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  1. #1
    Lounger Beachin's Avatar
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    Real Mess on my hands, looking for some direction

    Hi, I am new here. I found you by searching the internet for help. I spent three weeks on Seven's Forum and then my problems apparently he couldn't handle. It all started when I kept creating new passwords to keep people out of my system. Then I forgot it. Then I found out how to get in and missed the step where you change the do something before you change the password and I also didn't turn the cmd.exe back after turning it into magnify.exe.

    Bottom line. It all started from Microsoft and their downloads and them logging onto my computer as administrator and moving. So, now what I have are locked accounts everywhere. I have files all over the place. Somehow I have a complete copy of the computer computershot.PNG well see there, showing on the disconnected network drive. I just installed a new router and btw, I have no idea why it is showing disconnected.

    I do all my work on my computers and I have the Wii, Roku, two computers and my NetTalk Duo coming tomorrow. I installed Outpost Security Suite yesterday. It may be causing more problems. I had a shut down today. I also got a hotfix from Microsoft that put both of my systems into BSOD and caused memory leaks. They have assigned someone to me and I don't know where to start. I lost all my SQL Data files on a different hotfix. All of my emails and files whether they are in appdata or just somewhere on my system I can not find. When the hotfix took my other computer out, it is Vista, I had such a hard time getting it back up I had to go all the way to the point of almost re-installing my operating system. It wanted to back up my files first so I let it, knowing that I probably didn't have enough room on my external hard drive.... So, it bricked it. I was able to recover it by going in and selecting hidden files and deleting all the shadows usb devices. That recovered it but now I can't get it to show up anywhere again, not under my computer, manage, devices, and nothing shows under my computer.....

    I want to back up everything but not in this state. My plan is to upgrade to Windows 7 Professional. I have a copy of it that I have a license to and I can do a new install to that which is better then the Home Premium I currently use. It came from the manufacturer with Vista and then I got the disc to upgrade so from the start things have always been sort of strange. But at least it worked right and I knew where my files were. Now they are all over the place. I have lost privileges, I use to have inherited... everything is a mess.

    Can anyone begin to give me a starting point and get this thing in order, find my external hard drive to use it and get things backed up so that I can start over with a new operating system. Somehow without loosing all my pertinent information??? Oh, an now, btw, when I log on I get a popup that says that I logged on under a different password, weird....

    I really would love and appreciate any help....
    Last edited by Beachin; 2011-08-26 at 08:14.

  2. #2
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    Hi Beachin,

    Welcome to the Lounge.

    I am sorry about your issues. Seems you have quite a messy situation there. I would definitely go for a clean installation, the issue being how to save your data. To do that, I would get an application like Acronis True Image (even the trial version) or EaseUS Todo Backup (it's free) and create a boot disk with them. I would then shutdown Windows and boot from the boot disk and create a full image from your current install. This will create a complete backup of all your stuff and with either app, you can have a way to even restore individual files. This would also be your safe point, because you could restore the computer to its current state, in a worst case scenario, or just use the file browsing ability each of apps allow to restore your data, once you have a working OS.

    The backup done and verified, I would proceed with a clean Windows 7 install, even going with the option to format the disk. Once you get WIndows 7 installed, patches applied and all, you can simply restore your data from the backup.

    HTH

    Regards

    Rui

  3. #3
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    Beachin, I would also like to welcome you to the Lounge.

    I also think Rui is correct. You have to do your backup Image from outside of Windows. I use Acronis True Image Home for my Imaging needs. Another free app that gets a lot of exposure here is Macrium Reflect. I would Image everything, but instead of Formating the drive, just install the Win 7 Pro directly over the existing OS. When you do a custom (clean) install of Win 7 directly over your existing OS, the installation will create a folder called windows.old directly in the C Drive that you can open just like any other folder without the password. You can then drag the data to the appropriate areas of Win 7. After installing Win 7 (prior to getting your data from windows.old) do all your updates, customizations, install all your apps, get Win 7 set up the way you like it, then you can get all your data including Favs, Pics, Documents, contacts, email, everything. Once you have gotten everything you needd, simply delete the windows.old folder. One other thing I would do prior to installing Win 7 is to export your email to a .csv file and save it on the same drive as your Image, then you can import it into you new mail client. (be advised Win 7 does not come with a native mail client. This allows you to choose one. I chose Windows Live Mail and love it.

