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Old 09-15-2009, 07:28 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 1,876,680 times
Reputation: 780

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Hi people.


About a year ago my computer reformatted all by itself and went back to it's original factory settings. This obviously erased a lot of the information I had stored and caused me a lot of problems.

I ran anti virus scans and removed all unnecessary programs. And for a year it worked fine.

Now, it's doing the same thing EVERY TIME I reboot. It just goes right back to factory settings and erases everything I try to save onto the computer.

So, is there anything I can do to battle this? What can I try?

My friend who knows a lot about computers told me that there is basically nothing I can do and the computer is just "dying". Is this true?
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:43 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,414,358 times
Reputation: 14344
Are you sure that everything is being erased and is not just in another profile? If you are using XP, go to c:\documents and settings and see if there are several profiles with the files you are looking for.

What sometimes happens is that Windows will detect a corrupt profile and automagically create a new one. So when Windows starts you are looking at the new profile. Your data may still be in the old profile. BTW, this may indicate a bad hard drive.
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Old 09-15-2009, 07:50 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 1,876,680 times
Reputation: 780
Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
Are you sure that everything is being erased and is not just in another profile? If you are using XP, go to c:\documents and settings and see if there are several profiles with the files you are looking for.

What sometimes happens is that Windows will detect a corrupt profile and automagically create a new one. So when Windows starts you are looking at the new profile. Your data may still be in the old profile. BTW, this may indicate a bad hard drive.
Awesom tip man. I found my old stuff in there.

So can I switch back to that profile somehow? Will it stay on that one? And what exactly is a "corrupt profile"?

Is there any way I can keep my computer from creating a new profile every time I reboot?

Maybe I should look into betting a new hard drive huh?
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:03 PM
 
Location: Matthews, NC
14,693 posts, read 23,414,358 times
Reputation: 14344
You'd be better off just moving or copying your data to the new drive.

Windows Operating Systems create profiles so that several users can use the same PC but have distinct settings and their own personal data storage locations. For instance, if you have 5 profiles on the PC there are 5 My Documents folders. Each folder is unique to that profile.

Sometimes an important file or setting can be corrupted and it causes Windows to basically abandon the profile and create a new one. Files can be corrupted if the section of the hard drive that they are on goes bad or if a file is being written to when the PC shuts down.

You might try running a check disk and see if it fixes any bad sectors. Whether or not to get a new drive just depends on what you want spend, how willing you are to live with an issue, etc. If it is not under warranty, you have to buy a new one, install Windows, etc.
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Old 09-15-2009, 08:24 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 1,876,680 times
Reputation: 780
Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
You'd be better off just moving or copying your data to the new drive.

Windows Operating Systems create profiles so that several users can use the same PC but have distinct settings and their own personal data storage locations. For instance, if you have 5 profiles on the PC there are 5 My Documents folders. Each folder is unique to that profile.

Sometimes an important file or setting can be corrupted and it causes Windows to basically abandon the profile and create a new one. Files can be corrupted if the section of the hard drive that they are on goes bad or if a file is being written to when the PC shuts down.

You might try running a check disk and see if it fixes any bad sectors. Whether or not to get a new drive just depends on what you want spend, how willing you are to live with an issue, etc. If it is not under warranty, you have to buy a new one, install Windows, etc.
Cool thanks a lot.

I'm actually moving in a couple weeks so i'll see if that changes things.
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:11 AM
 
3,627 posts, read 13,002,930 times
Reputation: 2710
My company takes forever to replace old computers. I get in the habit of using an external hard drive as a back up. I also like it for when I travel because the EDD can stay at home in case something happens to the laptop. In 15 years, knock on wood, I have never lost critical files. [Yes do have corporate servers and backups but file silze gets limited and it takes an act of God to recover files from them]
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Old 09-16-2009, 11:36 AM
 
28,660 posts, read 40,649,415 times
Reputation: 37352
Quote:
Originally Posted by bs13690 View Post
Are you sure that everything is being erased and is not just in another profile? If you are using XP, go to c:\documents and settings and see if there are several profiles with the files you are looking for.

What sometimes happens is that Windows will detect a corrupt profile and automagically create a new one. So when Windows starts you are looking at the new profile. Your data may still be in the old profile. BTW, this may indicate a bad hard drive.
I am so impressed by this insight I don't even know how to express it. Reps are coming!
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:47 PM
 
Location: car guy in Phoenix AZ
116 posts, read 326,205 times
Reputation: 54
OK, when you say formatting, it is not actually reformatting the drive as in cleaning the entire disk for windows to reinstall right?
Your windows comes up normally when you reboot, but somehow your profile settings are gone correct?

I would start with a fresh harddrive and keep the old as an extra to add on after.
But if you cant purchase a new one, try having your techy friend just reformat the windows install and when the windows disk does that, it normally looks for harddrive issues. like the other poster says you may have files corrupting, whether a failing harddrive is at fault or perhaps even a virused boot partition or sector.
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