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Lost directories on HD

I have several problems which have arisen in the past few days.  The most bizzar and troubling is the I have lost a number of directories on my hard-drive.  Fortunately, I have most (but not all) of the files on my laptop.  The directories on my desktop have just vanished.  

Here are the changes I have made recently.  

1.  I have installed an active-sync program for my new Dell Axim X3i PDA.
2.  I have installed a program called Super DVD Ripper off of the internet.  
3.  I have installed a system analyzer called Aida22 to work on another hardware problem Callandor was helping me with.  
4.  I have replaced my old CDRW with a Sony CDRW & DVD combo and have installed the Nero Express 6 software that came with it.  

The main reason I replaced my CDRW were that the old one was accessing periodically (light flashing) without my having any disk in it or trying a read on it or on the DVD.  The second reason was that it was so slow that it would not burn a disk I put into it giving the reason that the disk media was too fast for the drive.  

A second problem I am having is that I cannot seem to burn a disk with my new CDRW.  That one I am still working on, and could be a learning curve issue with the new software.  

I am very troubled about the loss of data on my harddrive.  
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bobsing060797
Asked:
bobsing060797
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1 Solution
 
CallandorCommented:
Some of the programs in this list might be of help recovering files: http://www.experts-exchange.com/Hardware/Q_20900970.html
I have used GetDataBack successfully.
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shaggybCommented:
are the folders hidden?

in a windows explorer windows goto tools> folder options>view tab>check the show hidden folders and files....do they re apear?


what os are you running if you have an nt based os   winnt 2k or xp then on a command prompt run chkdsk c:

if in a 9x system  95 98 me run scandisk


and yes if they have been de allocated in the fat table then you have to run a data recovery program......
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Thanks again Callandor.  

If you recall, you helped me recently on a DVD sound problem.  In the process of exchangign the order of the DVD and the CDRW, my 22 year old daughter forgot to plug in the power connection on the DVD and then did so while the computer was running.  It caused a blue spark and shut everything down.  I had to buy a new power supply because of it.  But I also suspect that it caused my loss of data.  

Fortunately, I had a backup from a few weeks ago from which I could restore most of the lost data.  Then, I got one of the programs on the list and found most of the other files.  Thanks.

I am now wondering whether I lost directories of software as well.  May I have lost some of WinXP Pro which will show up in strange ways?  

Do I need to do a reinstall of it?  

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CallandorCommented:
I would say yes, you may have lost directories, and that includes system files.  A repair install will fix that, without losing what you have now: http://www.dougknox.com/xp/tips/xp_repair_install.htm 
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I went to Doug Knox's site, printed his suggestions for a repair install.  That install did NOT complete.  At 2 places it indicates a possible problem.  
First it does a Chkdsk on the C Drive.  It says that the type is Fat32, says it finds no problem, and lists the size of the Fat32 as 32k.  

It then says that setup is being restarted.  When it comes back on, it says setup will take about 39 more minutes, go about 60% through the devices, blanks the screen for about 1 second, then says that the Nvidia Vanta/Vanta LT had not passed the Logo test.  After I say OK, it asks for the driver on CD.  Then after I gave them the disk for the NVidia, it blanks the screen for about a second again, makes NO further progress on the device window, and does a restart of the computer (and restarts teh entire process again).  

I cannot get out of the setup program.  So, I am now typing this from my laptop.  What should I do now?  


Once I said OK it asks for the driver.  After I supply it on CD, setup
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CallandorCommented:
Have you tried a different video card?  That power zap may have affected more than your hard drive.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I will go buy one and try it.  

Can you explain why I keep getting the CkDsk?  I got it a couple of times in the last few days after using the software to find lost files and before I tried the repair reinstall.  I recall during the finding of lost files I was asked to choose FAT1, or FAT2 or "No FAT".  Could I have messed up something there?  