    If your copy of Win 7 Pro does not include SP1, you can download the iso file that includes SP1 and use your existing key to activate it. Just burn the iso file to a DVD and you are set.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  4. #4
    Lounger Beachin's Avatar
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    I already have the full paid version of Easeus Total Backup 2.51. I don't know about doing it on disc's as my CD player is a mess too. The big thing is, I have literally at least 20 Microsoft programs downloaded that I have not burned the images to disc. I take classes and so I am a member of ACM and with their free downloads have collected quit a few programs that I want to use and learn more about. If I could just unbrick my hard drive. I know how to go into the program in computer/manage and into the device driver but still it doesn't show up anywhere. I also have all my licenses somewhere on the system and I have done searches for them and I have many files and folders to look at. Some of them may require that I use older backup programs. But some of them are on the external hard drive. It's working. Just can't find it in the computer. Will, after I install a completely new operating system that work or will getting all my programs etc. just put it right back to the state it's in now? I mean, I thought if I did the systems image backup that that is what I would get back. The one I currently have.... I also have Easeus Partition Master Professional. Will that help with anything. I just got them both not too long ago. That is when I did my last backup. I was preparing because I knew that I wanted to install Windows. 7 Professional. I have so many things that are lost in memory somewhere. Will I be able to hunt and peck through that stuff on a new install? I do already have two copies of Windows 7 Professional burned to disc and I have the licenses for those.

    Oh, Ted, just read what you wrote. You make it sound so easy. Any information on drivers and that. I have hunted and hunted and printed up tutorials form Sevens Forums and tried to find them and not had a lot of success. Half the people say use Windows drivers and half say don't. What about Virus protection. I am worried about that. I just don't trust Microsoft anymore. I actually was chosen to do a Windows 7 release party and got the package and everything through them. But watching what they have done to my system once I got Windows 7.... They put me out of business, between them and HP over the Vista debacle. Four different laptops made by HP, two different printers. And one desktop that blew up and smoked! I lost my business, my house. Now if I don't hurry up and get this fixed I will loose what's left and be in the streets. I have to get back to work on a stable computer but I have very little to no income to do it with so I need to do this right.
    Last edited by Beachin; 2011-08-26 at 14:04.

  5. #5
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I think you may have been taken by some sleaze balls pretending to be MS experts. Installing Win 7 was the easiest OS I have ever installed, and I started with 3.1!!! Just make the Image and go for it. If something doesn't work, the Image will get you back to where you are at present. Make the Image, then put in the Win 7 DVD and start the install. You will be surprised how easy Win 7 installs. After you are back up, have the apps you really need and used installed, have all Win 7 updates installed, and have your Win 7 customized, make sure you create an Image of the new OS. This will allow you to get back to the pristine Win 7 installation in a matter of minutes. I found that Win 7 includes more drivers than any other OS to date.

    Even if it does not install the latest drivers, it will install default drivers that will allow you to boot and go to the manufacturers site to download the latest drivers.

    You say you can't use your PC in it's present condition. How much worse would it be if you have a problem with Win 7.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  6. #6
    Lounger lostwages's Avatar
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    Wow! Sounds like you're too far down the garden path to meltdown for my meager abilities;
    but this may be a help to recover some of your software license keys:
    Download and install Belarc Advisor from http://www.belarc.com
    Run it and print out the results. It has a section that lists most installed software keys.

