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Computer wont boot, all the files missing off HD.

windows 7 hard drive recovery

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#1
Mikeyferg101

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So I have an HP desktop with windows 7 on it. It has always had the option on start up of selecting Window 7 or Restore.. (cant remeber what else it said) and it always auto selects windows 7. One day my kid was sitting at the computer at startup and selected Restore... When I looked at the screen it looked like it was going to reinstall windows and format so I pulled the plug pannicking. It couldn't have been more than 5 seconds inbetween the process starting and me pulling the plug. On restart windows 7 wont load up. I can just reinstall W7, so no problem there, but I needed my doc, video and picture files, so I pulled out the HD and plugged it into my other comp. Only, the HD is showing up empty except for some windows files. I used a recovery program to get to the files, but there are litterally hundreds of thousands of files I dont need. Even if I could sort all of that out, all the files are no longer in their folders, and I'm just not sure I can sort thousands of family photos from memmory. Is there anyway to get back those files like I left them, still in their perspective folders? Also I read somewhere that running a live linux cd might help by getting past the file permissions, will this work? I'm so confused! I dont even know what I did. Thanks for any help in advance.


Edited by Mikeyferg101, 03 October 2014 - 08:17 PM.

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#2
iammykyl

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:welcome: Mikeyferg101

​Please read this blog for information, > http://html5.litten....nly-became-raw/

Do not attempt to write to the drive and do not try to repair.

A Linux live CD, (runs only in the RAM on the computer) may be successful in reading and backing up you Data to a different location. 

Let's get some more info, put the drive back into the original computer and boot, what happens? any messages?

When needed, to shut down the computer, use soft off by holding in the power on button for about 4/5 seconds. 


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#3
Mikeyferg101

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So thats the screen it stops on. Thanks for the quick reply btw.

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#4
iammykyl

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Your welcome. :thumbsup:

Restart the commuter and hold down the F8 key, if the Advanced Boot Options screen launches, try using System Restore to roll back a week.


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#5
Mikeyferg101

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So F8 doesn't get me to boot options. F9 will, but that only gets me the choice between booting from CD, HD, USB. Also I thought you might want to see the screen that got me in this mess.

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Edited by Mikeyferg101, 04 October 2014 - 02:09 PM.

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#6
iammykyl

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Windows 7, F8 should bring up Safe Mode choices.

On that Windows Boot Manager Screen, does the down arrow not work? so you can select System Restore. if not working, try getting to System restore from the installation CD.   Only try system restore. > http://windows.micro...tions=windows-7


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#7
Mikeyferg101

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It will let me select it, but thats how I got into this mess. It wants to do a fresh install of windows.


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#8
Robust

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So safe mode causes the same error, or you cannot access it?

If I'm understanding you correctly, we'll need a form of portable media, such as a USB drive, external hard drive or even a CD/DVD.
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#9
iammykyl

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Gday Robust :wave: 

The disc can been seen when installed in another computer, but the file system is now RAW, so before attempting any kind of repair, will use a Linux live CD to inspect and backup/compy, so yes, will need external media, but first need to know the volume of the DATA.

 

Mikeyferg101

 

Please download this file, > 

puppy-3.01-seamonkey.iso 2007-Oct-15 00:43:53 98.8M  application/octet-stream

 

 

Burn to a rewritable disc, (make Bootable, do not finalize)  You can use this small program, it is specific for burning ISO files, it will not burn any other kind of Data. > 

BurnCDCC™

On the problem rig, Enter the BIOS, Change the Boot order, 1, USB, 2. Optical Drive, 3, HDD.

Important, No double clicking in Linux, single click only.

Going out now, so will post again tomorrow. 


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#10
Mikeyferg101

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So here is what happens when you click System Restore. This is the screen my son hit enter on and I unplugged after 4 seconds of install. Probably just enough for windows to do a low level format and make all my info unreadable through windows. I will follow the instructions above and get that disk made. And await more instruction. Thanks!

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#11
iammykyl

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Looks like the path to system restore is broke, so even using an install  disc would get the same result.

 

When you have the puppy disc prepared.

Restart the non functioning, (old) computer, > enter the BIOS and change Boot order to, 1, USB,  (if selectable) 2, Optical drive, 3, HDD.  > place the Puppy disc in the tray, > Save settings and exit. 

 

Puppy will load, accept the Default setting, (you might like to increase the display res)   Use the keyboard arrows/enter keys, A Windows type Desktop is displayed.  

Remember single mouse clicks only,

Look bottom left next to the Menu, you will see at least one HDD icon, sda1, there may be more than one, hover the mouse over, choose the largest volume, > right click and in the menu that opens, > click Mount.  Warning, once a drive is mounted, you are manipulating that drive.  A window will open showing the contents of the OS hard drive.

 

Is a file system displayed (folders)?  Can you see a Docs folder?   Right click and explore. 

To shut down, first, go top menu, > click the HDD icon, in the window that opens, > unmount any drives displayed, then go bottom left,>  Menu, > Shutdown.


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#12
Mikeyferg101

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It showed two drive partitions. sda1 4gb(contained files for windows 7 factory restore) and sda2 964gb (contained windows folders like, windows, program files, documents and settings etc.) The problem is there wasn't anything in these files, my pictures, my documents etc. My guess is these are files that windows 7 created when it started to reinstall W7. Still not seeing any of my old files.


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#13
iammykyl

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Was hoping for a better result.   I am more than happy to keep plugging away at the issue, may take some time, so if you decide  enough is enough, let us know.

I think best to leave the drive in the problem computer, just in case of mishaps, don't want to destroy your working one.

 

Please go to  > https://www.winhelp....ecovery-cd.html please read the info and follow instructions to create a Bootable CD.


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#14
Mikeyferg101

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Thanks for all the help guys. I'm going to just keep plugging away with Recuva. I cant find a place to conclude my topic?


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#15
iammykyl

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You are welcome, and thanks for the update. 

Recuva was to be the next step, use the deep scan, may appear to be stuck, but isn't, as it can run for 48 hours+.

We don't close topics on G2G, so you can come back to it any time.   If you are successful in recovering you Date, please post the solution as it could be very helpful to others with the same problem.

 

I will change "conclude" to abandon, as I now see it is a bit confusing.   Many posters are not as polite and considerate as you, they don't keep us updated or just stop when/if they find a fix.

 

Good luck. 


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