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Old 08-08-2010, 01:34 AM   #1
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Default Obscure PC Memory

I'm new here so not totally sure if this is the right forum but oh well...

I recently got a virus on my computer a while back and it got bad enough to the point that I just decided to wipe it and reinstall the OS. I backed up my really important files to a flash drive, but I could only hold so much so I lost a good deal of data (mostly music). So now that my pc is up and running again and I have reaquired my music I find that hidden in certain folders of my computer are the music and other files I thought were long lost to the virus and memory wipe.

So what I would like to know is: Just how did these files remain on my computer after supposedly erradicating everything on it?

P.S. - I also experienced this little anomally on an older pc of mine under similar circumstances a few years back.
P.S. again - I also noticed that while my old music was there there were also other songs (usually from the same album) that I had never had before.

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Old 08-08-2010, 03:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Obscure PC Memory

I'm new here too,

I think I know whats wrong. When I first started with computers in 2006 or so, my fist Windows Vista computer got BSODs a lot. So I would re install a lot. I found after re installing all my files were there still, even programs. What was werid is the apps wouldn't run, but all the install files were there. Or like you said, MP3s or maybe documents, here's why:

Forgive me if I treat you like a moron, but I truly think this is the problem:

When you re-install you have to "Erase" and "Format" your hard drive(s) you can't just simply click "install" and pick a location. There should be a tab in Win7 install that says something; "More Options" or "Format" "Erase" etc.. maybe even "Delete" play around with it a bit, if you need more help then just post back here.

Now as to why you have songs you never had before, I don't know, if it's a shared computer someone else might have done it I guess. I can't help you there. I would have to suggest getting an external HDD as well. they go pretty cheap on amazon or eBay. I got a 7200 RPM 320Gb Western Digital portable HDD for like $65. It works great and holds all my files, or the core ones anyway.

Good luck!

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Old 08-08-2010, 03:47 AM   #3
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Default Re: Obscure PC Memory

You might have just done an OS Repair. This replaces all the OS files and keeps any user files you have. An OS Repair is great when you have just upgraded the motherboard and want to keep important files/information.

A complete re-format and install will however erase erase everything on the selected partition.
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Old 08-09-2010, 12:46 PM   #4
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Default Re: Obscure PC Memory

To build on what Remeniz said, a complete reinstall is also the only way to completely guarantee, in 99% of cases, that the virus is eliminated in all forms. Simply doing a repair install won't get rid of the virus. Be wary of the computer until you're sure that the virus is completely gone, and get yourself a good backup medium. DVDs are cheap and the DVD writers are even cheaper. Expect $20 for the drive, and about $15 for a good stack of media. I'd recommend BluRay for more space, but BluRay is still a little expensive.
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Old 08-09-2010, 03:03 PM   #5
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Default Re: Obscure PC Memory

As they said, when doing an Operating System reinstall, make sure you format the drive. If you do not, you will usually (at least in my experience) simply have the files from the old installation moved to a folder on the C: drive called "windows.old".
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Old 08-09-2010, 06:54 PM   #6
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Default Re: Obscure PC Memory

Ok thanks. And I did get an external hardrive to back up my stuff just in case.

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