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Disk clean-up has wiped my browser (newbie sign-up)


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#1 guyree

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:23 AM

Greetings fellow bleepers, I wonder if anyone can help me. I did 'disk clean-up' last thing before I went to bed last night and when return this morning my google chrome browser (and the priceless list of about 150 favorites I have accumulated over the years) has disappeared. I was met with a 'make google chrome your default browser' invitation, which I did. And came immediately here.
I have used disk clean-up (from the maintenance & performance subsection of the control panel) several times a day for the last few years. Never a problem. The key diagnostic fact for whoever is equipped to assist me is that that last disk clean-up was different from all the rest : it took ages and removed a numerically much larger amount of material.

Although a seasoned web browser I have a very low level of technical/IT ability : I am entirely discombobulated!

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#2 guyree

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:28 AM

i also notice the picture I have for the background on my desktop has gone too and a default desktop pic (the rolling green fields one) in its place. all my personal pics, documents music etc gone too.

#3 Donald.CNS

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:36 AM

That data is gone. I don't know what you did differently this time, but that data will not be retrievable unless you have a back-up image of your system.

You can try this, although I don't think it will work:

Click Start----->Type "Recovery", click on "Recovery" in the Start Menu and follow the steps.

Good Luck.

Donald

#4 guyree

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:43 AM

ok Don, I'll try that, just in case. As an experiment I am then going to log out of here, shut down my new chrome browser and run disk clean-up to see if it behaves normally. Or not. I'll be back here in 5 mins to report findings.

#5 guyree

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 06:57 AM

ok - well I didn't get to try the recovery step Don suggested : what occurred is, disk clean-up worked normally, I put my chrome back up, clicked on my BC favorite, and my computer shut down, restarted, and all my old settings and the old browser were back. As normal.
feel a little embarrassed for my freak out now! but, what happened? frightening stuff.

#6 Donald.CNS

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 07:19 AM

Ok, glad to hear it.

Once you get your system where you want it, create a system image disk. That way, you can always revert to it should something un-recoverable happen.

Thanks,
Donald

#7 Dolby

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:00 AM

I always try "System Restore" first. "Recovery" is something else. Try to "Restore" to a time & date previous to the problem.

http://support.microsoft.com/kb/306084

Look for the line →


How to use System Restore to restore Windows XP to a previous state
Click here to view or hide step-by-step instructions with pictures[/url]

Also there is a chance a malware "hid" your files, you can see this without disturbing anything by showing hidden files. Go to where your pics & stuff was, "My Documents" I'm guessing, when you open "My Documents", in the upper right hand corner, click → tools → folder options → "view" tab → tick "show hidden files & folders" → apply - see if that does anything.
By the way, when you're done, put it back to "do not show".

Edited by Dolby, 23 November 2012 - 08:57 AM.


#8 guyree

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:10 AM

thanks Dolby I'll remember that.
But does anyone understand how using clean-up in the usual way, could do this? a puzzle I think for all techies out there.

#9 Dolby

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 08:50 AM

If you're talking about the Windows Disk Cleanup, that escapes me. Something borked, that's for sure. I used it at first for a long time. . I have been using CCleaner for a few years now. Its much better. If you decide to try it, read the guide FIRST. ALL OF IT.

http://www.piriform.com/docs/ccleaner/ccleaner-rules

http://www.piriform.com/ccleaner

CCleaner has a seperate cleaner for:
disk

registry

restore points - (unlike the Windows function, which only deletes all but the most recent one, and the restore page only lists them one day at a time with a calendar, CC lists them all in one place, & you can remove or leave any ones you want)

uninstaller - (removes more junk left behind, like, empty folders)

startup - (msconfig)

wiper - (secure deletes data in free space - don't use unless you have something to hide)

Edited by Dolby, 23 November 2012 - 08:52 AM.


#10 hamluis

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:04 AM

Please...do not use the registry cleaner function of Ccleaner or any other program.

You also need to be aware that Ccleaner will eliminate your .dmp files. These files are useful and provide the basic information concerning STOP errors/BSODs.

Bleeping Computer DOES NOT recommend the use of registry cleaners/optimizers for several reasons:
  • Registry cleaners are extremely powerful applications that can damage the registry by using aggressive cleaning routines and cause your computer to become unbootable.

    The Windows registry is a central repository (database) for storing configuration data, user settings and machine-dependent settings, and options for the operating system. It contains information and settings for all hardware, software, users, and preferences. Whenever a user makes changes to settings, file associations, system policies, or installed software, the changes are reflected and stored in this repository. The registry is a crucial component because it is where Windows "remembers" all this information, how it works together, how Windows boots the system and what files it uses when it does. The registry is also a vulnerable subsystem, in that relatively small changes done incorrectly can render the system inoperable. For a more detailed explanation, read Understanding The Registry.
  • Not all registry cleaners are created equal. There are a number of them available but they do not all work entirely the same way. Each vendor uses different criteria as to what constitutes a "bad entry". One cleaner may find entries on your system that will not cause problems when removed, another may not find the same entries, and still another may want to remove entries required for a program to work.
  • Not all registry cleaners create a backup of the registry before making changes. If the changes prevent the system from booting up, then there is no backup available to restore it in order to regain functionality. A backup of the registry is essential BEFORE making any changes to the registry.
  • Improperly removing registry entries can hamper malware disinfection and make the removal process more difficult if your computer becomes infected. For example, removing malware related registry entries before the infection is properly identified can contribute to system instability and even make the malware undetectable to removal tools.
  • The usefulness of cleaning the registry is highly overrated and can be dangerous. In most cases, using a cleaner to remove obsolete, invalid, and erroneous entries does not affect system performance but it can result in "unpredictable results".

Unless you have a particular problem that requires a registry edit to correct it, I would suggest you leave the registry alone. Using registry cleaning tools unnecessarily or incorrectly could lead to disastrous effects on your operating system such as preventing it from ever starting again. For routine use, the benefits to your computer are negligible while the potential risks are great.Louis

#11 Dolby

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 09:35 AM

,,,was not aware of the .dmp files thing - thanx - I will investigate that more for my own uses...




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