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My ASUS computer reinstalled windows and now all the documents, data, settings I've put on my computer is gone?

I'm freaking out! I'm a high school student with 2 AP classes and my computer seems to be completely wiped, the documents, settings, EVERYTHING! I have an ASUS K55a laptop. It's about 3 years old. Earlier today my browser (Internet Explorer) was acting funny so I tried to shut down my laptop. It wouldn't do anything so I tried again by trying restart. It eventually shut down but when I tried to start it again a page came up saying something about windows is malfunctioning or something like that. It gave me the option to "start normally" or diagnose and address the issues. I picked the latter. Then it started updating and it said it would take about 20 minutes. I waited and when I came back, the computer was restarting itself, updating, restarting itself, updating, restarting itself, updating ... It wouldn't stop and the keyboard wouldn't work so I took out the battery. When I started it again it started doing the same thing and I had to quit a few programs using control alt delete. That's where I am now. I tried to do a system restore but it says there are no points to restore to. Is all my work lost? Please help!  

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Vyger3 years ago

What size was the hard drive and what kind? Regular Sata? and how full was it?

If this is you main computer, and I am guessing it is, and you want to recover some of the data, here is what you can do.

First, remove the hard drive, set it aside and don't try and do anything with it now.

By an SSD drive to replace it, which is the best thing you can do to upgrade the notebook anyway. Get one that is the size of the data you had before. Most people have these 1 and 2 terabyte drives that are mostly empty, if you were only using 100 gig then get an SSD that is 240 gig and it should do really well.

Install the SSD drive and get a copy of Windows that matches what your sticker is. You can either download the ISO or borrow a disk from a friend. If yours says its Home premium then that is the disk you need. Install it and use the key code on the label to activate it. This will get you up and running with a fresh system.

Next get a USB adapter for your SATA drive and plug it in to your new system. Make sure your have an antivirus running because if this was caused by a virus it could jump over to your new system. Now use the file explorer to copy all of your data to the new machine. Don't try and fix any corrupt files on the old drive. Just copy over what is in OK shape. You will have to take ownership of some of the directories and you might have to copy files a few at a time if there are some that are corrupt.

If you try and fix the old system it most likely will delete everything during the windows install and you will not save any data. if the drive has bad sectors or is failing the drive may not survive an attempt to fix and reinstall Windows. The best thing to do is get a new drive and then if it turns out the old drive is still good you can use it for an external backup so you are not really out anything.

Vyger Vyger3 years ago

And a word of advice, in the future don't use IE unless you absolutely have to. It is often attacked. Use Firefox or one of the others. Firefox can be reinstalled if it gets messed up. For IE problems you sometimes have to reinstall to fix it.

+1 Probably the safest approach here. Might yet reuse an old machine of mine too....

Frankly, if you don't know what to do, you need specialist help, any of our suggestions could make things worse.

swapeasy3 years ago

Try to boot into safe mode.

When you start your computer press (F8) until the safe mode options come up.

then use the regular option at the top. If it boots windows....BACKUP YOUR DATA!

Then you can run check disk to see if it is your hard drive or your install of windows. If it boots into windows press the start button,

In the Search box, type Command Prompt, and then, in the list of results, double-click Command Prompt.

Then type chkdsk C:

this will check your hard drive for errors and try to fix them.

If there are no errors you will need a copy of windows on a dvd to try the next step. If you can get a copy of windows from a friend you can boot with it and use the recovery option to fix any windows problems.

Hope this helps

Burf3 years ago

Not necessarily, you may be able to rescue the data using an Ubuntu Live CD.Complete instructions are here:

http://www.howtogeek.com/howto/windows-vista/use-ubuntu-live-cd-to-backup-files-from-your-dead-windows-computer/

If you can't get to the data on the drive to back it up now it may be lost for good. You may need to fully reinstall windows. Unfortunately laptops don't come with restore disks anymore. They just put that data on a separate partition on the HDD. This does you no good if the HDD fails. So you may be forced to buy a new copy of windows and atempt a repair install to try and fix it. If you still have problem it may be the drive is dead and needs to be replaced.

No backups ?

Sounds like when my hard disk failed.