    The advice on imaging your current HD from ruirib and Ted is sound, just make sure you have
    a large enough external HD to save it to.
    knowing that I probably didn't have enough room on my external hard drive....
    You probably should consider getting a new one,
    but now I can't get it to show up anywhere again, not under my computer, manage, devices, and nothing shows under my computer.....
    they're fairly inexpensive now, I've seen Terrabyte ones for under $100. Hopefully a new external USB HD will install correctly under your current OS and be recognised.

    Once you have a good back-up image and a clean Win 7 install, it should be able to recognise both the new and old external drives.
    Good luck.

    One more thought...
    I installed Outpost Security Suite yesterday.
    If you installed this without first UNinstalling any previous anti-virus program you may have had installed, they'll fight with each other and give ya another whole bushel of problems.
    Last edited by lostwages; 2011-08-26 at 15:32.
    Happy Computing,

    Rich

  7. #7
    Lounger Beachin's Avatar
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    Further explanation

    Hi, I really appreciate your input but you two aren't really reading what I said. First of all. I would love to do a backup. Show me please how to find my External WD hard drive. It worked fine prior to the download of Microsoft's Hotfix. Then I had a session on the phone with an upper level guy with Comcon at Microsoft. That's who they sent to help me after I filed a complain with the Attorney State Generals office. He had me go into my computer management after enabling show hidden files and folders. Then I deleted "shadowed" copies of USB devices that were apparently causing my external hard drive to not show. Then it was back. Now it's gone again. I can't find it anywhere on the computer. I had already given it the X drive....

    It's not that I think Windows 7 is hard to install. I'm sorry if you interpreted it like that. I have installed it before. I don't want to install Professional or any operating system over this until I can get all my information. Belarc I have used and would use to get my license keys but since I had 4 different computers crash and then finally moved to Mexico for a year after loosing everything Belarc does not pull up software that hasn't been used in some time. While I was in Mexico they downloaded something and my entire database is now gone. I can find parts of it but I don't have the faintest clue on how to set it back up. When I try to find my SQL Data Base it's like it's now on a virtual drive. I'm going to post some snipping's I took to further explain, the first is what I get after I log in using my log in, this old log in isn't even from this computer as I haven't used that login for at least three years.

    usernameerror.JPG

    The next one show the error message that I got when I tried to check my backup on Eauses shortly after recovering my external hard drive, which is now gone again....

    Capture.PNGeaSEUS error message.txt

    Now, if I could get my external hard drive back, if any of you can offer any suggestions there. If I could figure out what the heck this is, my Y: drive is my virtual drive. How come there's a complete copy of my computer there? It never showed that way before until after my system crashed. That's this picture: eaSEUS error message.txt?

    Are some files there that I can't find on my computer? And the other thing I would like to know is how to search for old email from
    Outlook that has been archived. I did a search and tried to look for it but I can't find anything from past 2010. I stopped using that domain then because it was my business domain. I don't have the website anymore. But I had very important email in there. For one thing all my licenses might be there as I can't look on my external hard drive.....

    Installing Windows 7 Professional on top of this is not the issue. The issue is getting the things out of here that are crucial to start up my business again before I do it. So please gentleman. Any help would be great. I would have responded a lot sooner but I have put so much time into this and ended up no where. I spent three weeks with a guy over on Windows seven performing every test he could think of to make sure that there was no malware or virus's on my computer. He would not believe that this all happened the way it did. I literally jumped at his every command I was so desperate for help. Now, I can go back and read that three week long post and see all over again, he never answered the questions I asked him on day one up until I told him my hard drive had been bricked. He then pretty much dropped me without getting those answers because I guess he just couldn't figure it out. He really didn't listen and he kept arguing with me. He had me so upset one day I finally just broke down and cried and went to bed. This was after being up for almost 48 hours. I did all those things but they took a lot longer because I didn't have administrative rights and so many files were locked and messed up. I would try to get into something somewhere and get locked out. Then I would read up and research how to do it, things like figuring out how to get into the cmd.exe (due to the password recovery issue. (I don't know how to get back the cmd.exe. If I select it now it is my magnify.exe) so finally I found a way in but it wasn't at C:\windows\system32 I had to figure out how to get there, a few come up and well here, I'll show you an example of one of them.

    onecmdwindow.PNG

    I have no clue what that is but I thought I had to be at the windowssystem32 prompt.

