OK so where to start.
I have a 5 years old (approx) Acer 7750 laptop. I have been using AVG as my antivirus of choice.
I also have an elderly Dell laptop which is what I am posting from right now.
A few nights ago a popup appeared on the Acer, asking me to restart the system following (I think) some sort of AVG update.
I was really busy doing something so I hit "postpone" & carried on with what I was doing.
Later, I just closed the lid of the laptop so no proper shutdown happened.
I went off to work the next day, but when I got home, I discovered my 12 y.o. son had been playing a game (Ship Simulator Extremes) on the laptop, and had switched off properly when he was finished. He had later tried to power back up but couldn't get the computer to start. His mum said they just put the computer down after that, I have no reason to doubt this.
Now what happens is the computer tries to boot to Windows, fails and starts the repair console. Safe mode also fails to start with the same results.
Startup repair runs automatically but can never fix whatever the problem is. I have tried system restore, but it says there is no restore point present, which seems strange. I stupidly have not backed up my files, or saved a disk image though.
I have tried numerous "fixes" found online involving the command prompt, all to no avail.
My next move is to restore the laptop to factory settings, but before I commit to that, and lose all of my data, I want to move a number of files from the laptop to a secure drive, so I carried out some research, found a program called Knoppix. Made myself a Knoppix Live disc, and gained entry to my files. Yeehaw, or so I thought. 5 minutes into transferring the files to my Seagate 500Gb external hard drive, I suffered an unexpected power failure, which switched the laptop off without warning, mid-job, but not the disk drive.
Powered everything back up only to find that the hard drive, although showing in My Computer (F:), it no longer opens, instead asked to be formatted, although I was able to see how much space was left etc.
Decided to look some more online and decided to run chkdsk on the drive. Found and fixed numerous errors then appeared to hang on a statement saying something about repairing bitmap errors. Left the computer for a while, returned - still the same. Googled this, and found that particular repair could take a long time, so left it going overnight.
Turns out a Windows update decided to run during the night, and restarted the computer as it was (I assume) still running chkdsk.
Woke up this morning with the computer powered down into standby mode, and the external hard drive also powered down.
Have re-started everything tonight, but my computer does not recognise the hard drive any longer. The drive lights up when you plug in the USB cable, but there is no notification of it being plugged into the laptop, in any of it's USB sockets, and I cannot find the drive either in My Computer, command prompt, disk manager or device manager.
This has been an absolute disaster, and I am fast running out of ideas and really need a white knight to offer some advice which preferably does not involve:
A. Formatting my external drive & losing all of it's data
B. Reinstalling Windows to the originally failed laptop and losing all of it's data.
C. Buying a new hard drive/laptop.
Please help me...