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Windows 7: Files disappeared, software not working properly, unsure of the event


10 Apr 2013   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 
Files disappeared, software not working properly, unsure of the event

Let me start by saying I am pretty GREEN when it comes to all this so bare with me, I will try and explain as clearly as I can.

Dell was going to pick up my computer and mail it back to me after a diagnostic & repair on an unrelated battery issue. I wasn't sure what all they were going to do because they felt it was not a problem with the actual battery so I went to back up my files onto a portable hard drive just in case. This was the morning of the 5th. I opened my folders up and realized all but a handful of my files were gone. Photos, videos, pdfs, txt, and audio (music). On the 3rd they updated BIOS but I didn't notice anything till the morning of the 5th and I am not sure why that would effect it. An error message popped up on the screen but only for a split second, something about "indexed locations". I started searching online to try and figure out what happened and it led me to believe it was an issue with the search index but may be a corrupted hard drive? I cannot find anything I recognize as relevant in event logs and over the last few days some folders and files have reappeared but most is still missing. This is what I have tried...


~ refreshed the folders.

~ Rebuilt the search index

~ Run recuva. This got me over 1 million files and much of that is from software (Adobe photoshop, premere elements, kids games...). It does show many of the missing files but has been a mess to go through and many are damaged or the file name and photo do not match. It could not find most of the paths or restore any.

~ Ran a full antivirus and malware check

~ restored the system back to the 3rd



I have tried searching using advanced, I tried creating a document and seeing if the missing folders would show up when I went to save. I made a folder of the exact name a missing one had and tried to move it to that location thinking if it was there and just not visible there would be a conflict but there wasn't.

It is now the 10th and I have literally been trying to do as little as possible and just recover and sort through those files since. It has been a complete nightmare. Normally I would just consider it lost but over the last days some folders and files have reappeared. I restored to a portable hard drive, not to the original locations so that should not effect it. Just a few folders, some with all the photos in videos they had in them and some with just a few. Two came back showing none of the photos they had in them but they do contain the folders I had in them and those folders have all the pics they should. Some PDFs, audio and txt came back. My contacts were missing except a few, they are all back now. Internet favorites I had saved in a folder from IE on another computer too.

Silverlight is not working but adobe photoshop and realplayer are. I have not checked others. Adobe files make up a huge portion of the recovered files though so I don't know if those were meant to be deleted at some other time and recuva just pulled up EVERYTHING or...?

The missing files and folders are pretty inconsistent too, all under the user but in many different folders. I have not tried to create a new user, nor sure if that would help? Nothing at all showed as a public user except sample photos and such.

If a corrupted hard drive really deleted almost all of my photos they would not spontaneously start appearing in tact back in their original locations right? This is all very confusing to me. Sorry for the long post but any help at all would be greatly appreciated.


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Apr 2013   #2

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Also I noticed many of the files/folders reappearing are ones I had used within a week or so of this all happening. Folders I attached images from, folders I saved things into, ect. Some I had not used in a long time but a disproportionate number I have...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Apr 2013   #3

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Ok, Silverlight is back to working now. Probably was unrelated to the rest...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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13 Apr 2013   #4

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

OK.
First, ask Dell about what they have done to your PC beside the battery.
Updating the BIOS will not corrupt the MBR or the system file.

I had ppl loading games and playing games on my PC before they handed back to me. The guys forgot to delete the games.

Win system files corruption:
[q]The missing files and folders are pretty inconsistent too, all under the user but in many different folders. I have not tried to create a new user, nor sure if that would help? Nothing at all showed as a public user except sample photos and such.

If a corrupted hard drive really deleted almost all of my photos they would not spontaneously start appearing intact back in their original locations right? This is all very confusing to me. Sorry for the long post but any help at all would be greatly appreciated.[/q]

New windows updates could have cause Win system files corruption.

Always remember to backup before sending for repair.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
13 Apr 2013   #5

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

I was trying to back up because they were going to take it when I noticed it was gone. This all happened around 10 am and the Dell rep was to come between 12:30 and 3:30.

