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Old 07-06-2011, 01:35 AM   #1
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Default Hard Drive Restored to Factory Condition without backing up files. Gone forever?

I had some problems with my Sony Vaio, my kid spilled soda on the keyboard. Not a lot, and I got it wiped up fairly quickly and it worked for a day. Then the next day the - key got stuck and on every text field it would do this --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I popped the key off and fixed that but then the cpu froze and when I turned it back on it took me to a screen that says "Edit windows boot options for: Start Vaio Recovery Center"


I can press enter to go into Vaio recovery but there is an option to press escape to cancel but it doesn't work. I think that key may have been damaged by the soda. I am going to try a USB keyboard and see if that works.

The problem is, when I entered Vaio recovery one of the options was to restore the hard drive to the factory conditions. It said it would delete all of my personal data. Like an idiot, I didn't use the rescue data feature first to get my files.

The message on the Vaio Recovery screen says this:

Restores the C: drive to its original factory condition. This process reinstalls all preloaded software, but not software installed after your computer was purchased. This program deletes all files on the C: drive, including personal data, but does not affect any other partitions"

I didn't have any partitions but I had a lot of personal data on my documents, mainly some photos that I would hate to lose. My question is, is all of this data gone forever or can a professional recover it?

Right now the CPU is still screwed up it won't boot up so I am going to have to take it to a shop anyways and probably use an external keyboard for the rest of it's life. I already bought a new laptop, but my main concern is the recovery of my photos.


Can anyone please offer any advice or information?
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:23 PM   #2
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Default Re: Hard Drive Restored to Factory Condition without backing up files. Gone forever?

I have NEVER used this program before, but it is freeware and totally legitimate, from what I've read:

Recuva - Undelete, Unerase, File and Disk Recovery - Free Download

If you feel unsafe, it's on CNET as well, so it's definitely OK to download:

Recuva - Free software downloads and software reviews - CNET Downloads

It recovers deleted files from your hard drive since the data is never really "wiped", but only allocated to be re-written by new data once you delete it. However, I do not know what actually happens when you restore a drive to factory default. Not sure if it's recoverable in this situation.

But it's worth a shot. Like I said, never used it, but it's free. I hope it works for you.
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Old 07-06-2011, 02:52 PM   #3
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Default Re: Hard Drive Restored to Factory Condition without backing up files. Gone forever?

The problem will stem from where those documents/photos were stored. If they were on the part of the drive that gets overwritten by the OS recovery, then they are indeed gone forever.
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Old 07-06-2011, 06:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Hard Drive Restored to Factory Condition without backing up files. Gone forever?

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Originally Posted by og View Post
The problem will stem from where those documents/photos were stored. If they were on the part of the drive that gets overwritten by the OS recovery, then they are indeed gone forever.
I wouldn't say that. There are programs, such as R-Studio, that can recover files files from a formatted hard drive with the assistance of a second computer. I have used it countless times to help people recover data after a format. The downside is the reputable programs all cost a pretty penny.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:53 PM   #5
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Default Re: Hard Drive Restored to Factory Condition without backing up files. Gone forever?

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Originally Posted by celegorm View Post
I wouldn't say that. There are programs, such as R-Studio, that can recover files files from a formatted hard drive with the assistance of a second computer. I have used it countless times to help people recover data after a format. The downside is the reputable programs all cost a pretty penny.
Unfortunately I have been in this situation many times, and while my statement has doom & gloom from a certain perspective, indeed yes you can have good luck with recovery software. But the bottom line is that any user going into a data recovery situation should EXPECT their data to be gone forever from the start, that way if there's something left, it's not a total let down. Unfortunately in my experiences, it's almost univerally true that the most important files are wiped or written over and can't be recovered. The best advice to people in this situation is to not do anything until they've gotten the data off the drive obviously.
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Old 07-08-2011, 10:15 PM   #6
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Default Re: Hard Drive Restored to Factory Condition without backing up files. Gone forever?

Ah well when put like that I absolutely agree. I read into your original statement that it was guaranteed to be lost forever and I just wanted to point out that it can be possible and didn't want the OP to give up all hope.
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