Service Pack 1 ruined everything

Discussion in 'Windows 7 Help and Support' started by Krackerjax, Mar 20, 2013.

  1. Krackerjax

    Krackerjax New Member

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    So as you may all know, Windows 7 officially started to have Service Pack 1 start to automatically install on March 19. So it just installed for me last night (without my permission)... and It screwed me good and hard. I have lost pretty much every single preference on my computer.

    Browser bookmarks, teamspeak bookmarks/preferences, wallpaper, every single desktop icon that isn't a shortcut to a game.

    And, worst of all, every single file/folder I had on my desktop. Gone. Just gone. I was a lazy guy and my desktop was COVERED in files. Over 100GB I would wager.

    Is there any way to reset any of this? Are the desktop files stored anywhere? Is Service Pack 1 supposed to do this? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
    #1 Krackerjax, Mar 20, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2013
  2. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi

    First right click on the desktop and select View, make sure that "Show Desktop Icons" is turned on.

    Check your C:\Users\User Name\Desktop.... folder and see if there is anything in there.
    That's where actual desktop items are normally stored unless they are a link to another location.

    If you have a system restore point from before it happened (Windows is supposed to create one when it updates if you have system restore turned one) you can try restoring to that.

    If none of these help come back maybe someone else will have an idea.

    Mike
     
  3. Krackerjax

    Krackerjax New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. "Show desktop icons" is indeed on, I have a few shortcuts still visible.

    When I go to check the actual desktop folder it just shows what I now have on my desktop: Nothing.

    I have no system restore points. From what I can gather, system restore is supposed to be turned on by default (is this correct?), but mine was off after Service Pack 1. So I have no points to go back to.
     
    #3 Krackerjax, Mar 21, 2013
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2013
  4. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Hi Krackerjax: Sorry to hear you're having difficulties with the SP1 auto-install. I haven't had any Customers who have encountered any problems from the auto-install. However, I do have a Customer whose laptop I just finished working on who has Win7 and encountered an Internet Explorer auto-install throught MS update from about 2 weeks ago. IE 10 failed to install correctly, and Win7 reverted to using IE9; however with one glitch, and that is his Earthlink webmail began randomly crashing. I tried downloading the IE10 manually and completing the failed install; that didn't work. You cannot unintall IE9 from within Control Panel, so I tried downloading an OS-appropriate version of IE9 and reinstalling. STill didn't fix the problem. My recommendation to the Customer was to use Chrome browser for using his earthlink E-mail app. for now. Only other solution I could offer him was to reload his Windows7 from recovery disk. I also tried using System Restore, and that often doesn't solve IE problems, nor problems from mis-installed Service Packs.

    By the way, it's worth noting that on many computers (both desktops and laptops; you didn't mention which you had) that come with Windows7, System Restore is turned off out of the box. I'm not sure whether the manufacturer specified this or not, but some Win7 systems DO have System Restore turned on and running. I've been using System Restore since before MS incorporated it into their Windows OS; you used to have to buy from a 3rd party company back on Windows98 and Win2000. One thing I've noted over the ensuing years, has been that relying on System generated Restore Points is not a reliable restoration method. Yes, many install programs including the auto-installed programs that are downloaded to your computer (such as SP1 and IE10 for example), set a Restore Point automatically as Mr. Hawthorne mentioned, however, system restore points often don't work, and of course they have no chance of working if your computer manufacturer has chosen to turn that feature off when your computer shipped from the factory.

    What I would suggest is a two-prong approach; try some items I will suggest to rebuild your system, or if you've never done this before take your computer to a reputable Computer Store who employs A+ Certified Technians (Best Buy Geek Squad is nationwide, and they used certified technicians).

    Before attempting any rebuild on your computer, try to login to your windows desktop and backup as much of your personal information (music, documents, pictures, videos, etc.) to an external hard drive, CD/DVD discs, or flash drives as possible. This is the #1 rule of computer repair. Once you feel comfortable with having your information backed up, you can proceed with reloading your Windows7 OS from Recovery Discs if you have them, or from a built-in Recovery Partition already provided on your hard drive by your computer manufacturer. If you've never reloaded Windows before from either of these methods, you might try getting a knowledgable computer expert friend to help, or again take to a store that uses certified technicans who do this regularly.

