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Deleted OS


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#1 kimcheej

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 01:57 PM

Hello! I had Vista deleted from a laptop. Unfortunately, there were files that were not saved externally. If I reinstall the OS, is there any way to retrieve those deleted files? I have a tough time believing there isn't still a trace of them on the hard drive. Any help would be sincerely appreciated! Thanks!

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#2 Eyesee

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 02:56 PM

Hello and welcome to the forum!

If you reinstall the OS you run a good chance of overwriting these files.
Best bet is to do nothing to the drive at all. Attach it to another tower system and see if you can recover the files that way. You may need an adapter if the drive is IDE

Recuva is a good program for doing this
www.recuva.com
In the beginning there was the command line.

#3 kimcheej

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:11 PM

Excellent. Thank you. What is IDE? And I would assume, because the OS is gone on the old machine, that I would download something like Recuva on the hard drive of the laptop I will attach the old one to? I am sorry if these seem like obvious questions.

#4 Eyesee

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:29 PM

There are two types of interfaces for hard drives, IDE or SATA. It has to do with what type of connections are used to connect the drive to the motherboard.

I am not a Vista fan, nor do I normally read the Vista forum but how do you know that the OS is gone?
What happens when you try to boot up?

You actually dont want to attach this drive to another laptop. Theres no room for two drives.
The best and easiest way to do this is to attach the drive to a working tower computer. Then you can use the working tower to run Recuva on this drive. I have used this technique to pull data off of peoples hard drives many times.

But it is important to know the circumstances behind what happened and what happens when the system tries to boot.

Remember, the less you do to the drive at this point the better. Your data may be sitting there still intact and accessible. It may not be deleted at all.

Give us more background info.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#5 kimcheej

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:41 PM

When I turn on the laptop, the screen is black with an "operating system not found" message. I know there was an attempt to remove it before I could I could get any files off of it. Perhaps the files are still there, I hope. From what I have read, I can use an IDE connector from the laptop to a tower ( once you mentioned the IDE, I went and tried to find information about what exactly it means- I am barely computer literate) to possibly extract the data...motherboard to motherboard? So, I do understand, I think, what you are saying. And I have high hopes that it will work! Again, thank you. I hope I gave you enough information. Thanks!

#6 Eyesee

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 03:58 PM

Pls post the make/model of the laptop so that we can determine the type of hard drive interface it has.

Do you have access to a tower system that you can use?
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#7 kimcheej

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 04:23 PM

It is an HP entertainment pc dv6000 and I do have a tower I can attach it to- an Ibuypower and a Compaq.

#8 Eyesee

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Posted 12 January 2011 - 05:33 PM

Here is the manual on the ssytem that shows you how to remove the hard drive. It does not tell us however if the drive is IDE or SATA.
It should say on the top of the drive.

If its IDE you will need an adapter for about 5-10 bucks. Then you can disconnect the data and power cable temporarily from one of the towers and attach the drive to it. Here is a tutorial on how to do it.

If it is SATA and the tower supports SATA hard drives you will need a SATA data cable (also inexpensive. Then you can attach the data cable to the back of the drive on one end and to the motherboard on the other. Then attach a power lead from the power supply.

Either way, you can then power up the system and see if you can read the drive.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#9 kimcheej

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 12:33 AM

You are amazing! Thank you so much for including a link to the manual. I believe it is a SATA drive, based on the number of pins, and configuration of those pins. So, I basically need a SATA connector cable? I am, also, mulling over sending the laptop to a data recovery service. The quote I received was $500. That seems excessive. But, it is an option. I want to recover a few files I had. But truth be told, there is one group of files I wish to explore... and I don't truly need to see the content, so much as the file names. Do you personally have a data recovery service? I am a little afraid that I might corrupt any file by simply trying it myself, although , I am not in the slightest bit saying it isn't worth a try.

#10 FrankOtheMountaiN

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 09:54 AM

Throwing my 2 cents in. Couldn't she boot with a linux disk to recover the files?

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#11 Eyesee

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:01 PM

You could use a Linux distro if you want to try it.
I wouldnt pay 500 bucks for something that you can easily do youself. No, I dont personally do data recovery.

If the drive is in fact SATA all you need to do is to connect it to a SATA connection on the motherboard and attach a power lead. The system should automaticall detect the drive. The connections are keyed and will literally only go one way. Just make sure that the system is off.

It may well be that the data is still there and that only Windows itself is damaged.
You wont know that untill you connect it to a system and try to access the drive.
In the beginning there was the command line.

#12 kimcheej

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:35 PM

Will do. I purchased three seemingly different SATA to IDE connectors which all claim to accomplish the same thing. I know, it's overkill, but I want to be certain I purchased the correct cable. The reviewers all claimed to have success accessing dead hard drives, so, I have high hopes. If that fails, I will certainly try purchasing Linux Distro before possibly sending it off for recovery. I kind of figure, if I cannot manage, then the data probably isn't there and it would be pointless to try any further and spend an exorbitant amount of money. But, I will be very pleased if I can get back what was lost. Thanks, again!

#13 ThunderZ

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 02:38 PM

If that fails, I will certainly try purchasing Linux Distro before possibly sending it off for recovery.



No need to purchase a Distro. There are many safe a free options of Linux should you need\decide to give one a try.

#14 Eyesee

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Posted 13 January 2011 - 03:05 PM

Keep us posted and if you need help you know where to come.
A lot of people have read this thread. We are all rooting for you!
In the beginning there was the command line.

#15 kimcheej

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Posted 14 January 2011 - 12:05 AM

It is truly appreciated. However, the hard drive appears to have been removed and my files went with it. There isn't much of a chance for recovery now. I suppose sometimes people have a little too much to hide. But, thank you for your effort and help, it was useful and appreciated. I am sure it would have worked out in the end with all the advice I received! If I ever recover the drive, I will definitely see what I can do.




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