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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok,

im really upset. my computer crashed last night. i had to format and reload windows. ALL my files are gone. is there anyway to retrieve them? not only are alot of my camaro restoration pics gone but alot of family pics that i had on the computer. i backed up alot of the family ones but the camaro ones were only on the computer. can anyone help?

angel
 

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EEEK! What operating system is it? and is the drive formatted NTFS, fat 32, or FAT 16?

When you reloaded it, did you have to low level format the drive? Did you delete and reinstall the c partition? Did you do a quick format? Is there more than one partition on your hard drive?

It's probably too late for Angel, but guys, this doesn't HAVE to happen. Yes, I know, we are all guilty of not backing things up. Crashes are unexpected, sudden, and catastrophic.

If you have a real crash, and there are files on the drive you cannot lose, try to reload the os using REPAIR. IF THAT DOESN'T WORK GET ANOTHER DRIVE! If you can work on a Camaro, you CAN work on a computer. Once a crashed drive has been reformatted and reloaded, chances for recovery of anything are SLIM. New drives are cheap, well under $100 for up to an 80GB!

If you simply have a failure to boot, that is a "missing operating system", "STOP...." error, or it starts to boot, than quits, odds are good that you can load the os on a new drive, get the system up and running, then rejumper the drives for master and slave, connect your original drive along with the new one, AND ACCESS EVERYTHING ON THE OLD DRIVE WITHOUT A PROBLEM!

Ways to protect valuable data:

1: Set your drive up in 2 partitions, C: & D:, and keep your valuables on D:. Then, if something goes wrong with the OS, it's a simple matter to reformat c: and reload, AND EVERYTHING ON D: REMAINS INTACT. There are utilities that will do this on the fly on a running computer for about $50.

2: 3 drives, 1 to boot from, and a pair defined as a mirrored raid. Everthing saved to the raid is automatically saved to BOTH drives, and failure of one won't effect the other. This is how I set up servers. Windows 2000 Pro, XP Pro, and many modern motherboard support RAID.

3: 2 drives, one bigger than the other, same setup as above, but partition the larger drive. you'll have a c: partion for the software, and a raid that consists of part of one drive and all of the other for your data.

4: JUST DO THE DAMNED BACKUP! EVERYTIME YOU TRANSFER PICS OR FILES OR ANYTHING IMPORTANT ONTO YOUR PC, STICK IN A CD/R AND BACK IT UP!

Sorry for the rave, guys. Lost data gets me. If Angel had just gone down to Circuit City, bought a new hard drive, and used that to get his system back up, I or someone else probably coulda got his stuff back. Actually hardware failures on drives are very very rare. I get this from my customers all the time, and it just destroys me because most of the time they try to deal with it themselves and end up causing permannent damage to something that was very very recoverable.
 

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I usually make a CD or DVD of my data files. Pretty cheap way to store data. I then usually give a copy of all the pictures to at least one other family member. They do the same. I have a large number of pictures of my entire family that way as well. I also probaly have 7-8 DVD of MP3s as backups.

As for the Turbo Tax data and other stuff like that (docs, spreadsheets and drawings). I just put a copy of the data in my fireproof safe.

I also have 3 desktops and a laptop so I can store certains files on multiple machines. Not everyone has that luxury.
 

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Good advice Jim- everyone should read your post and take note. I always at least backup my files on a separate drive and sometimes burn them to DVD/CD just in case of drive failure.

There are file recovery programs that can access data that has been deleted or erased, but they are expensive and don't always work.

Wish I could be of more help.

[ 12-16-2004, 05:41 AM: Message edited by: choptop ]
 

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Unlike the fabulous pro's on this site, who share their knowledge and experince with us for free, I've never brought work home with me. I try not to even TELL my neighbors I do computers...lol, heck, I get PO'd with my mother when she needs me to straighten hers out. My "hobby" has 4 wheels, 4 gears, 8 cylinders, and a drop top.

You guys are different tho. If anyone needs anything, pc-wise, just give me a shout.
 

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Once you 'formatted and reloaded' Windows, you can kiss those pictures and anything else on there goodbye.
You might have been able to BEFORE, even with it crashed, but not now.

I'm like you Jim.... I try not to take work home with me, but sometimes it's inevitable. Not a biggy really. I don't mind helping people OUTSIDE of work, as long as they're not FROM work! LOL!! There's a difference. I don't give anyone at work my work cell number. It's for the Help Desk to call me if need be. If everyone here at work had my number, it'd ring off the hook. Put in a ticket and I'll get to it tomorrow.
 

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</font><blockquote>code:</font><hr /><pre style="font-size:x-small; font-family: monospace;">Put in a ticket and I'll get to it tomorrow. </pre>[/QUOTE]You guys use Remedy by any chance? Ah, the fabulous tickets. Depending on what exactly you did, it is possible - but very expensive - to get some of the data back. I had a tool somewhere to recover data if you deleted the partition but did not format the drive yet (sounds too late for that) but there are some cool recovery places that we've had good luck with, even one that did it all over the network. I think that was like $1500. One format pass and there might be some hope.

I still get teary eyed when I think of the user who's machine was hacked and I told her I had to rebuild the machine and unfortunately had to back up all her data. She pulled out a stack of cds and said "I do that every week, you don't have to worry about that." I almost hugged her.
 

