Has anybody had their computer completely erased?

Please tell me how to get everything back!! Ah I'm freaking out

Updates:
21d so my dad logged in as a guest user because he was trying to turn off my music after i left the house. False alarm haha thanks for all of the elaborate responses! I'll definitely be getting an external hard drive after this scare.

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What Guys Said 21

  • Do you have any more information about what happened and how? Maybe it's not really erased and there is another problem? Maybe you just can't access the drive for some reason? Like something in the bios? Or a simple hardware problem like a loose connection.

    (I assume you are talking about the hard drive.)

    What does it do when you turn it on (don't turn it on, I'm asking about what you already know). Did it do anything at all? Did it make through the POST check and stop? (The POST check is the stuff it does before the OS starts). Were there any audio error codes (beeps), or even a LED code, maybe on the back of the computer?

    If the drive is really erased, first thing is to not do ANYTHING with it. Don't even start it. I can't give all the details here, but it's something I might be able to recover if I had the computer in front of me. However, depending on what's wrong, it could be a LOT of work if it has to be done manually.

    If you need to use the computer and want to delay recovery, what I would do is don't turn the computer on. Remove the hard drive, or have someone else do it. Install a new hard drive, and an operating system. Now you have your old drive secure where no more damage can be done for now.

    You can take it to someone who really knows what they are doing. It MIGHT be something easy. You might not need to do the things I listed above. Those were just precautions. If you are lucky it's something easy and cheap. If you are unlucky it will be expensive. It you're really unlucky you've completely lost everything.

    It might be something you can recover yourself if you are competent with computers. There may be some recovery software that can do it, but I'm not up to date and can't recommend anything. I know how to do it the old brute force way, but that's a huge amount of work and it can't be explained.

    I didn't really help much, especially without more information. But just remember that most likely it's not truly erased. The info is most likely still on your drive. It might be random gibberish in a form that's difficult to unscramble, but it's probably still there.

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  • That's why you make a backup. Seeing if you have a system restore point would be ideal. If you don't have a system restore point. Go to control panel and search for "system restore". Actually. Thanks for reminding me. I should do that.

    Check the recycling bin, maybe the files aren't completely deleted. But, nothing on your harddrive is really *permanently* deleted until you run low on space and another file needs to overwrite the area on the harddrive where your deleted data was. So, you can attempt to use a recovery software like http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/

    If all else fails and you really need the data restored, you'll just have to go to a professional. Maybe geeksquad or something similar.

    You can also purchase space on the Cloud, and backup your files on the Cloud, like iDrive. You don't have to buy an external drive. Plus they take up extra physical space, which is kind of annoying. And you still maintain the possibility of having a double drive failure, for instance if a power surge fucks everything up.

    Next time make regular system restore points.

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  • Did you make backup copies of your entire hard drive and all of it's content and data?

    There are ways to back them up locally with a external hard drive or USB drive.

    Or you can use something like an online backup service, such as Cloud, iCloud if you have a Macintosh computer.

    Other than that, it's not entirely impossible, you can still recover your data through data recovery services, but it can be very expensive sometimes.

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  • Long story short... you'd have to get a new hard drive, set that up as secondary, and use a recovery program.

    Your best bet is to take it to an actual company to do it though.

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    • 21d

      (Sorry, you'd have to set your current up as secondary... not the new one. You'd have to install the OS and everything onto the new HDD to make it bootable.)

  • This can happen a lot of computers have emergency backups for if they suddenly crash search your files for that. Also a lot of websites back up your data see if Facebook or google has anything backed up to your account in either case the files can be restored! As for the culprit in the settings their is probably a factory reset be careful to stay away from those.

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  • First, do you have an operating system? If you do, awesome. if not, can you install a second harddrive and install windows on it temporarily? If you can, then that would be your best bet, otherwise just install windows on the erased harddrive (windows can be downloaded and installed for free, via a usb stick for example (windows has a usb creation tool)) After you have your computer up and running, DONT DO ANYTHING, except download and install recuva (or any other file recovery software). Recuva will list all files it finds (even though the harddrive is completely wiped) and you can see if they are corrupted or not. If you find your files, and they are green or worst case, orange, then you can recover them and hope they work. Good luck!

