Hello. I'm new here. While I'm probably more computer-savvy than the average person, I'm nowhere near an expert.
I'll try to describe my problem with as much detail as possible (sorry in advance if I include things that are irrelevant). My machine is an HP (Mini, I believe) netbook with Windows 7 Starter.
About a week ago, I downloaded a program called Andy OS (bush-league mistake) that brought along with it another program called VMWare player. Immediately, my computer started screwing up; I had the speaker icon disappear, and when I tried to reinstall it on the toolbar, the option was greyed out. I had an "unidentified network" appear in my list of available networks. I just decided to rid myself of the hassle. When I tried to uninstall Andy OS, it didn't uninstall like a normal program--it kept flashing a message on the screen, and even after it disappeared from the program list, the icon kept popping up on my desktop, and if I clicked on it, a suspicious message from VMWare Player popped up. Having encountered similar problems before, I went into the registry to delete folders associated with Andy OS, but even when the registry stated that there were no more results to be found, the keys seemed to almost reinstall themselves. So I went Rambo on the thing, and, letting my emotions get the better of me, started to delete folders and keys related to Andy OS (not a problem) and VMWare Player (here's where it gets bad). Against my better judgment, I started deleting just about any key with the word VMWare in it, which led to me deleting vital keys to operate my keyboard and mouse. (I hadn't known that VMWare could just relate to something normal and not the company name of that stupid program--duh.)
I did this in safe mode, so now anytime I try to boot either normally or into safe mode, I get to the login screen, but I can't type or move the mouse--nothing but shutting down using the physical button. The only things I can get into are the boot menu and the command prompt. I did a system file check, and it gave me the message that it could do a repair but that I needed to reboot the computer. I did this a few times, only to keep receiving the same message. (The keyboard and mouse work on the DOS screens and in the HP Recovery manager--just not in Windows itself.) I tried to do a system restore, but it says there are no restore points (????), and I also tried to reset it using an image of the hard drive, but again, it says there are no images. The only option I can see would be to do a factory reset. In HP recovery manager, when I choose the option of saving files before resetting the PC, it tells me that there isn't enough room on the partition for temporary storage during compression (the files add up to about 47 odd GB). I have a 64G flash drive that apparently can't be used because of this.
I tried to download a copy of Knoppix from a torrent that was recommended to me by my stepbrother, who's much more knowledgeable than me, to help with the file recovery. I only had my boyfriend's computer to do it with, though. I thought since we'd both used Linux before, he'd be okay with it. Nope. He had a fit--which didn't matter in the end anyway, since BitTorrent couldn't open either Knoppix file I obtained (I used the University of Kent's mirror service).
Umm...so...since I can't get to my files, and there's supposedly no room at the inn on the recovery partition, how can I save my files before resetting Windows? I have work that's taken me countless hours on my system, and (yes, I'm an idiot, if that wasn't already apparent) only some of it's backed up externally (on a separate 32G flash drive)...so obviously just resetting willy-nilly is a figurative pain I can't bear. Any ideas? I'd really appreciate any insight and assistance I could get. Thanks so much for reading this.
Edited by ohevshalomel, 14 February 2016 - 11:36 PM.
Moved from Win 7 to Backup/Imaging - Hamluis.