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Action Request System baby! Remedy 6.00.01.


Jeeez, I'm lucky if they use the unlimited amount of personal drive space I give them to save their data. I see desktops literally covered with files. :rolleyes:
I just gently remind them what will happen if it crashes or I Ghost it without saving anything.
 

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Originally posted by JimM:
I try not to even TELL my neighbors I do computers....
Aint that the truth. You'll wind up with a part-time job that doesn't pay anything. Been there, done that one.
 

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I agree with everything JimM stated. It's very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security with today’s pc hardware.
Do backups! Although I've worked in storage for over 15yrs I still come close to getting get burned myself by not doing backups.
Only 1 correction Windows 2000 pro and Xp Pro don’t support RAID of any kind. They only support dynamic disks and striping. The only windows OS that supports RAID is the server versions. Also RAID still requires backups! Never rely on RAID alone. You will get burned. The motherboards today may be purchased with an optional onboard RAID controller that supports RAID 0,1 + 10. Still no raid 5 or 50 for home.
The big problem is getting a convenient (cheap) backup system for today’s growing data storage needs…


Bob
 

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Yah thats true, but that is still only 9gig at best..and after i posted I was thinking how cheap PCI_RAID adapters are getting. couple 120gig IDE drives and a pci raid card. Would be pretty cheap..and they can be added to most any PC even 98 will support hardware raid.
 

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Now that I look a couple of you guys are in IT. What do you use for RAD at work? HP, Dell,, compaq...Just curios. Looked at iSCSI yet? It's way cool...
 

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Remedy!! The bane of my existance! :mad: Takes so much time to put a ticket in, get all the approvals for SARBOX and waste hours of time for a less than 5 min change. arrrggghh!

My group is responsible for the BIG IRON. I'm getting a brand new Baby T-REX delivered tomorrow morning
, but the crap I had to go through approvals to allow the CE to power it up.


Also do AIX, Sun and Win Apps admin.
 

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pci, the propellor head's startin to spin, and it shouldn't do that here.

I do workstations and small servers for graphic arts and publishing applications, both mac and pc (G5's totally rock!) We build all of the PC's we sell. I'm a microsoft, intel, & amd oem.

A few years ago, we used add-on pci raid cards in all our servers, they work great as long as u don't need to boot from them. And, unless the building burns down, a mirrored raid is very safe. I totally hate tapes, over 20 years, it seems that most times you need to retrieve something, you can't get it for some reason.

The mainboards we use these days all support raid in hardware. I've just started trusting a striped raid as a boot drive. Just finishd a new sys for myself, athlon 64, striped 10,000 rpm drives, 1 partition boots xp po, the other xp64 beta. It's kinda fast, for a pc. I think next week, I'm gonna put in a third drive. It's ugly if a raid 0 loses it. Then on the other hand, all my data is on our server, nothing but app's on the system.
 

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I've been using the SIIG 4 Channel Serial ATA Raid Controller ($81 at upgradesource.com) and usually Western Digital 120gb Serial ATA 7200rpm 8mb buffer drives (Model 1200JD) ($82/each at Dell.com), so for $245 you have a RAID 1 protected volume thats fully supported by Windows XP Home/Pro or Windows 2000 Pro.
I personally have two 250gb serial ata drives in a RAID1 on my home system, but most systems I setup for friends I use the above 120gb drives. Controller comes with 4 serial ata cables and power adapters, plenty of upgrade room for future drives. Controller is based on the popular and reliable Silicon Image 3114 chipset
Oh and I still run a 200gig WD serial ata drive as another volume and backup the most important content weekly to that volume using XP's NTbackup program.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
jim

i know i have two partitions. c and d. i did a delete and install. i talked to our MIS guys here at work and they say they have a something to get out the info that might have not been deleted but i have to bring it in to our forensics lab. i dont know if i want to do that. i dont know what i have on this thing since i have had it for 3 years. its got a 160 gb hard drive so i can have alot of info that i dont want to share with the dept.

the thing that i have the most about it is that i have been cutting out articles from all the car magazines for the past 12 years. i finally got them all scanned the begining of this year. i had them separated in folders for engine, suspension, tranny and rearend, body/paint, engine combos, etc. it was 12 years of collecting articles. once i had them all scanned, i threw away the hard copies. now i have none. its a big lesson learned.

anyway, thats for the help
angel
 

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Angel, I'm correct in assuming they were on c:, then? Becuase everything that was on D: should still be there, unless you deleted both partitions.

How recoverable it is really depends on how much you want to go thru. There are tools that can recover nearly anything that hasn't been wiped, but some are VERY expensive.

It also depends on "how" you reloaded and what OS you used. Choices would be : quick format or long, or don't format at all, just replace the existing OS, or don't formar and put the new OS in a different folder than the old one.

Then the OS... assuming the stuff you wanted to save was in a sub of the "my documents" folder, that folder is in the windos folder with 95/98/me, but in a separate "documents and settings" folder with 2000/xp/nt.

As a "best case" example, if you're on XP, didn't format or delete any partitions, and "replaced" the existing os with a completely new one but used a different user name, all your stuff would still be in a sub of the D&S folder.

Give me some details on exactly what happened, what errors you got initially, and the exact steps you went thru to reload. and I NEED to know the OS?
 
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