    Ordinarily, the easiest method is to find the disc or discs that came in the box your purchased your computer in. If you did not buy your computer new, you will have to ask the person or store you bought your computer from if you can for those discs. If you bought your computer new, those discs would have been in the sealed box your computer came in. If you bought used, many people do not sell the discs with a used computer since they lost long ago or threw them out not aware of their value when the computer broke down. For most computers Windows7 has between 2 and as many as 10 DVD Recovery discs. Older systems such as WindowsXP only had 1 recovery disc and usually it was all on a single CD disc.

    Ideally, you can then insert the disc labeled disc1 into your main optical drive (DVD drive), and Windows7 will come up with a launch screen that will offer you 2 options; repair the Win7 installation or delete the existing Win7 installation and install a factory copy from scratch (be aware that if you do this, it erases everything on your hard drive, hence the precautions in the beginning to backup all of your personal information).

    If the DVD disc does not boot, you'll have to go into the BIOS setup program which controls the internal workings of your computer. This is done through a keystroke or two, usually the <F1> or <F2> or other function key on your keyboard. Once in the BIOS setup program you need to look for and change the boot priority setting to boot from the DVD drive. If you have never used the BIOS setup program before or you get in but can't find the boot options screen, you'll probably need to get expert computer help as I mentioned before. If the DVD disc does not boot, you cannot reinstall your Windows7 and your stuck until you get outside help.

    If you can get the Windows7 setup program to get into the Reinstall option, it will warn you that you'll be erasing all of your windows files, settings, and personal information from the computer and it's a one-way trip etc. You do want to erase everthing (except the Recovery Partition itself), and make sure you go through the delete partition-and format hard disk sections. Again, if you've never done this, get expert help. If you've done Windows reinstall before, also ensure that when you format the hard drive, select the "NTFS" option and not the "FAT32" or "NTFS QUICK" options.

    Once the hard drive is formatted Windows7 setup will pretty much take over the installation process, and will extract all the files and menus from the various DVD discs and will ask you to remove and insert Disc 2, then Disc 3, etc. until you go through all the discs in the Recovery disk set. Along the way, you will have a chance to enter your User name, a password for your windows logon account, date, time, timezone, other basic settings and some basic information on your network access method to the Internet. After 1-3 hrs. or more and the feeding of all your recovery discs into the computer, and several reboots, you will get to your new Win7 desktop.

    From there, you can begin installing all of your programs and data, however, I strongly encourage you to download and install 2 items prior to doing that. First, download and install the SP1 for Win7 from the Microsoft web site, and then second, make sure your Windows Update option is turned on. This will download and install all the other updates you need for Win7, but should ignore the SP1 since it will find all those files installed on your hard drive already. Make sure to turn on your System Restore, and test it by creating a Restore Point AFTER you install your SP1 manually.

    Now you are good to go at re-installing all of your programs and restoring (copying back) your data (personal information) back onto your hard drive. Once this is done and everything seems to be working ok, re-install or download and purchase a quality Internet Security program, such as Norton, McAfee, Avast, or TrendMicro. Most of these guys offer a 15-day to 30-day free trial so you can try out their products and keep your computer safe on the Internet. After the trial expires you'll have to purchase the product and they prices range from $30-$80. Annual subscription renewals vary from $50-$60. After all the work you will be doing to reinstall your computer, the last thing you want is to have a virus get in your rebuilt computer and wreak havoc before you get a chance to even use it!

    I don't know your level of repair experience, so I'm just giving you an overview and let you decide on how much you can do yourself, or if you need expert computer help as I stated above. If you brought your computer to me and you asked me to do it, this is the process I would follow to fix your problem. It's probably a lot more drastic than you thought, but the good news is, it can be fixed!

    Reply back to my post if you have any questions or need further help.

    Best of luck,
    BIGBEARJEDI
    :D
     
  5. MikeHawthorne

    MikeHawthorne Essential Member
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    Hi again.

    Check your computer and see if there is a Windows.Old folder.

    I'm not hopeful but when Windows upgrades it creates a windows.old folder that has your old desktop items and a lot of the contents from the old install.

    This is a long shot here but if you know the file name of some of the files that are missing you could download Agent Ransack, (a very good search utility) and have it search your whole hard drive for some of the missing files.

    I have found things I thought were gone forever this way but as I said it's a long shot.
    But I don't know what else to try.

    Agent Ransack - Download

    I searched and I can't find any other case of W7 updates causing massive data deletion.