I am not even positive whether my XP Pro is running on FAT32 or on NTFS.  Can you tell me?
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CallandorCommented:
Your chkdsk never finished (probably because of the other problem with the video card, perhaps), so the system tries to pick up where it left off.  If you have a faulty video card, it needs to be fixed first.  To find out if the disk is FAT32 or NTFS, in Windows Explorer, right-click Properties on the disk in question.  That message about FAT1, or FAT2 or "No FAT" is strange.  Better wait on that while the known stuff gets fixed.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
OK I am going out to buy a new video card now.  I opened both of the other desktops in the house.  They both have their video on the mother board.  I guess that I am fortunate that mine is on a card.  :-)

Later
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I put the new video card and turned it on.  Then it went back through a ckdsk and then back into the Repair reinstall.  Then it powered down at the same point as before.  What should I do now?
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CallandorCommented:
Are you able to take the disk out and hook it up as a second disk in another system, and then complete the chkdsk on it first?   After that, you can put it back in the original system.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
The chkdsk seems to complete with no errors noted.  Then the control is passed to the Repair reinstall.  The reinstall then goes about 60 % of the way through the process of checking the devices when it comes to the problem with the video or video driver.  At that point it does a reboot and starts the process over again (a full chkdsk, some reinstall and 60% of the device reinstall).  Each time it does a reboot at the same point.  
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CallandorCommented:
Ok, since you have changed the video card, you need to change the driver.  Boot into safe mode, uninstall the video drivers, and reboot.  When prompted, install the drivers for the new video card with the drivers supplied.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Sounds good.  But I have a few questions that may need to come first, which stem from the quickstart pamphlet for the video card.  It says that before booting to Windows I need to check/change some things in CMOS.  Here are my questions.

1.  Is CMOS the same as BIOS Setup?
2.  It says "Set Assign IRQ to VGA to:  Enabled.  I could not find that in BIOS setup.  
3.  It says to set AGP aperture size to 1/4 the size of the memory on the video card (which by the way is 32 MB).  I could not find where to set that.  The former card had 16MB on it.  
4.  It said to set the video palette noop to:  Disabled.  Couldn't find that.
5. It said to set AGP side banning to:  AGP 4X or 8X.  Couldn't find that.
6.  It said to set Shadow Video BIOS/ROM to: Disabled.  Couldn't find that.  

Could you tell me where to make these changes?  The only one they said for me to set that I found in my BIOS setup was to set primary Display/Video adapter to: AGP (which is what it already was).  

Thanks a lot.  

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CallandorCommented:
1. Yes
2. If it's not there, don't worry about it
3. If it's not there, don't worry about it
4. If it's not there, don't worry about it
5. If it's not there, don't worry about it
6. If it's not there, don't worry about it

Your BIOS is not advanced enough to have these features, so they don't apply.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I tried to boot to Safe Mode and it scrolled a lot of lines on the screen in black and white.  Most of them started as follows.

multi)0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS\System32\Drivers\
then each ended with a different dirver.  The last one on the screen is Mup.sys

It is now frozen.  What next?
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
The line just before mup.sys was viaagp.sys.  Since it said agp, I thought it might be video and therefore relevant.  

Just before the 24 drivers on the screen, it says:

...Windows\AppPatch\drvmain.sdb           if that helps any.  

It just tried to go into safe mode and gave me a message.  

Windows XP Setup cannot run under Safemode.  Setup will restart now.  

It is waiting for me to press OK.  

What next?
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Pressing OK restarted setup and brought me back to the Repair Reinstall.  It is now asking for me to place the Windows XP CD back in the CD and press OK.  This is where I have been many times in the loop.

What do you suggest?

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CallandorCommented:
Can you try booting this system with a Win98 floppy and see if that works?  You can make a bootable floppy from www.bootdisk.com.  If that works, download and run the diagnostic program from www.memtest86.com.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I downloaded and ran the boot98.com which seemed to work fine.  It said that it had downloaded (or was it "installed") some diagnostic programs.  I have memtest86 on the floppy as well.  

