recovery
Recuva

2. If I purchase a NIC–PCI Ethernet adapter (internal or external USB style), will that allow me to bypass my driver issue and connect to the internet??

It will allow you to connect because either will come with its own driver.
That will not resolve all your problems because I will assume that the main board drivers were not installed. Once that is done, everything should work.

We need to get the data before we do to much writing to the drive.

123runner
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#3
phillipcorcoran

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For the best chance of recovering your existing data don't install or write anything else to it. Since Windows has already been installed on it twice, it's unlikely you'll be able to recover everything without paying a data recovery service who use methods not available to most of us.

Buy a new hard disk and install Windows on that, treating your other disk as a separate issue for data recovery. Don't write anything else to it until whatever data can be extracted from it has been completed. Then use it as a backup drive for your data (you should have had a backup routine in place to start with).
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#4
123Runner

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It was most likely omly formated 1 time. The 1st time did not remove data so it was either a repaie install or a partitioned drive. This would have left the data safe.
The 2nd time took it all so that was a complete format.

There is a chance, but the op needs to stop using the drive and attempt recovery.
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#5
MissNikki

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Hi 123Runner and thank you for your reply.

Please forgive my lack of expertise regarding hardware. I do really well with a working computer lol, but this HD change and setup is not something I have ever attempted or in this case, attempted to fix.

It was not a brand new motherboard and it was previously running Windows with the origianl HD. When my brother installed my HD and XP, all my files were intact and it worked fantastic, no issues other than the need to verify my copy of windows and the little issue of not being able to connect to the internet. Does that mean all other motherboard drivers were working before the wipe-out problem?

I didn't know about the ethernet adapters at the time or I would have used one of those to get online and at least register my copy of windows so I wasn't locked out, then work on any other problems but "c'est la vie" lol.

I am working on that now and researching everything I can before I make any moves. Thank you very much for the links to the recovery software. I sincerely appreciate that.


___________________

Hi PhillipCorcoran.

Thank you too for your reply.

Yes, from what I understand, I should not write anything to the HD. I have shut down the computer and from what I've read, I need to move my HD to the slave position and use another HD for the main. Is that correct?

With it in the slave position, I can use the data recovery programs to try and pull anything I can get off my old HD and move it to the new one. I think that's correct and if not, please do let me know.

I sincerely appreciate your taking the time to reply. As I said, I am taking my time and intend to do it myself if possible. Do you think taking it in to a reputable computer repair shop would be better? Do you think they would be able to recover more data that way? I can't afford too much but I'd be willing to pay if you think they would do a better job.

And yes I know I should have a backup system in place. Hindsite is always 20/20. :)

_________________________

Again, many thanks to both of you and I welcome any other suggestions either of you may have.

Btw....Happy New Year! :)

Nikki
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#6
MissNikki

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I just replied to your first post lol. Okay, I will not write to the HD and I understand about the first install being a repair, that makes sense. So even though the second was a 'format', it may still be possible to recover something? Oh I hope so!

If you read my reply, is that what I am supposed to do as far as moving my HD? Any tips or advice on that would be great.

I'll let you read my reply and again, thanks sooo much!

Nikki
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#7
123Runner

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MissNikki

There are a couple ways that this can be done. It all depends on what "tools" you have available.

1. The most important is to try and not write data to the drive. Any writing and deleting changes the drive and will make hit harder (if not impossible) to recover.
2. Any data recovery on a drive is always a long shot (a very long shot). Unless you want to spend mega bucks on a recovery service. And even with a data recovery service there is no guarantee of data recovery.
3. When you run the recovery programs, you will need another location/hard drive/cd to copy the recovered files to. Do not copy them to the drive you are trying to recover.
4. I would have another drive that has at least the same amount of hard drive space as the drive you are recovering.
5. I would do a google search for any recovery program and try them all. It wouldn't hurt.

And please let us know how you make out.

123runner
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#8
Reactor

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This problem might be hardware-related, as certain motherboard chipsets doesn't like the machine they're put into, and start to wreak havoc on the system.
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#9
MissNikki

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Just wanted to give you my sincere thanks for all your help. I did get another HDD (used but worked great!) and I managed to recover 90% of what was important to me. Everything else I could live without or reinstall anyway. I was so happy with the results.

Anyway, sorry for the late reply and again, many thanks.

You guys are awesome! :)
MissNikki
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