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We had a power surge last Thursday night  which knocked out the computer. Both screen and computer appeared to be working but just not together resulting in a blank screen. Being totally computer illiterate I did what any self-respecting technophobe would do, I took it to my daughter's where No.2 granddaughter managed to get it up and running. Just one problem - a biggy. It's wiped back to factory settings. Files,  stored information etc. gone and most upsetting of all, all our precious photos going back many years. Everybody who we've spoken to says that they must still be retrievable I'd really love to think so.  Meanwhile I'm struggling to get on with a completely strange computer that  clearly hates me and doesn't do anything in the way I  expect it to and I'm fast losing the will to live.

 

 

Carole

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Carole, from one technophobe to another I haven't a clue how to help you. My knowledge of computers goes as far as how to turn them on and off :facepalm: I am so sorry you lost precious photos, I do hope they are retrievable for you

Take care x

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Carole you might need to see if there is a computer firm locally that can look at whether they can recover anything. This is why backups are so important. I backup my photos and videos and other documents to an external hard drive regularly. I did get some photos printed out from my digital copies a few years ago. Might have to take a look at choosing some of my best and doing that again. And although I share my videos on my YouTube channel the main reason I do them is because they are a lovely memory to watch of my holidays.

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These computer guys are very good and if they are retrievable they will get them and the rest of your files back for you.  Dont fiddle too much until you contact someone.

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Carole sorry to hear about your problems with your computer. Did you have your photo's backed up to the cloud, or hopefully to another hard disk? if so them they would be recoverable from there. If they were only stored on your PC then there is a small chance of recovering them with specialist software however you would need the help of an expert in such software. The one thing I do know is that the more you use the PC the less chance you will have of recovering the photo's. When files are deleted they are not removed from your PC hard disk, just the entries which point to where the files can be found, however that space is marked as free and can be used for any future needs, so the more you use your PC the more chance that something else will be written over the top of the files making them permanently unrecoverable.

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Good luck with getting everything restored, getting guidance from a computer technician sounds to be the best way forward. (Grendel may have a couple of suggestions when he sees your post too.) I bet you feel like this at the moment - :default_pcwhack: 

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I've used software called "getdataback for ntfs" before with good results, normall you can scan to see what it finds before buying. https://www.runtime.org/data-recovery-software.htm

As said the less you use the pc the more will be recoverable as files are only lost when the storage space is overwritten, untill then it's just not indexed in the file allocation table unless of course the initial recovery actively cleared the whole HDD before recovering.

 

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As future note, I partition my HD into separate portions, one having just windows on. 
Normally if anything goes down it just effects the windows partition. 
Rare in this country but maybe more in  the countryside is surges so I run my pc through an anti surge plug. 
Another idea is to use a usb thumb drive for storage for photo back ups

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Just wondering if you had set up and used Google Photos? If so, you're phone might already be syncing with that and may have uploaded any of the photos you took. Microsoft offer free storage on One Drive through Windows, and again, I'm wondering if you had set that up, as if so, many of your docs and images could be on that. These are what "Meantime" is referring to as The Cloud. 

I would take the computer a technician. My fears are that they may charge a fortune to restore what they can. If that happens, you can use free software called Recuva - more info here https://www.ccleaner.com/recuva which will look for recoverable files on your computer. I'm reticent to get you to try it first, as installing it may overwrite some of your data. Clearly, if the cost of a technician is prohibitive, this is worth a try. Best of luck.

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Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to offer advice. This is where this forum is so brilliant. Quite apart from providing  entertaining diversions from the bleak winter's days and covid misery, if you have  a  problem there's always members with a wealth  of knowlege out there only too willing to share it. When I say that I am clueless when it comes to computers I really   do mean clueless. I wouldn't have the first idea about back up which is why I've lost my photos. We do have a computer outfit in the vilage and it is my intention to call in tomorrow morning to seek his thoughts on the situation. The is the 2nd surge we have had in recent weeks the first one was in the early hour of the morning and the computer was fortunately turned off at that time. however, I will look to get a plug to protect the computer in the future.

 

 

Carole

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Carole, if you did take some photos on your phone, it's worth logging into Google Photos just to see if any of them have been uploaded automatically. If you already have a Google account like Gmail for instance, just use the same passwords. It's an outside chance, but you never know. Here is the Google Photos log-in page: https://www.google.com/photos/about/

Just click on the blue "Go to Google Photos" button, then enter your passwords and see what happens. If it's an IPhone you have, I believe they have their own similar storage site with auto-uploading, but can't tell you where the site is.

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Hi Carol surge protectors are essential  if your consumer box is old and has no surge protection it might be easier to have one fitted in your fuze/consumer box then all is protected. John

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yes i would reccomend an extension lead with surge protection, i have gone one or two steps further, all of my data is backed up on NAS drives (network attached storage) that are basically a box with several hard drives and a tiny computer interface, these are plugged into a UPS (uninterruptible power Supply) that runs them for up to an hour if the power drops out, these are also surge protected. the NAS uses a system such that if a hard drive fails you can plug a new one in and it rebuilds the files on it from the remaining hard drives, this setup is a bit belt and braces, but protects my data, that said, important stuff is still stored in multiple copies on several hard drives.

That said, there is software out there that can scan your hard drive and recover files that have had their headers lost, it does take time, i have recovered files from CD's that have stopped working (the file header section of a cd can run out  of space if you save files too many times. full data recovery from dead hard drives is possible, but expensive, as long as the hard drive is still working you stand a chance, as mentioned above, check for cloud storage as that is generally the default on most operating systems nowadays.

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Hi Addicted,

I presume that you are using a PC with Windows, but just in case you are on a Mac you can back up regularly in future to an external drive using Time Machine, which is part of a Macs in-built software.

I do hope you manage to recover your files.

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55 minutes ago, Hylander said:

Oh dear why did we dispose of the typewriter.   At least you did not have anything disappearing before your very eyes.:default_pcwhack:

I am guessing Carole used a camera for her old photos not a typewriter... :default_smiley-taunt014:

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1 minute ago, Smoggy said:

I am guessing Carole used a camera for her old photos not a typewriter... :default_smiley-taunt014:

I like to see Grendel moderate the forum on a typewriter :default_norty::default_rofl:

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Google Drive is similar to Microsoft One Drive. The handy thing about these cloud services is that as long as they're installed on all your devices, any photo's, documents, videos you take on one device, it's saved, and immediately available on any other device. And it's FREE!! How good is that?

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1 minute ago, Regulo said:

Google Drive is similar to Microsoft One Drive. The handy thing about these cloud services is that as long as they're installed on all your devices, any photo's, documents, videos you take on one device, it's saved, and immediately available on any other device. And it's FREE!! How good is that?

Nothing is ever free! It's amazing just how much data these companies collect about you and sell on to other people. 

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So what can they find out about me from my photo's that they don't already know? By having an account with them and using your computer, phone, whatever, you're giving all and sundry access to your data. It's a trade-off, convenience v privacy. By signing up, you're giving up your on-line privacy. It's up to the individual whether to take that trade-off. I'm not overly worried over what Google or Microsoft know about me. 

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I understand that, but I was making the point that nothing is free. For instance unless you have been very careful in the settings you chose, then your location will be stored along with the time and date that the picture was taken. This information is one of many sources that can be used to populate the location service on Google which tracks where you have been. this information can then be harvested and used to provide targeted advertising in programs such as Facebook, or Youtube etc.

Most people don't even realise it is happening and most will happily accept the terms and conditions when using those services because they want the "free" use. In most cases it is not an issue, but you need to realise that it is not "free". You are paying by letting them use your personal data.

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