Files hiding on hard drive after system recovery-- please help!

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Helne

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I'm having the same (or at least similar) problem as this guy:

http://forums.techguy.org/hardware/480287-help-hard-drive-got-delted.html

My computer had been locking up often in the past couple days, I couldn't use most of my programs, and I couldn't connect to the internet. My system restore, for some unknown reason, hadn't been saving points for the last couple of years (most likely my fault). I did a system recovery from the compaq startup screen, and got back most of my function. I also had my music and assorted files backed up on discs and my mp3 player, so I haven't lost anything important

Only now, there's little to no room left on my hd. I had some movies, a lot of large psd files, and a decent music library in my My Documents folder, adding up to around 30 gigs. Now, though they're not there anymore, the space they took up is still... took'd. there's nowhere near enough space to put anything but my most vital pics and documents back on, though; I really need the space. I've tried the suggestions on the above post and nothing worked. I looked through every visible folder carefully, but nothing matched near that size other than the C drive. I know the old files are still on there somewhere, and I'd really like to get to them and free up the space they take.

Please help!
 
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Good Morning Helne, in al likelyhood you have installed another operating system on your hard drive and the other still exists.

I would be inclined to use a Live Linux program to run from a bootable CD if you wanted to recover any of those files.
Alternatively if you have nothing of substance and wish to proceed I would be inclined to do a complete drive clean, inspection then a clean operating system reload.

When you mention Compac recovery, are you inferring that you have no windows installation disks whatsoever and only have the recovery image on your hard drive?

qldit.
 

dustyjay

Jay
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Depending on the model and age, with Compaq computers, when you do a system restore that way, there is a second partition on your hard drive. THe system restore will make its back up thre and increase the size of this partition until there is no room left for real work on your main (C:\) partition. The way around this in the past was to use the factory restore disc provided by Compaq or the one you have to order from Compaq if your computer is too new. You can always set up your computer with a retail Windows XP disc and then download the motherboard/installed equipment drivers from HP/Compaq.

Jeez I had to reach into the 98 partition of my havoc wreeked brain to remember that so I hope I got it right this time.
 

Helne

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My computer is about four years old, and the discs it came with are nowhere a mortal could reach and return from. Is there any way to just remove the partition and get to the files without doing a complicated tribal dance/hiring a team of ragtag adventurers with pure hearts and unclear goals?

And if worst comes to worst, how would I go about a complete drive clean?

(p.s. thank you for responding so far D: )
 
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you will have to find out what hdd mfr you have and get their drive utility. These can be burned to a cd to make a bootable disk, you boot with it in your pc with bios set to cd before hdd, from this utility you can do a low level format to wipe the drive, then install a full verison of windows.
 
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Good Morning All, but Brite, if Helne does a drive low level format that will delete the entire windows system recovery image.
This will then mean a new windows operating system disk will need to be purchased.

It may be an idea to obtain and run SIW to determine what the windows key codes are in case an alternate installation method is needed.
http://www.snapfiles.com/get/siw.html
If this program is obtained and run it will give information about the actual installation code key for your windows version. Do make a point of recording this information!
It will also give other codes that should be retained in case they may be needed for fresh installs.

I am not entirely positive but in many cases that Windows recovery image was at the end of the drive on it's own particular partition and contained an image of the original windows installation.

In many cases the original manufacturer's instruction manual suggested immediately copying it to a CD so that the owner would have a recovery disk.
This saved the manufacturer the cost of a CD!!!

Many purchasers of these systems were in "brain overload" when they received their new toy and did not read their manuals, (who does!!) so what has happened is that there are a lot of poor owners that have problems like this and don't have a windows disk, yet they have a licence registered for that software. (a couple of hundred dollars worth!!)

Of course Gates is as happy as a "pig in pooh" but the owner of the system is slightly stuffed!

I do suggest sorting out what the situation is here in this regard before undertaking further action.

qldit.
 
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qldit said:
Good Morning All, but Brite, if Helne does a drive low level format that will delete the entire windows system recovery image.
This will then mean a new windows operating system disk will need to be purchased.

from the DJ post above: You can always set up your computer with a retail Windows XP disc and then download the motherboard/installed equipment drivers from HP/Compaq. I was kind of responding along this line to see if poster was interested in this at all. Not sure where her files went though, would they show up using DOS ie dir C: or whatever that was.
 

dustyjay

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It may be possible to save some of the data using a Live bootable linux disc, never tried this myself, I back up my data two to three times a week. So photos, movies, and other data that is important to me is saved. But There are those here that say a live linux disc will help you out.
 
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Good Morning All, yes Dusty the Linux should allow any file recovery, it should be able to see everything on the drive, chances are it could even be used to clear the offending material, but there is a bit of a learning curve involved to do this.
My major concern here would have been in trying not to have to purchase a new windows copy.

It is likely that a key struck at boot would invoke the recovery program via the MBR and direction to the partition with the recovery image at the end of the hard drive and begin a reinstall.

So I feel that the MBR probably needs to be considered along with the extra recovery partition.

I haven't had to do this before so would worry about using any software that may alter the MBR or partitioning.

Puppy Linux 2.0.1 Seamonkey, is a live Linux Program that could be ideal for this kind of job, it not only would be able to see everything on the drive and possibly allow it to be copied, but also contains a partitioning program that would allow the area from the MBR through to the recovery partition to be deleted or type altered for reformat.

This kind of action may allow a simple reversion back to original status, then a recovery command may return the thing back to day one status.

But this is not a reccommended procedure for a novice.

I suggest contacting the manufacturer for trying to obtain a replacement recovery set.
Miracles sometimes happen.
qldit.
 

Helne

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Jul 11, 2006
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I used snapfiles to get the serial numbers and keys for a few things. I was able to download Puppy Linux 2.0.1 Seamonkey, but couldn't get it to work. I also discovered another thing that hadn't been fixed by doing a system restore; being able to burn discs. hoorah.

Once I figure out how to do a complete wipe of the system, do I need to go out and buy a whole new windows os, or is there somewhere I can download it and save it on the old mp3 player I use as an external hd?
 

dustyjay

Jay
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If you do not have the original system restore or setup discs, you would need to obtain a legal copy of the windows OS. Downloading anything besides the beta's or posibly trial versions from MS would not be considered a legal or legitamate copy of windows. This is also known as software piracy and can hold a very stiff penalty.
 
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Not to mention that some very crabby mods with come crashing down on this thread and close it. TSG can not give any impression of helping people with trademark infringement and other forms of priracy or illegal acts. Nothing personal, people will do what people will do, just not here.;)
 

Helne

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That makes it doubly fortunate that I have a large, rectangular green box in my hands right now. Speaking as the one of only eight schmucks in the known universe that actually paid for a copy of pshop cs, no illegality here.

Now then, at the very real and tangible risk of sounding like an idiot, whaddo I does now?
 
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Helne said:
That makes it doubly fortunate that I have a large, rectangular green box in my hands right now. Speaking as the one of only eight schmucks in the known universe that actually paid for a copy of pshop cs, no illegality here.

Now then, at the very real and tangible risk of sounding like an idiot, whaddo I does now?
LOL, yeh if it makes you feel any better Billy's made off with some of my cash as well, now for cryin out loud dont lose it.:D
 
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