should i go ahead with syustem restore?

  serisa 20:47 30 May 2011

My pentium 4 with windows xp has gone badly wrong... dont know why. Safe mode nor any other option will work. Ive also tried re loading windows but to no avail. This has happened to me once b4 but last time system restore gave me the option to do a back up but this time a destructive one seems to be my only choice Problem is i have 100's of special photos saved on hard drive. I know i was silly not to have them backed up and i had bought an external hard drive but someone stole the lead (yes, seriously... long story !) I have googled this issue and found loads of advice inc that have already tried and also photo recovery software which after a system restore may give me back some of my photos at least but the question i cant find an answer to is I have not yet done the system restore... should i go ahead and do it and hope for the best with the recovery software or is there any better oprions before the destructive system restore is done ? I am willing to pay if need be Thank you for any advice

  serisa 20:49 30 May 2011

Apologies for any typing errors... broken glasses at the moment and finding it hard to see !

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:57 30 May 2011

Safe mode nor any other option will work.

Repair XP by install over the top of existing system *your applications and settings will remain intact. *

  1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

  2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

  1. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

  1. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

  2. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

  3. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 20:59 30 May 2011

PS if setup does not find a system to repair do not carry on with the install as it will overwrite the drive

Instead take the drive out of the machine insert into an external cady and connect to another machine to recover your pictures.

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 21:02 30 May 2011

DO NOT use the system recovery disks

until you have recovered your pictures

If you do not have a XP cd see if you can borrow one to do the repair install.

  rdave13 21:09 30 May 2011

Get someone to burn a live linux/ubunto CD for you. Do not install it but just boot from the disc (very important). Connect your external drive and copy/paste your pics to the external drive. Have another PC to check what is recovered in the external drive before you do anything else. If all your photos are accessible then you know you have a backup of them. Once you're sure all your photos are safe then you can continue to do a destructive factory restore.

  serisa 21:12 30 May 2011

Thank you everyone for advice so far, this is great ! Perhaps I will explain why I had the lead to my external drive stolen as I know that sounds so daft plus someone out there might have some good advice to this issue too ! An ex boyfriend once had keys to my home, he doesnt now unless has had copies made (maybe time to change locks). He had come to my home and did something on my desktop so everything I did could be viewed from another pc (to the best of my knowledge) including my photos. I think he took the lead to my external hard drive as anything I saved to there he would not have been able to view... what I should have done was save to cd or memory stick. Once (and presuming I am able to recover photos) would a system restore stophowever he is able to do this). Or is there anyway of telling if he still can ? I do have a full version of avasti virus protection but this didnt seem to stop him gaining access. I am on my daughters lap top at the moment and (as far as I know) he does not have any sort of remote access to this machine

Thank you

  rdave13 21:52 30 May 2011

Reverse remote access. This will give you info on what is needed to enable it, click here

You'll need to buy a caddy. Get someone who knows what type and size your exrernal drive is. If it is in a case you should be able to open it and remove the hard drive. Install in the enclosure (caddy) and use the ubuntu live disc to backup all your photos. Do not install ubuntu/linux just boot from the disc.

  rdave13 21:57 30 May 2011

Various enclosures available, Amazon: example only.

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