    This is very weird.

    In the future, buy an external USB hard drive (they are very inexpensive now) and back up everything important to it.
    You don't have to use a backup utility just copy the really important stuff to it and turn it off.

    I have 3 of them and they came in handy a few months ago when I got hit by lightning.
    I only have them turned on when I'm copying to of from them.

    Mike
     
  6. BIGBEARJEDI

    BIGBEARJEDI Honorable Member
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    Hi Guys:

    Mike I think you have a good idea about searching the Windows.Old folder for files. Krackerjax could also use the PhotoRec tool that's on the UBCD linux tools CD. He can download for free at PhotoRec - CGSecurity. It has a free companion file, TestDisk which can also help recover other lost files such as music and word documents from a damaged partition. I've recovered up to 1,800 photo files from hard drives brought to me that were considered "unsalvageable" after system crashes or virus damaged. This is a great tool and it's free. It won't recover all those desktop files saved directly on his desktop, but, it's another worthwhile recovery tool.

    Also, agree about the W7 SP1 data corruption. I just received in a laptop yesterday from a brand new Customer whose latpop suffered from the same data corruption caused by the auto-push update of SP1 from Microsoft. Just occurred 2 days ago. After going through the laptop (Acer Aspire 7736z) thoroughly, it appears that the SP1 caused the laptop to hang on windows login--message on screen says "...SP1 Update failed, trying to restore to previous state--Do Not Turn Off Your Computer".

    Further investigation showed that there were no other Restore Points set other than the auto-Restore Point set by the SP1 installer. I know for a fact that the last Acer Aspire I did back in December did NOT have System Restore turned on from the factory, as I had to enable it while trying to repair a very nasty video freezing problem. The Aspires from 2009 all appear to have their Restore Points disabled at ship-time as I mentioned in my previous post.

    With that in mind, I attempted to run the SP1 installer Restore Point to see if I could revert the W7 to it's previous state before the SP1 push from a couple of days ago. System Restore appeared to work, and indeed it rebooted and said SP1 was installed. But after attempting to login to W7 it got hung up again with the same error message as above. Reboot into Safe Mode shows SP1 was NOT successfully installed.

    The SP1 Restore Point generated by the Installer has worked in other cases for me, but, not in this case as it turns out this laptop's hard drive was cooked, and diagnostics show it has hard sector flaw read errors on it. Hard drive log show it was over-temped at 222.8 deg. F. about 60 deg. too high and has permanent damage. Aspires and most laptops hard drives typically fail within 3-5 years, and this laptop is 3-1/2 yrs. old. Very typical.

    So, the point here is that if your System Restore was never turned on, the SP1 Installer generated Restore Point is only reliable IF, and that's a big "IF", you do not have hardware problems inside your laptop; in this case a defective hard drive. Good news for this Customer is that I was able to back up all her information to my external hard drive (*another reason Mike's suggestion to get one makes sense*) and have ordered her a replacement drive. I will have to do a complete Windows rebuild in this situation.

    On the Aspire I repaired back in December, it too turned out to have a faulty hard drive, but after formatting the hard drive and reinstalling W7 from recovery disc set, I was able to manually get SP1 installed and Auto-Update running (Auto-Update had failed and was not working priior to W7 reload). So, I thought my problems were over (before I replaced hard drive), and tests showed the hard drive was only mildly over-temped); so even though I got the SP1 problems resolved, I continued to have the freeze problem--this was finally resolved by replacing that hard drive.

    So, what I'm saying is that even if you DO resolve the SP1 problem on your laptop, you should either run diagnostics on that hard drive or have a computer expert do for you. If you have a great deal of problems recovering your data using Mike's recommended program or the PhotoRec/TestDisk programs I recommended, don't rule out the fact that you could be fighting a failing/aging hard drive.

    If you don't have any luck getting your information back, I would suggest you consider sending to an outside data recovery company, such as Geek Squad *Best Buy* or OnTrack in Minnesota. This will cost you $250 or more, so the information really has to be worth getting back to you to do so, but that is a decision only you can make. Many of my Customers who have years of irreplaceable family photos (no backups) or business tax information on their computers have had to go through this and it does work pretty well. You won't get 100% of your stuff back, typically between 75-98% but that's better than nothing.

    Hope my insight helps you out. Good Luck!!

    Best,
    BIGBEARJEDI :thumbs_up:

     

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