Asus laptop sets itself back to factory settings

  bristolgirl 10:51 15 Nov 2011

Hi all. Hope that you can help me yet again!

My Asus X52F running Windows 7, set itself back to factory settings last time I restarted it. It seemed to do end of windows updates when it was shutting down. Fortuantly, I was able to restore it to an earlier date.

However, I am now terrified of shutting the laptop down and then starting it up again. I have my photos, documents and music stored in clouds but it would be of course, a real nuisance to have to re-register everything again.

I would very much appreciate any suggestions as to why this could be happening, if at all possible and how I can stop it from happening again. I know it is a bit ask! Also, any recommendations of any backup software would be useful too I guess, as I am thinking, it would be nice not just to use clouds.

Many thanks in advance!

  Ian in Northampton 15:38 15 Nov 2011

What do you mean when you say that it reset itself to Factory Settings? From your post, it seems as if you're saying that it went back tp o 'ex factory' condition, with all your files disappeared? What exactly happened? What changed from how the machine was when you turned it off to how it appeared when you started it up again? Usually, reverting to factory settings would mean, I would think, that for example there would be no restore point for you to restore to? It seems strange, but I probably haven't properly understood...

  rdave13 15:39 15 Nov 2011

As for backup you could use an external hard drive and if you only need to back-up photos, music and docs you could simply copy and paste to the external hard drive. As for the laptop resetting to factory settings I'm puzzled as you were able to do a system restore.

  bristolgirl 16:29 15 Nov 2011

Gosh, I am so sorry, I guess that I didn't mean factory settings but that is what is looks like. If I go into a program, it is like I am doing it for the very first time.

I'm afraid I don't know exactly what happened, other that I had a message, not to switch my laptop off, as windows needs to do updates. (This took ages) and again, when I restarted, there were more updates happening.

I am so sorry for being confusing and I know that my problem is a bit vague but I am really worried that it is going to happen again.

I do appreciate your answers and help!

  Ian in Northampton 16:55 15 Nov 2011

I'm no expert in Windows updates, but it sounds as if the update may have caused one or two weird things to happen. I'd guess that they won't happen again next time you restart.

When you say that opening programs was like you were doing it the very first time - can you be more explicit? Had the programs 'lost' the recently-used documents list, for example? Or had you customised their appearance, and now they've gone back to how they were (e.g. in Word or Excel, specifying that you don't want to start with the start-up task pane)? What programs were involved?

But anyway: it's good reminder to do regular backups of your system. I know you said you store most of your 'stuff' in The Cloud, but even bookmarks can be a pain to restore - ditto cookies.

As rdave said, you could hook up an external hard drive and save important stuff to that. Or, if you don't have much stuff, copy it to a DVD (I assume your laptop has a DVD writer?)

But NOW is a good time to do it... :-)

  bristolgirl 17:19 15 Nov 2011

Many thanks for your thorough reply Ian.

The programs I had opened, which appeared to be the first time of using them, were, Itunes (it asked me to register, as if I was a new user) Google Chrome (it didn't appear to register that I had used it before at all), avast and sugarsync etc. That's about as far as I went before restoring. My biggest worry was sugarsync, picasa and Dropbox, as these are the clouds where I keep my photos and Docs etc. I don't use word on my laptop and as far as I know, with the exception of google Chrome, I haven't customized anything. I don't have a lot of stuff, so I think I will take your advice and backup to a DVD. Do you have any software recommendations for doing this?
Many thanks again!

  Ian in Northampton 18:17 15 Nov 2011

At a guess - and it IS a guess - I'd say that the update has wiped your cookies folder. I say that because the programs you talk about are online programs, and probably rely on cookies to know that you've been there before. If I'm right, it's no big deal - it'll just be a bit of a pain to have to re-register with those sites again.

As far as backing up is concerned: if your laptop has a DVD writer drive, it almost certainly shipped with the software you need to write to DVDs. Look for something like Nero. That'll enable you to just drag and drop files to the DVD. The trick is knowing which files. For Chrome favourites and cookies, it's not as straightforward as you might hope - Google how to back them up (you need to make copies of a couple of Chrome directories, and then restore them should you need to). It's not as easy as the import/export facility on Internet Explorer.

I just checked: it looks like your laptop may have shipped with 'Power2Go', which is DVD burning software.

  bristolgirl 18:28 15 Nov 2011

Thank you so much Ian for your time and support!

Looks like I have my work cut out for me tomorrow. Very interesting what you say about the update wiping out my cookies folder. That makes a lot of sense and I am so sorry that I was confusing in explaining it.

I can't find Power2Go but I'm sure that there must be some DVD software on it somewhere. (Hope I didn't get rid of it, when I deleted some bloatware)!

The Chrome thing sounds horrid. I've a feeling I'm not going to find it easy to get my head around it all. I think I'm going to need lots of luck!

Many thanks again!

  birdface 18:37 15 Nov 2011

Not been loosing time or date on your laptop have you.How old is it.Maybe CMOS battery needing replaced.

  Ian in Northampton 18:51 15 Nov 2011

Buteman: I think it was only introduced at the beginning of the year (it was very well reviewed too...)

Bristolgirl (my wife's a Bristol girl - well, Weston/Mangotsfield anyway...): I'd bet you did delete Power2Go - it would certainly have the appearance of bloatware... But not to worry: Google for free DVD burning software - there's plenty about. You could probably do worse than:

For backing up your Chrome stuff, read here:

It's just a question of identifying the relevant user directories for Chrome on your machine and copying them. Then, when you come to reinstall Chrome, you just copy your directories back to their original location, overwriting the blank ones. I've done it - it's easy enough, just not as easy as doing the same thing in IE.

  bristolgirl 09:22 16 Nov 2011

Thank you both Buteman and Ian!

Buteman, my laptop has been changing the time and date by itself! It's a new laptop though, so do you think that this cmos battery could be the cause?

Ian, many thanks for all your help and support regarding my backups. Especially the stuff about Chrome. Is there anything else I should be backing up as an essential besides my browsers (Chrome and Firefox) and my photos, docs & music. Really worried about it all!

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