recovering files/programs

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Rodion Raskolnikov
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recovering files/programs

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Fri Aug 30, 2013 11:29 am UTC

I'm using windows vista on my dell inspiron laptop,and it seems to have run into some issues.
For the last week I've been trying everything I can to fix it,but I think I'm going to have to try a factory reset.
Is there any way to recover any if the files and programs on my computer (eg photos,Microsoft office) before I try it?

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JBJ
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Re: recovering files/programs

Postby JBJ » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:10 pm UTC

Yes...?
Photos, documents, and other files, you can simply copy to a USB thumb drive or some other location. That is assuming you can access the file system, of course.
If you can boot into Windows at all, even into Safe Mode, that's the most convenient way to get in and copy them off.
If you can't boot into Windows, other methods are available with varying difficulty and extra tools/resources needed.
- You can take the drive out and slave it to another computer (requires a separate adapter. Can often be found for $20 or less, or borrowed if you know someone who has one)
- Or you can use a boot CD (Ultimate Boot CD is one the better ones) or a bootable USB key.
- Or you can create a parallel installation of Windows if you have a Windows installation disc.

However, most of your programs you'll probably have to reinstall. Especially MS Office. They are so integrated into the operating system that you can't just copy the program files back in and have them work. Some programs might be able to work if you copy out the executable and associated files, but as a general rule, anything that was installed with a setup wizard is going to require reinstallation.

This is all without knowing what issues your are actually having. If the file system is hosed, you may need something like GetDataBack. If the disk is deteriorating, such as the head skipping on the platters or the motor is going, then I'd forego any of the above and start weighing the value of the files against the cost of professional recovery services.
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Rodion Raskolnikov
Alyona Ivanovna knows what you did last summer
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

Re: recovering files/programs

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:22 pm UTC

Sorry,I probably should have said I cannot boot windows at all,even in safe mode.

Thanks for your suggestions,I'll have a go and see if its something a person with the incredibly limited computer skills i possess can do.

The laptop is nearly four years old and was bottom of the range when I got it so I'm not planning on spending much to save it. The files are mainly convience or small sentimental value. I didn't really think many programs would be salvageable tbh.

As far as what the issue is,I have no idea. One night it was working fine,I tried to turn it on the following night and this happened. I assume its a virus,and I don't know a reset will work,but I'm running out of ideas.

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Now Dosoyevsky is here to teach you / About his problems with the philosophy of Nietzsche


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Carlington
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Re: recovering files/programs

Postby Carlington » Fri Aug 30, 2013 1:35 pm UTC

Could you use a thumbdrive with DSL or some similar distro on it, and copy the files out to an external drive that way?
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PM 2Ring
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Re: recovering files/programs

Postby PM 2Ring » Fri Aug 30, 2013 3:45 pm UTC

Do you have any bootable CDs you can test it with, even old Windows installation CDs?

As Carlington said, booting up with a basic Linux system on USB is probably the most convenient way to rescue your files. However, some computers can be funny about booting from USB, although a quick Google suggests that it shouldn't be a problem for an inspiron. But it should be able to boot from a CD, unless your laptop is really sick. And burning a bootable Linux CD is pretty straight-forward, assuming you have access to a machine with a working CD burner.

You don't need to know anything about Linux to use a basic rescue disk (but it can be helpful).

Rodion Raskolnikov
Alyona Ivanovna knows what you did last summer
Posts: 254
Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 11:01 pm UTC

Re: recovering files/programs

Postby Rodion Raskolnikov » Fri Aug 30, 2013 9:17 pm UTC

I don't have any windows discs to try but I'll give the Linux things a go. If that doesn't work I'll just have to lose them, like I said its nit the end of the world but hopefully this way will work.
Thanks for your replies.

Yo Rodja's kind of a dick, those are the facts / He murdered a pawnbroker with an axe
Now Dosoyevsky is here to teach you / About his problems with the philosophy of Nietzsche


~ ahammel

cphite
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Re: recovering files/programs

Postby cphite » Tue Sep 03, 2013 6:52 pm UTC

Rodion Raskolnikov wrote:I don't have any windows discs to try but I'll give the Linux things a go. If that doesn't work I'll just have to lose them, like I said its nit the end of the world but hopefully this way will work.
Thanks for your replies.


I would recommend trying Linux Mint or Ubuntu - go to either of their websites and you can download an .iso and also find a program that lets you throw that .iso onto a disc or USB stick. Boot to that; be sure NOT to install if you're asked. From there you can copy your files to another drive pretty easily.


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