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Old 02-03-2009, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Toledo
3,861 posts, read 7,665,318 times
Reputation: 3665

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naptowner View Post
It's almost certainly too late now, but if this happens again, or if someone else has this problem, here's what I'd do:

Go to a friend's computer, search for ubuntu 8.10 (a linux-based operating system), and download the .iso file. Burn this file onto a CD-rom or DVD. Go back to the affected computer, pop the CD-Rom into the drive, and start it up. The computer should attempt to boot from the CD before it tries the hard drive. If it does not, restart it and as soon as the monitor powers on it will tell you to hit f2 or f12 or another one of the function keys for setup. Hit this key and you can then select the boot order, which is the order in which the computer tries to load up an operating system from one of the various devices. This is much easier than it sounds. Set it to boot from the CD or DVD drive and restart with the ubuntu disk in the drive. A menu will come up and give you the option of installing ubuntu or running it from the CD drive.

Once your computer boots up into the ubuntu operating system, you can access the files on the hard drive and copy what you need. If you have two optical drives (CD or DVD drives) you can burn the files that are on your computer onto a disk.

OR if you feel comfortable with the ubuntu OS you can also install it to a "partition" on your hard drive, which will keep everything that is already on your hard drive. You can then access the files that way. It's too bad you didn't ask before you reformatted - that's a pretty extreme measure and you probably could have saved everything you wanted to save had you done this first.
Well now that I may have pretty much lost everything, I figure that I might as well partition my hard drive and install another OS. I will do as Brian.Pearson suggested first to see if I might be able to retrieve some files using some of the free or reasonably priced software.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:23 AM
 
Location: Toledo
3,861 posts, read 7,665,318 times
Reputation: 3665
Quote:
Originally Posted by J Arp View Post
Well they overwrote some of it already because they're posting using the same computer.
Actuallly I'm using a computer at work. But yes I am sure that I overwrote most of my files.

Last edited by yayoi; 02-03-2009 at 10:42 AM.. Reason: silly wording
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Toledo
3,861 posts, read 7,665,318 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naptowner View Post
After reading a few sites, perhaps I spoke too soon. Some say that formatting doesn't erase anything at all, it just sets a 'switch' on each sector of the drive that tells the computer the sector is empty. As long as you don't overwrite new data onto the drive all the original data should be there.

Hopefully the OP hasn't overwritten anything yet.

I still think the ubuntu boot disk solution is the easiest for getting vital data from a hard drive when the OS won't boot, although it would take a long time to transfer 60 gigs using a flash drive.
Well I did reinstall the OS as well as AVAST but I sill have about 142 gigs of space that I assume has not been overwritten or maybe it has. I don't know.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:30 AM
 
1,097 posts, read 3,619,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J Arp View Post
Well they overwrote some of it already because they're posting using the same computer.
I wasn't sure whether it was the same computer or not - he didn't say he'd reinstalled an operating system on it, and lots of people post from work.

But yeah, you have a good point.
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Old 02-03-2009, 03:58 PM
 
28,617 posts, read 40,594,929 times
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Maybe, maybe not. Depends on where the data containing the music is located and where the OS and new progs were loaded. There is a chance, albeit slight, that all the music is still there.

What you don't want to do, OP, is keep using the computer. The more you use it the more data is overwritten and the more likely you are to be trashing files you want to get back.
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:00 PM
 
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Oh, and in case you haven't figured it out yet, back up your important files! Geez!!
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Old 02-03-2009, 04:05 PM
 
1,097 posts, read 3,619,219 times
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And you don't necessarily need to go the ubuntu boot disk route if you use some of the free recovery software pearson was talking about. I suggested that as a solution if you can't load the OS from the hard drive to recover files BEFORE you reformat. Another possible solution is to pop the hard drive out and install it into another computer so you can transfer files that way.

Not to dog linux or anything, but it takes some a little while to get used to and if you're running it from the CD drive I'm not sure you could install any linux-based data recovery software anyway.
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Old 02-03-2009, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,076,702 times
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I was kind of curious about why it crashed. The system might have given some clue about what was going on, even if a OP didn't fully appreciate it at the time.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:32 PM
 
Location: US
1,189 posts, read 3,645,083 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Naptowner View Post
I wasn't sure whether it was the same computer or not - he didn't say he'd reinstalled an operating system on it, and lots of people post from work.

But yeah, you have a good point.
And I was corrected, oh well.

I was tasked today to try and recover some files off a computer that is in working order and wasn't reformatted and had no such luck. I tried a couple programs and got nothing. I ran a couple scans on my own computer and it found some temporary document files. It's pretty hit or miss when you're going the cheap route, in my recent experience anyways.
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Old 02-03-2009, 08:58 PM
 
28,617 posts, read 40,594,929 times
Reputation: 37291
Quote:
Originally Posted by J Arp View Post
And I was corrected, oh well.

I was tasked today to try and recover some files off a computer that is in working order and wasn't reformatted and had no such luck. I tried a couple programs and got nothing. I ran a couple scans on my own computer and it found some temporary document files. It's pretty hit or miss when you're going the cheap route, in my recent experience anyways.
True.

I wish Norton's old utility for file recovery was still around. I can't even remember the name of the program, but it would search on one side of the screen, and show you the dump on the other. Once you knew what to look for it got pretty easy to find the next file. For instance, if you finally found one of the music files you could then copy/paste the beginning of the header and search on it. Made finding the rest of them pretty easy. You could also scroll through the drive while watching the dump go by. If the file was a deleted file you could search for the first character that Windows used to show "deleted" I can't remember the ascii value, but it looked sort like an inverted 9, or a mirrored 6, I think.

The problem the OP has is that he files aren't deleted, just "hiding", so a program designed to recover deleted files is a complete waste of time.
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