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lost all my data and *must* to recover it

Discussion in 'Virus & Other Malware Removal' started by trgaud2, Jun 28, 2006.

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  1. trgaud2

    trgaud2 Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2006
    Messages:
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    Hello everyone!! I lost all my data and *must* to recover it. I am hoping any praying for assistance in the recovery of my data that is "stuck" in my computer. I am very distressed because of this and I can use all the help in the data recovery I could get (I'm an "intermediate" in computer knowledge:eek: )

    I will try to make this as short and concise as I can:

    I run Win98SE (computer has a floppy disk drive to boot)

    Synopsis of what happened (got a virus of some kind):

    1) First, the entire desktop looked 100% "normal" but nothing (nothing!) on it was operable (double clicking on icons did NOTHING)

    2) ALL the files in the START menu became unassociated (with any program to open & run them) and EVERY SINGLE icon in ALL of the subfolders changed to the "generic" Windows "unassociated" icon (plain white background with the 4-color Windows Pane)

    2A) Note: All menus could pop open up from the start menu EXCEPT for the "Search/Find Files/Folders" menu...that one basically vanished!

    3) A while later 3 icons disappeared from my desktop: the Recycle Bin, the My Documents folder, and...I'm not sure what the 3rd one was (could not remember what had been in that spot....but, it was NOT the My Computer Folder (although, double clicking on My Computer did nothing)

    4) Then...a short while later....My screen flashed for a second or two and then ALL my icons on the desktop suddenly went to the Windows "generic" icons (as described above with all the files in the START menus).......the file names were still visible BUT ALL the extensions changed to ones I've never heard of....I do remember some were changed to ".ink" extensions......(I did a search of this extension and I do NOT have CorelDRAW...and never have.)

    5) At this point I literally couldn't do a thing: 1.) *ALL* files and icons were unassociated with any program that would open them; 2.) the "Search/Find Files" folder off the START menu was basically gone; 3.) and my Recycle Bin and My Documents folder had vanished...

    6) Next...I tried to use "START>Shutdown>DOS" in an effort to reboot in DOS...but when I tried that choice (from the Shutdown Menu) DOS had ceased working too!

    7) At this point EVERYTHING was basically rendered unusable so I shut down computer completely: “START>Shutdown>Turn Computer Off” - this worked normally and the computer shut off.....then I turned off the power on the surge protector.

    (Here's where it gets interesting)

    8) I waited about 15 minutes and then powered up the computer. It sounded like it was booting up normally but then...

    A) a screen popped up and said "Windows is setting up your computer, and next:

    B) a Setup Wizard screen popped up asking my name...I entered it and pressed "OK" (that was the only choice), next was;

    C) the Windows License Agreement....I "accepted" it and pressed "OK"

    and...

    D) then, the next screen was the one that asks me to enter my “Windows Product Key” (off the original paperwork)...

    …At this time I figured out it basically was "forcing" me to re-install my WIN 98SE off my recovery CD...

    …which, in doing so, would have re-installed & re-written WIN 98SE over all my current data in the machine!!!

    I certainly did not want to do this (reinstall Windows over my data) so at this screen I pressed "CANCEL" and the machine literally shut-down by itself......and since then I have not attempted to turn it back on.


    Soooo, at this point in time all my files are currently on my hard drive and they are ALL unassociated with any programs to open them...

    …BUT.....when the hard drive gets powered on it is basically at the "beginning point" that asks user to re-install Windows with the Product Key and Recovery CD.
     
  2. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2004
    Messages:
    24,388
    Take the hard drive out, and install it as a slave drive in another computer or put it in a USB external enclosure and try to read the data.

    I'm going to assume the file extensions changed to LNK not INK. You saw lnk which is not a capital I, it's a small L. It sounds like a virus, so the data may not be retrievable, but try the suggestion above. If that doesn't work, you'll have to pay a data recovery company to try, but you have to pay even if they don't recover anything, and it could get very expensive (hundreds of dollars).
     
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