    Anyways, the bottom line is I knew what had happened, I know it wasn't a virus. I just did everything he asked because I figured once he was satisfied there he would move past that and help me. My lack of sleep and intensity was just too much for him. I finally found your site and I am hoping you can read my questions and you can provide me with some solutions.

    Thanks, if you have any questions ask please.
    Last edited by Beachin; 2011-08-28 at 04:04. Reason: pictures covering text.

  8. #8
    Lounger Beachin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lostwages View Post
    Wow! Sounds like you're too far down the garden path to meltdown for my meager abilities;
    but this may be a help to recover some of your software license keys:
    Download and install Belarc Advisor from http://www.belarc.com
    Run it and print out the results. It has a section that lists most installed software keys.

    The advice on imaging your current HD from ruirib and Ted is sound, just make sure you have
    a large enough external HD to save it to.

    You probably should consider getting a new one, they're fairly inexpensive now, I've seen Terrabyte ones for under $100. Hopefully a new external USB HD will install correctly under your current OS and be recognised.

    Once you have a good back-up image and a clean Win 7 install, it should be able to recognise both the new and old external drives.
    Good luck.

    One more thought...

    If you installed this without first UNinstalling any previous anti-virus program you may have had installed, they'll fight with each other and give ya another whole bushel of problems.
    As for that, no, I read the instructions. I uninstalled the other antivirus software and firewall first.

    and as to this, "The advice on imaging your current HD from ruirib and Ted is sound, just make sure you have
    a large enough external HD to save it to."

    And this

    "knowing that I probably didn't have enough room on my external hard drive.... " that you quoted back to me

    is because I have my entire desktop on that hard drive. It is 500GB. It is the one that got bricked. That is why I need to figure out to unbrick it.

    I have another one for my laptop. It is full too. Everything would be fine if the systems image that I had just taken a week prior I could now get to....
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2011-08-28 at 12:38. Reason: Extraneous Information

  9. #9
    Lounger Beachin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ruirib View Post
    Hi Beachin,

    Welcome to the Lounge.

    I am sorry about your issues. Seems you have quite a messy situation there. I would definitely go for a clean installation, the issue being how to save your data. To do that, I would get an application like Acronis True Image (even the trial version) or EaseUS Todo Backup (it's free) and create a boot disk with them. I would then shutdown Windows and boot from the boot disk and create a full image from your current install. This will create a complete backup of all your stuff and with either app, you can have a way to even restore individual files. This would also be your safe point, because you could restore the computer to its current state, in a worst case scenario, or just use the file browsing ability each of apps allow to restore your data, once you have a working OS.

    The backup done and verified, I would proceed with a clean Windows 7 install, even going with the option to format the disk. Once you get WIndows 7 installed, patches applied and all, you can simply restore your data from the backup.

    HTH

    Regards

    Rui
    Rui, I'm confused, I guess I don't understand what a systems image on a disc will do, I thought that would be exactly what I have now... So, if I install Windows 7 Professional and then back up the image I'll be right here. I currently have Windows Home Premium. Won't I just be reloaded an operating systems that I have all kinds of errors on if I do what you are suggesting??? Please explain further....

  10. #10
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    Hi,

    Before you start anew, it's good to keep what you have, so that at least you can return to it, in case you need. In the current situation, the image will keep all your existing files, so you always resort to it to recover your data files, as you can mount that image as if it were a disk and copy from it all the files you want or need.

    Since your system is in such a bad state, I suggested a format before installing windows. That would mean you'd lose all the contents you have now, so I think it is wise to save those contents within a disk image.

    Once you get the new Windows 7 installation working and all your personal data restored and you no longer need the image, you can delete it and create a new one. Imaging is one of the best strategies to regularly backup your system and many Lounge members use it.

