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Laptop reverted to factory settings, unable to restore lost docs


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#1
CalicaCJA

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Hello,

Whilst watching BBC iPlayer the other day, my laptop suddenly crashed. On restarting it appears to have reverted back to factory settings.

All my personal files (documents and photos) have disappeared.

I have tried a virus / malware scan but the laptop is clean.
I have tried showing all hidden files but nothing.
I have tried scanning the hard drive for errors but nothing.
I have tried booting into safe mode but no sign of my files.
I have removed the harddrive and tried data recovery using Get Data's Recover My Files software but it finds nothing.
Also worth mentioning that if I try a System Restore - the only option is a couple of days ago - First_User_Boot.

It is as if I have just bought a brand new laptop and never put any files on it!

Does anyone have any advice?

It is a Compaq Presario CQ56 with Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.

Thanks

Edited by CalicaCJA, 10 July 2012 - 11:59 AM.

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#2
Ztruker

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Your files are still there, but it sounds like the user profile is corrupted so Win 7 defaulted to a new profile (at least that's my guess).

To verify, open Computer then navigate to C:\Users\xxxxxxxx (xxxxxxxx is your original profile name). Look under there to see if all your docs and pics are there. If yes, see here: Fix a corrupted user profile
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#3
CalicaCJA

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Hi, thanks for the suggestion.

Unfortunately there is only one user profile - the current one with no documents or pictures. There is of course the Public profile as well.

It really is like I'm looking at a brand new laptop again. I've even had to re-setup Office Starter again, and the McAfee security I had installed has disappeared and instead I've got the 60 days of Norton that came with the laptop!
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#4
Ztruker

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That is very weird. Since there is no other profile available and a data recovery program didn't show anything I think your old data is lost. Didn't you have anything backed up? If not, once you get this setup again it would be a good idea to setup a backup strategy for the future.

I'd recommend an external hard drive and doing image backups with the built in backup software, a free program like Macrium Reflect or a purchased program like Acronis True Image which is what I use.
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#5
notageek justuser

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CalicaCJA,

I had similar experience. I have a HP laptop windows 7 home premium. It sudddenly crashed. restart failed, so while trying to start at a previous date it performed a minimized image recovery and reset to factory setting. It did ask to save the image which I did on an external hard drive. I thought my files, programs and data should be in the image. So I have about 12 gb folder titled "Backup Files 2012-06-28 200809" (has about 70 .wim files) see attached screenshot from external hard drive. Subsequently when I tried to restore files with advanced options, this folder or any of these files is not recognized and offered as options to restore. Effectively my data is unusable. I opsted it on form but no one has any clue. Anyone, any ideas? By the way, i have started backing up periodially after this recent experience.
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