Hey everyone. I'm posting this on behalf of a co-worker whose computer recently got damaged.
He had told me that a friend spilled a little wine on the counter which then seeped underneath it. After a day of air drying and after cleaning it- it turned on but it wouldn't load into Vista. It tried to do a startup repair.
He brought it into work when our IT guy was there. He did some stuff to it (not sure exactly what) and told my co-worker when it's done to type exit and then re-boot. He then told him if it doesn't load into Vista, he'll need to take out the drive, get a usb adapter and plug it in to another computer to retrieve the personal files (pictures, documents, audio, etc)
We never got it to load into Vista. So he bought an adapter. We plugged it into his XP machine at work and were not able to find any of his personal files.
We ran a search for just pictures on the drive, and it only pulled system images and pictures that come on the computer or with software, no pictures from a camera or anything.
I plugged it into my Mac, oddly a few additional folders were visible that weren't when plugged into XP- one was a folder called $RecycleBin and another was the Documents and Settings folder, which was empty though.
No luck on a Mac finding any of the missing files.
I told him to try to plug it into a Vista machine and MAYBE other files or folders would be visible, but that I honestly wasn't very optimistic on that being the solution.
So- that is the situation. The contents of that hard drive doesn't have a dollar value, it is priceless to him and his family due to them having the majority of their children's photos on that drive.
The odd thing to me is that the Documents and Settings folder is completely empty, but everything else on the hard drive seems to be in tact.
My co-worker mentioned his wife goes on Facebook a lot and other sites relatd, which may have malicious threats. Could it be a coincidence that the laptop picked up a virus, but didn't do real damage until the machine was turned off, coincidently after wine was spilled?
I feel awful. At work I'm the one to go to with computer problems, and 99% of the time I am able to help. This time, I'm clueless and I know how important resolving this issue is. I have a son of my own and if I lost his pictures I would be devastated.
Could someone offer me some suggestions on what else to try and what could have possibly caused this? It seems like the wine is suspect- but how does it explain the Documents and Settings folder being the only folder that its contents are completely missing?
*sorry for such a long post, I wanted to include as much information as possible, including the urgency obviously.