This happened before it was taken on the 5th for repair. What they did on the 3rd was done remotely and I didn't see him do anything strange. Fooled with the battery settings and updated BIOS then too.

If Windows updates caused the corruption what should I do? Thank you.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #6

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

I cannot diagnose your exact problem. I am very sure that missing items are still intact on your HDD.
I had many (3) HDDs failure due to the OS (Win 98) being corrupted by viruses.
The files are in the HDDs except that I cannot boot or startup my PC.

Yours are the search index can no longer showed up these files but missing items are still intact on your HDD.
Your files are there but the search index can no longer search for these items as the search function is corrupted or being not showing. It's not showing to be exact.
DO NOT DEFRAG your HDD as it will overwrite the files.

To detect corruption.
Go to Startup>All programs>Accessories>Command prompt right click the mouse choose Run as administrator
in the prompt type sfc/scannow to scan for file corruption

I am answering your qs. in random.

Also I noticed many of the files/folders reappearing are ones I had used within a week or so of this all happening. Folders I attached images from, folders I saved things into, ect. Some I had not used in a long time but a disproportionate number I have...

This due to your System Restore. Pls check the System Restore date in your Installed and Uninstall Programs.

I will get back to you later when I am more composed. The way you posed your questions are at random and not chronologically. It's difficult for me to get the gist.Sorry.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
15 Apr 2013   #7

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

New suggestions. Since your computer is under Dell warranty, have you tried calling Dell Technical Support for help?
Do call them as they can really help at the 1800 number. They are more proficient than I do.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Apr 2013   #8

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Another new suggestions.
This suggestion will cost you $$$ to buy a HDD if you don't have an additional one and time.

However, it may not work for sure for you but it did for me under Win 98 platform.

If you have another HDD or HDD2, install another copy of Win 7 in that HDD2 from the Dell provided Win 7 DVD.
Turn this HDD with all the missing items as slave drive and boot from the other HDD2 with all the functional Win 7 stuff .
Use the search index of that HDD2 to discover the missing items from the corrupted HDD.
Do not make an image but copy all the missing items to HDD2.

Another one is to use file recovery software if the program can work. Not all worked. Been there, done that.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
17 Apr 2013   #9

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
 
 

Well, I don't know if your problem is solved or not since you have not reply at all.
But this is an another new suggestion.
Try BootMed (Free) Making Recovery Easy at
BootMed is a free recovery cd that can help you recover data, fix windows registry problems, scan for viruses, image a damaged hard drive (with ddrescue), recover files with testdisk and photorec, and more.*|*BootMed
My System SpecsSystem Spec
21 Apr 2013   #10

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit
 
 

Dell had my laptop, that is why no reply. I'm sorry, didn't have internet access, but I appreciate the reply. I used Recuva to recover as much as I can. Dell made a back up disc for me which was really somewhat of a waste since I got more back myself using recuva and backing it up to the portable hard drive. They said they were going to replace the hard drive but didn't because they could not find any evidence of corruption other. Basically implied that I went through and deleted almost everything personal I had on the computer which I obviously did not. They could not find a reason for the missing files. They sent another box and I'm supposed to ship it back to them again Monday for more diagnostics and maybe this time to have the hard drive replaced. I have spent more hours on the phone with Dell Tech Concierge since I got this laptop in September than I do with my family. Seriously, I know 7 of them by voice and the hours they work. The last Dell laptop I had lasted pretty well for 3 years, this one has been a complete nightmare every step of the way.

I ran the scan and it says "Windows Resource Protection did not find any integrity violations".

Also since I got it back many settings are changed but a new problem is "Drive F" which is an SD Card reader will not recognize when a card is inserted. It's not just that it won't read the cards, it does not acknowledge the connection. I tried having the laptop search for new hardware while it was in but nothing. Not sure if this is related to whatever Dell did to it while they had it, whatever happened that caused the files to disappear, or just a random new problem...

Again, I'm sorry it too so long to get back to you
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Files disappeared, software not working properly, unsure of the event




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