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  • If you had a mac, time machine would of helped

    otherwise this won't be an easy task there poopsy - might need a professional to fix that up for ya...

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  • No way of getting it back honey... I just lost 1TB of hard-disk data (games, softwares, movies, YouTube videos, porn :-( :-( )

    The only positive but kinda useless thing is that i am getting a replacement for my hard-disk LOL :-D

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    • 21d

      By the way I read your update... My hard-disk was an external hard disk LOL

  • Haha, I guess I'm late for the party, but the funny thing about an external hard drive (as everyone was so quick on the trigger to suggest lol) is that it's much easier to drop it accidentally just by pulling the cable for instance, or grabbing the pc with it turned on, and once it hits ground, you're screwed as well with all your things in it.

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  • Did you back it up at all?

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    • 21d

      @JudgmentDay These days a LOT of external drives actually come with backup software... to make it that much easier.

    • 21d

      @ProbablyTooMature Pretty much. I like the idea of using cloud and online backup these days, but it's also good to use encryption to provide some additional privacy in case. It could be as simple as a password enabled for a compressed archive, or it could be more complex methods. But backing up anything that would contain personal information or sensitive is best stored locally in case anyway, easier accountability if you get what I mean? Because you never know if the cloud websites or if your account ever get compromised and then all your "privacy" becomes an open book. I mean, you've seen what happened with things like WikiLeaks where they can expose private e-mails and documents right?

  • You can't. And don't fall for the blackmail stuff asking you to pay money to get it back. They don't give it back, plus then they drain your bank account. That is why you need to back up your stuff every once in a while.

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    • 21d

      You'll need to restore your computer like when it was new out of the box and start from scratch. After that, but yourself an external hard drive to back up your stuff every few weeks or once per month. It sucks I know, but it is the only way to stop it from happening again.

  • It really depends on how it got erased.

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  • you can try using the restoring point

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  • Use "Restoring Point" it will work. I had the similar problem aswell then thats all became great.

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  • If you had the hard drive completely erased there is no getting it back.

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  • If its been factory reset there are ways to recover the data though its pretty pricey. If it wasn't important, you're going to have to live without it.

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  • i hope you meant hard disk lol, or rather, its contents :D

    hardware doesn't magically disappear

    anyway data recovery is always possible. data is not actually "erased" when you delete it. sectors on your disk are merely labelled as "free space", the actual data isn't changed.

    that is, until you put something new on it and those sectors get replaced with new data

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  • I'm guessing you have a virus.

    When I had a PC, I backed up religiously.

    Does your hard drive make an clicking sounds?

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  • take it to the FBI

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  • Depends what happened, but there's usually a way.
    If you're lucky a system restore might work.
    If it's been formated or everything's been deleted then the files don't actually disapear, they just go into deleted mode, so other stuff can be written on top. There are programs that can retrieve the files, but the more you use your pc the more files that will be overwritten and lost forever.
    I'm guessing your hard drive still works if you can open your pc to see the stuff's missing. But if it was this then most the magnetic disks should be fine so I guess there probably are people who can retrieve your files for a price.

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  • Probably not, at this point. Might be a virus, depending on what you've been doing. Porn will def. give you virus's.

    Could be any other reason why it happened. However, here's some useful stuff on what you can do most likely for future use

    www.pcworld.com/.../...ing-old-pcs-and-drives.html

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What Girls Said 3

  • No.
    But thats why an external hard drive is a good thing to have. I add new and important files to it weekly.
    Having everything saved just in case. I think it would be a good idea to get one to prevent this again.

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  • not sure if you could get them back

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  • Nope

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    • 21d

      @Autumn-Bunny Super helpful! ;-)

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    • 20d

      @thissiteisforpervs okay you can go fap to this thread now.

    • 20d

      @thissiteisforpervs you're a dick. I wasn't trolling. And how was I supposed to know my dad went into my computer and created a guest user?

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