XP has been sent back to factory settings - help...

Discussion in 'Engineers' Talk' started by devil's advocate, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Right, I've f**d-up really badly.

    Switched on my pooter and left the room. Came back a few minutes later and black screen with a line of text along the top (can't remember exactly what it was ) and 'press any key to continue' - with no other option.

    So I press...

    New screen "Symantec Ghost 7.5" and 'loading partition' at the bottom, with a scroll bar showing progress.

    I had a horrible feeling about this, but didn't know what to do - no 'cancel' button or anything.

    So, I've completely restored my computer it seems, back to factory setting, or something. It's all gone back to the way when I first got the computer - felt like throwing up.

    Had to re-install XP (well, I had to re-enter the code number - the actual software was obviously still there), and then searched frantically for my photos and stuff. I found a few rolls in 'My Photos' but the vast majority seem to have gone. Why would some remain and some be 'deleted'. (I did make a backup CD about a year ago, but have taken lots since then.)

    The computer had been playing up (slow to start up - I had a thread going on this in the 'Other Trades' forum) for a while, but I've no idea why the start up screen should suddenly - and without me asking :( - go to 'restore' setting.

    Re-loading software isn't a problem, but all my missing files are.

    What are the best 'recovery' progs out there?

    Cheers (feel like shit)
  2. you've somehow activated the T-Clone hard disc recovery facility which is built-in to XP Service pack 2....all of your files that havn't been backed-up will be lost - for good
  3. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Hi T482.

    I don't think it was that - I suspect it was the 'Mirror Vision' back-up facility that came on the computer; it has a 'return to factory setting' facility and I think it was something like that which occured.

    The Prog that did the re-setting was definitely called 'Symantec Ghost 7.5', 'cos I had a few horrible minutes watching it do its dirty work...

    I think there's a good chance of getting many of the files back - re-formatting the drive doesn't actually wipe the contents, but what's a good system to use?

  4. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Don't suppose System Restore could handle this thing ?

    I have no idea.

    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  5. diyhopeful

    diyhopeful Active Member

    This software is good as they get for data recovey.
    http://www.nucleusdatarecovery.org/ I beleive they do a trial version to see how much data you could recover. I think it costs around £30.

    The more software you install now the less chance you have of retrieving files.

    Buy a spare disk, install the O/s on that and connect the original drive as a spare. Use the Nucles software to recover any data that remains. Or you could connect your drive to a working computer and try it that way. You can even get adapter to attach a drive via a USB port on another computer.

    This software will recover data that has been deleted and from formatted drives. Overwritten data is virtually impossible to recover with normal means.

    But if you haven't left it too long or put too much stuff back on the drive some of your old data will be retrievable.

    Good luck
  6. nigel

    nigel Guest

    Ghost is an application which holds the entire PC's initial software installation,[a copy of your PC in it's original form,] using it will permantly wipe all files.
  7. diyhopeful

    diyhopeful Active Member

    Ghosting back to a disk that previously contained data will not wipe all the old data from that drive. It will only overwrite as much data as the image size. Recovery tools will be able to retrieve other files.

    So if you restore a 2gb native image to a 20gb drive, then 18gb - minus exapnsion of the image is still viable recovery space. Some data will probably be lost but I'll give you 10/1 I could find something else.....photos and documents are favourites.

    The only way to lose all of your data is to overwrite every sector of the drive 3 times or more or smash the drive.

    Ghost should not be used to wipe drives it is not reliable.

    Sim cards, SD cards and the like are even more difficult to lose data from.
  8. diyhopeful

    diyhopeful Active Member

    This goes without saying but DONT EVER give or throw a pc away without overwriting the drive completely or destroying the drive. Don;t just format and assume it's gone.

    Some of the files I've recovered have been a revelation.....

  9. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Thanks for the replies.

    I have to say tho', Mr T and Nigel, if I hadn't had a pretty good idea that even formatted discs were still largely recoverable - the old files not being erased as such - then reading your posts would have been pretty upsetting :(

    Mr Ha, I had tried System Restore, but wasn't surprised to find that all the 'back dates' had also been removed - so there was nothing to go back to!

    Thanks, diyhopeful - very helpful.

    As it happens, I had trialled a couple of recovery packages, and bought the one that seemed to work well and was most user-friendly (it's called Disc Internals FAT Recovery, and cost around £45) (before I saw your recommendation, diy...)

    So, I've spent the day filtering through in excess of 50,000 recovered files (most of which are carp, of course), with the situation made even more hellish by the fact that the original file names are usually mashed up (my technical term :()

    However, I have recovered 100's of photos and a number of Word files, so certainly worth the effort. (Honestly, when you scroll down the hundreds of jpeg icons, clicking on them at random and then see a l'il preview pic of your 4&5 year old sprogs, it's a wonderful feeling; after having nearly killed the pooter yesterday, I could have hugged it today)

    I still don't know what made the computer start up with the restore screen. What's worse, is that there was precious little warning of what was about to happen, and no way back after I touched the key - FFSakes. (Ok, I know it was a stupid thing to do, but I'm actually not that stupid really and was completely thrown by the seemingly inocuous line at the top of the screen.)

    My pooter had been becoming very slow to start-up lately, so something was clearly amiss. I'd been given lots of suggestions on another thread, but from now on this is what I'll be doing if it becomes arshy again: forget progs that'll sort out your registry and all that confusing shit, just back up all your files on removable media, make sure you have all your program discs (or know where to get them from the 'net), and then just restore your whole fuckin' computer... ;)
  10. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    This recovery programme you've got, DA. Can you search for just one ertain type of file to find, for example jpeg, and ask to save them. Then search for doc files and do the same ?

    Or does it not allow you to choose ?

    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  11. Mr. Handyandy

    Mr. Handyandy Screwfix Select

    Just had a thought. It's wild, and probably a useless idea. But I will say it anyway(just in case someone else ever thought of it before and tried it-unlikely)

    With a restore deleted files programme, it is always possible that you could find the original systemRestore files, and return them to the restrui(something else in XP I expect)folder, and get the restore points back.

    Wild, I know, and just as unlikely. Probably.

    Mr. HandyAndy - really
  12. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Hi Mr Ha. Yes, it allows you to search for individual files: using *.jpg for exapmple if you don't know the file name - or, more likely, it's been corrupted in the process (hardly any of the recovered file names were recognisable :()

    Even doing this, there are 1,000s of files - even .doc ones - which are seemingly produced by the computer itself, or are parts of defunct progs (such as the 'help' sections, etc). Also, there are many, many, jpegs which are parts of progs, and not necessarily from photographs taken by yourself.

    Quite a thought, your idea? I guess the restore points are there somewhere! It would need a more computer-literate person than me to sort it tho' :(

    Anyway, it looks like I've gotten off fairly lightly. And my Windows now fires up in 10 seconds...
  13. diyhopeful

    diyhopeful Active Member

    If you recover them all then set to thumbnail view you should get a fair indication of the file content. Will take some time though.

    Congrats on getting the data back. (most of it anyway...)
  14. devil's advocate

    devil's advocate New Member

    Hi diy, thanks for that. Yes, I discovered that useful tip!

    Annoyingly, many of the jpegs don't come up on the preview despite the software claiming 'Excellent prognosis - 100%'. Even when saved and then an attempt at opening, many just don't :(

    Major lesson learnt...

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