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Okay, here's the dope...My old Dell Dimension got to the point where it was barely working. I am pretty familiar with computers and decided reloading Windows XP would fix most of the problems. Well, I accidentally did a total Install instead of a reload. :facepalm:

Needless to say it wiped out all of my drivers. I went to dell and downloaded the drivers they say it needed according to my serial number. That didn't help.:angry:

When I call up MY COMPUTER and look at the various directories on Drive C: I can see all of my programs and data files. BUT when I call up the Windows ADD or Remove Programs file it is totally empty. I reloaded my mouse drivers and now my roller ball mouse works, but I can't get anything else to work. :banghead:

To give yo an idea of how important these data files are; I am an author and ALL of my books, especially the five I am working on right now, and the eight already published, are on that drive. My backup seems to have vanished.:ermm:

Also, I cannot do a system restore as it won't go back beyond yesterday.:banghead:

Does any one know how I might go about doing a recovery on this thing. I have a lot of software on there that I don't have disks for. I need the majority of it, too.:uhoh:

I sure would appreciate any help you can come up with. I'll even buy software if needed.:bow:

Frogfur43

The Dukester
 

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What is the model # of your Dell Dimension Computer?
When you reinstalled XP you most likely overwrote your previous data. As for Backups, where did you store the backup of your books? if they were on the same drive as XP is, you are not backing it up. Backups should be on External media like a secondary HDD, USB HDD or CD/DVD's.
Add and Remove programs will be empty, because you haven't installed any programs yet. As for your lost programs, you will need to reinstall all of them you will not be able to retrieve them.
As for your drivers, go to Start/Run and type devmgmt.msc and press enter. In the Device Manager any devices with yellow flags need to have drivers installed.
On an internet computer, go to the Dell Drivers Site Product Selection | Dell US type in your Service Tag # not your serial # or find your Dell Dimension by product number and download the Chipset, and install that first and any other drivers you need and save them to a USB Flash drive and transfer them to the troubled computer.
As for trying to restore your files, if they are overwritten, there is nothing you can do. But if not, try the free TestDisk program. I have had the best luck with GetDataBack. You will need another HDD of the same size or larger to restore your files to.
 

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Okay, thanks. My Dell Dimension is a 4700. Everyone keeps telling me it should be in a museum.

What is a pain is I can see all of the software and data in the My Computer program and can drop to DOS and find them their, too. It looks like it has changes the index number of everything.

I will try the programs you mentioned and see if I have any luck. The programs I have rescued so far can find their data files. So I am hoping word can. I had all of my books backed up to a USB device and had no problem as I referenced it at least once a week. But I have a seven and a half year old granddaughter who is an FAS child (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome) and she has some emotional and control problems. I think she may have gotten hold of it and lost it while playing with it.

If I have too I can copy all the data files off onto CDs and save them that way, I think.

Duke
 

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If you can see all your files, then you have installed Windows to another folder. (Windows.000) All your programs should still work, if you can view them in C:\Program Files.
Go to C:\Documents and Settings and you should have your old user profile there, with your My Documents etc. You can copy your user profile over to the current one. How to copy data from a corrupted user profile to a new profile in Windows XP
 
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