  11. #11
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    I believe you have to start from scratch. Reinstall Win 7 while wiping out what you have. I really believe you have gotten a nasty virus/malware that toasted your system. It's hard to believe these problems came from MS. There was something residing on your system already that toasted your user account and a bunch of other stuff. A complete format and reinstallation should solve that problem. If you do not have an installation disk, you can download the Win 7 iso file with SP1 already installed from Digital River. It is a rather large file and took a while to download. Simply right click on the iso file and choose burn to disk to burn it to a DVD.

    Because your Win 7 installation is toasted, Rui has suggested creating an Image before you start so that if you need to go back to the toasted state you can do so from the Image. The reinstallation should make that unneccesary and you will be able to delete that Image. It's always a good policy to create an Image before any major change, just in case. Hopefully you have been backing up data right along.

    I know it's frustrating, but since no one on the Lounge can actually sit down with your PC on a workbench, it's difficult to solve severe problems remotely. That's most likely why the Windows Seven Forum people could not. You have landed here with a system already in such bad shape that very little short of a full reinstall will have any hope of succeeding. Most of us have seen problems like this brought on by virus infections, and the symptoms you are describing are symptomatic of these type of problems.
    Last edited by Medico; 2011-08-28 at 07:28.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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  12. #12
    Lounger Beachin's Avatar
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    Sorry, I thought you guys would at least give me some advise about getting external hard drive back, If I have malware then why do I have two email with these at the end, Support Escalations Engineer
    Global Escalations Frontier Team
    Working Hours: Monday - Friday, 1pm - 10pm CST
    * E-mail:

    That by the way comes with a name and an email address, I just didn't copy that part. I have no warranty through them. They are helping because of the situation. I have documented proof and believe me, that is what it takes to get that department to call you and send you emails. I just want some things fixed faster and I am tried of waiting on their schedule. I would like to back up my computer and reinstall windows. The only thing slowing me down is my external hard drive problems.

    You all apparently would rather believe that something like Microsoft doing something wrong never happens then help someone. I know fully well that I have to do a clean install. That is not and has never been the issue.
    Last edited by Just Plain Fred; 2011-08-28 at 12:40. Reason: Ranting and Flaming

  13. #13
    Plutonium Lounger Medico's Avatar
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    First, you do not have any simple questions. You most likely cannot see your ext HD because of the mess your PC is in. That is NOT a simple question. We can not lay hands on your PC to try to figure out what is going on with it, so everything we suggest is a guess based on your somewhat convoluted description of the problem combined with your rant about MS. If you prefer you can take your PC to a local tech and pay a large fee to have him tell you the same things and then fix your problem. I'm sorry our free advice from long distance can't hit upon an answer that pleases you.

    Because you are frustrated with both our Lounge and the Windows Seven forum is no reason to bad mouth our attempts at solving what you describe as "A real mess on my hands" I suspect your "Real mess" was well established before you tried to solicite free advice from either forum. I also suspect that once you format and reinstall Win 7 you will be able to see your ext HD.

    Good luck in finding a solution. If you continue to alienate all forums you visit, I suspect you will never get much help from any forum.
    BACKUP...BACKUP...BACKUP
    Have a Great Day! Ted


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    You really didn't want to read. With a boot disk, created by the imaging app, you would boot to a totally Windows free environment, perfectly capable of handling external hard drives. You could then backup.

    You obviously didn't want to read. Also, you seem to take the worst possible attitude for someone who came here looking for free help, which was provided but, indeed, a reading and understanding ability, free of any pre-reading bias, is always a requirement. I guess it's always easy to blame others. Whatever gets you through the day .
    Best of luck to you.

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    Given what has been offered very helpfully to you, and your responses Beachin, I would advise you to tuck your computer and disks under your arm and visit a good computer solutions store. Sit with them and explain, listen and watch what they do [if they let you.]

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