I ran install.bat, and it is asking me to enter target diskette drive:

Is that a: or c: or what?

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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Sorry, I misunderstood earlier.  I have now run memtest to put memtest on the bootable floppy.  I restarted the troubled machine with the floppy in a:.  

The tests are running.  What in particular do you want me to tell you about the results?
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CallandorCommented:
Let it run for a few full cycles (that will take a while).  I want to know if it fails.  You have a lot of errors happening, and it sounds like you might have more than one equipment failure.  Of course, when something happens that's enough to blow a power supply, it's not surprising.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
It has run for over 2 hours so far and is just about to finish Pass #4.  It shows no Errors and no ECC Errs.  I am glad to let it go as long as you suggest and/or to tell you any other items on the screen.  Just say the word.  

Thanks.
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CallandorCommented:
Three full passes is enough - it's not a guarantee that the RAM is good, but I wanted to see if it would fail right away.  If you have compatible RAM from another machine that works that you could swap in, I would want to try the reinstall and see if that has the same problem.  If it does, then it's not the RAM.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I do not have compatible RAM from another machine, but I did let it go another 2 full passes (5 in all, 3 full hours) and it showed no errors at all.  

If the video card did have a problem, it makes since why the reinstall had a problem while handling devices and why the screen went blank.  It also seems reasonable that it would fail again there if it found the wrong driver for the new video card.  I suspect that was your logic as you had me try to uninstall the old video driver using Safe Mode and then install the new driver at reboot.  The problem (it seemed to me) was that the Reinstall blocked that process.  

Is there a way to get out of the Repair reinstall so that we can uninstall the old driver and then install the new one?
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CallandorCommented:
I missed this note in Microsoft's Repair Install document:

"Do not perform a repair or in-place upgrade to repair a component or program that is not currently installed. If you can, use Add or Remove Programs in Control Panel or reinstall the component or program instead of Windows."

Having two problems simultaneously has complicated everything.  Your video card was probably affected, as well as your hard disk.  There was no way to know beforehand, although sparks jumping are not good in general.  I have never had a repair install go bad before, so this is new to me.  If you can get the data off by setting it up as a second disk in another system, then it looks like a new install is the only way to make everything right again (and I would do it with the new video card).
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I am pretty sure I can set the drive up as a slave on another system.  So, I will proceed with that and then the new install.  

By new install, are you meaning that I reformat the drive first, or is there an easier way?
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I am reposting this because I received notification of the posting of this message, with the note at the top that it was intended for you but that it was redirected for development.

I  am pretty sure I can set the drive up as a slave on another system.  So, I will proceed with that and then the new install.  

By new install, are you meaning that I reformat the drive first, or is there an easier way?
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Calandor please read my last 2 posts.  The notification that was supposed to go to you for both of those posts was sent to me "for development" whatever that meant.  
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Callandor, I am copying critical directories to another computer.  Are you suggesting I completely format the disk for a clean install, or is there an easier way?
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CallandorCommented:
Yes, I am suggesting fomatting the disk for a clean install, after copying the important stuff.  I think Experts-Exchange is having a glitch in their system with that notification "for development".
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
Should I include an FDisk first?  
Could you lay out the exact steps for a clean install?

Thanks.  BTW I am increasing the points.
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CallandorCommented:
Well, since the disk is suspect, I would say yes, in case a partition table was affected.

Include your new video card in the system.
Boot from a Win98 floppy and delete all partitions.
Change the BIOS to boot from a CDROM and insert your XP disc to do a new install.
Let it run and it should use all of your hard drive.
Install the video card drivers when prompted.
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bobsing060797Author Commented:
I did a full F-disk, format and clean reinstall of XP Pro.  I still have a lot of reinstalling all of the software that I use routinely.  However, it appears that all is working fine now.  Thanks for the help.  

Bob
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CallandorCommented:
Ok, glad you got it working.  Don't forget to close this question.
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