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Windows 8 Update - Reset Computer Like New

Posted on 2014-04-29
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Last Modified: 2014-04-29
The computer rebooted overnight (I assume to complete a Windows Update) and everything was gone. All my files, user information, added programs and all my settings.  It looks like a new computer today. Does anyone know how this could happen? Is this a known issue with the Windows 8 update.

Samsung ATIV Book 9 NP900X3E-K01US 13.3-Inch Ultrabook
Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-3537U CPU U at 2494 MHz (x 4)
Windows 8 x64 Edition 6.2 (build: 9200)
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Question by:smihelp
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by:rindi
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Your description suggests a factory reset was done. If you open up the explorer as administrator, and visit the \user folder, do you see the user accounts you had there before?
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by:Ken Butters
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From what I've been reading... sometimes windows will lose some of the Library Shortcut's after an update.  I believe the libraries concept was introduced with Windows 7.

It could be possible that you have lost your libraries, (which can be recreated fairly easily), but may not have actually lost your documents?

To confirm, can you navigate to the following folder and see if it exists?

C:\Users\<YOUR USER NAME>\Documents

Do you see any of your files/documents in that location?

If not... another possibility is that a hidden folder may have been created at the root of your drive called "$INPLACE.~TR"   In order to see this folder, you have to configure your folder options to be able to view hidden files/folders.   That folder contains files/Folders that windows may store that that it deemed were safe to delete as the result of a windows upgrade.
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by:smihelp
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Hi Ken,  I don't think it was a Library issue. The computer was completely reset like new. Everything I installed myself was gone. Office, LogMeIn, Adobe products, Dropbox, etc. all needed to be re-installed because they were no longer on that computer.  The user account was created when I signed in with my Outlook.com email.  The only other user account is C:\Users\EasySurvey. I think that is a Samsung thing. My User account C:\Users\MyUsername\  had no files in any folder. The C:\Users\MyUsername\Documents folder was empty and before the reboot I had about 5 GB of data in organized folders.
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by:smihelp
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I don't see the "$INPLACE.~TR"  file on root C: with View Hidden Files enabled.
Capture---EE.PNG
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by:smihelp
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Looking at the Event Viewer it looks like something happened at 11:58pm the night the issue occurred. Here are the Warring Messages:

Profile notification of event Delete for component {DE3F3560-3032-41B4-B6CF-F703B1B95640} failed, error code is ???.

Profile notification of event Delete for component {D63AA156-D534-4BAC-9BF1-55359CF5EC30} failed, error code is The system cannot find the path specified.
.
Capture---EE2.PNG
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by:smihelp
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Here's the Windows Update History.
Capture---EE-Updates.PNG
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rindi earned 500 total points
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Normally a factory reset shouldn't be "automatic". But it is possible that your PC was hacked or otherwise compromised, which could have caused this. If you were using an m$ user account (which normally is the default on Windows 8.x), user data should be synchronized with your OneDrive cloud storage. So when you create a new account with the same login, at least user data and your desktop, etc should get synchronized back to the PC (provided it hadn't also been compromised).
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by:smihelp
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I don't believe it was physically compromised but I agree that it looks like the computer was reset to factory defaults. I wasn't using my Microsoft outlook.com account. Before the issue I was using a local account that I created when I originally setup the laptop. After the issue that login and password no longer worked so I entered my outlook.com account and it logged into the computer but all my data was gone.
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by:smihelp
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Would Windows 8.1 cause this issue since it re-installs a new OS instead of just updating it?
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by:Ken Butters
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No... When I updated to 8.1 ... in did not destroy user data.
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by:McKnife
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Please make sure you understand what a refresh does and what it does not do. Applications would not survive a refresh, but user data would. So unless someone has triggered a factory reset via a recovery partition, we wouldn't lose data. BUT: if it were a reset, the event log would not show old entries, and it does, doesn't it?

So something strange is going on or you don't report it correctly.
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by:smihelp
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The Event Log has a time gap from 05-02-2013 to 04-27-2014.  The laptop was purchased on 10-09-2013 so there's a lot of logs missing. I think the laptop was somehow reset to manufacture defaults using the data contained in the Samsung recovery partition.
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by:smihelp
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The Windows event log has a time gap from 05-02-2013 to 04-27-2014.  The laptop was purchased on 10-09-2013 so the logs before 04-27-2014 are only from the manufacture. I think the laptop was somehow reset to manufacture defaults.
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by:McKnife
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Like I thought: you talked of event log entries "of the night the issue occurred", now you say, it has a gap. Doesn't match. But anyway, it seems you gave up.
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