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Old 01-26-08, 06:39 PM   #1
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Why Did My Computer Erase Everything?!

Hey guys,

I bought a new computer (HP) a couple months ago. It has worked great.

However, I just now logged onto my Windows desktop, which is password protected. I get onto the desktop, and everything is generic. The background is a typical windows background.

All of my personal files are completely gone. My work resume. My scanned photos. My digital photos I took of vacation trips. My video footage I imported into my computer for digital editing. Any written documents. It's ALL gone.

However, older programs I have downloaded, whether it's Webroot, Picasa, etc are still here. But, that's it.

My favorites in my browser, and the cookies are also gone too.

The computer DOES still work just as well as it did before. But it's almost as if my computer has re-started itself.

Is there any clue as to what could've happened??

One more thing that I should add...there are two users for this computer (another family member has their own account/user). I just went into her account, and her desktop is perfectly fine. Same background. Documents still there. AIM is still on the computer. Has her favorites. But everything on my side is gone.

Any help would be great.

Last edited by PacMan2006; 01-26-08 at 06:43 PM.
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Old 01-26-08, 06:56 PM   #2
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Well, just a guess, but maybe you didnt use the right password?
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Old 01-26-08, 07:03 PM   #3
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Thanks for the response. I definitely used the right one, though.

Here's something I just noticed. I clicked on my recycling bin, and noticed ALL of my personal files were there. My photos, documents, videos. Even my shortcuts. All 500 + items. I am restoring them now.

But I still don't understand what happened to my computer. Why did the background change to default? Why are my cookies and favorites gone? Why did the computer attempt to delete all of my files?
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Old 01-26-08, 07:28 PM   #4
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Do you have any firewall enabled? Some sort of privacy protection software on it? If not, you better buy one and beef up your computer security.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:22 PM   #5
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Sounded at first like you had some issue with your profile, but I've never seen that place files in the recycle bin.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:34 PM   #6
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Yes, I have fire-wire. I even have a secure wireless connection.

At this point, I'd just love to know how something like this could happen. If maybe there is something that was pressed in Vista that created the issue. The computer was fine yesterday, and everything was in order.
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Old 01-26-08, 09:43 PM   #7
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I've never heard of anything deleting your items and putting them into the Recycle Bin. Sounds more like someone did that purposely
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Old 01-27-08, 01:48 PM   #8
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Did you and the other person have a fight? Never seen that happen but you're lucky no one emptied the recycle bin.

You definately need to back up your files onto a large thumb (or other) drive.
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Old 01-30-08, 02:20 AM   #9
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Sounded at first like you had some issue with your profile, but I've never seen that place files in the recycle bin.
I agree. Sometimes your user profile will get screwed up for some reason, and when you try logging on to your computer, you'll be logged in as a new user. When this happens, you'll most often find that XP has created a new profile. So if you originally logged in as "JOE", Windows will create a new profile called "JOE.1" or "JOE.COMPUTERNAME". All your "stuff" is still there in the "JOE" folder in "Documents and Settings", you're just logged in as someone else. If you don't have the knowledge of how to fix or transition the profile via RegEdit, your best bet is to simply copy all your stuff to the new profile manually via drag and drop.

Although I've seen what I just described several times, I've *never* seen it dump anything into the Recycle Bin. My guess is either a hack attack or maybe the cat jumping on the keyboard. Who knows?
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Old 01-30-08, 09:38 AM   #10
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its definitely your profile and your stuff should still be there.. most common thing is that you may log in with a different account, or as 'administrator' or something.

Depending on your operating system - your files may be in C:\Documents and Settings or something... try browsing the subfolders there..

Never seen windows 'wipe a profile' with all contents....
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