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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » Need Windows Vista Home Premium (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Inner circle
1385 Posts

Profile of Chance
Hey guys, I defraged my hard drive today and it accidentally erased some drivers and other misc pieces of software. For example, I can't access my built-in laptop web cam any more, and all of my music files were deleted, etc.

The software came installed. I got it last December. I don't have the disk. Is there any way I can get this reinstalled or updated without having to pay for a new edition? (I realize this won't get my music back, but at least I can repair the broken drivers).
Bill Hallahan
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Inner circle
New Hampshire
3220 Posts

Profile of Bill Hallahan
I gather your one-year warranty ran out. If you purchased it late in December, it might be under warranty.

If not, go to the manufacturers website, and search for drivers there. If it's a name brand laptop, it's likely you can find the drivers on the Internet. I've never seen a driver for a laptop that wasn't free at the company web site.

If you aren't technically savvy or you want to save time, and your network drivers are working, then you can purchase and install a program named driver genius over the Internet. That will automatically find, download, and install drivers for you for your specific laptop. I can't guarantee that will work, but I suspect it will. I've used that program before to save time. The program is about $40.00. You might be able to salvage your music that way.

Another alternative is to contact the manufacturer, or try where you bought it, and ask to purchase a system restore disk for your laptop. That will (probably) wipe out all the music and extra software you had on the laptop before though.

Those are the only options I'm aware of, unless you happen to know someone who has exactly the same model laptop as you, and even then, drivers aren't easy to transfer - you'd probably have to use their system restore disk, if they have one.

What manufacturer and model laptop is it? I might be able to locate the drivers for that model on the Internet for you.

Finally, after it's restored, I'd purchase Norton Ghost and an external USB drive, or one of the other less expensive computer backup programs, and back up the entire computer. Backup programs will allow restoring a previous snapshot of the computer that is stored on another drive.


One more thing. Which defragger program were you using? Such a program should never lose data. I suppose it could have a software bug, but I suspect it's more likely your drive has errors. If it was shook, you could lose data, but too often certain laptop disk drives just break down (I don't want to name manufacturers here). If under warranty, you might get a new drive. That might not be worth it though, once sectors become bad, the disk driver will mark them bad (sometimes a program named chkdisk has to run for this to happen), and no more data will be written in those sectors. It's not uncommon for an older disk to have a few bad sectors.
Humans make life so interesting. Do you know that in a universe so full of wonders, they have managed to create boredom. Quite astonishing.
- The character of ‘Death’ in the movie "Hogswatch"
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Inner circle
1385 Posts

Profile of Chance
Thanks Bill,

"Defrag" isn't entirely accurate. It was actually a system cleaner recommended in another thread here from last week. It has several cleaning levels, and I guess my setting were a bit too permissive (understatement of the week.) Regardless, the data is GONE, and some drivers are missing. For example, I still get the automatic widget popping up for my built-in web cam & video, but when I click on it I get a "bitmap image not valid" warning and that's it. I get the same message when ever I try to open a music or photo file. And when I try to open Word or similar I get a "not enough memory" warning, which is bogus; I got tons of memory. What I don't have are certain drivers.

It's a Gateway M-Series Intel Dual Core w/ 4GB RAM notebook.

Any other tips before I try out your suggestions?
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and Pretty Nice Guy
372 Posts

Profile of Bill
Are the music files replaceable? If not, I'd suggest you go to a professional. Often times they can recover deleted files with a file recovery program. If they're replaceable, then call tech support at Gateway and they will send you or tell you where you can get a system restore disk.
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Inner circle
1385 Posts

Profile of Chance
Thanks for all the tips guys. Had to resort to calling Gateway and being guided thru a factory system restore. Now the rest of my day is going to be spent reinstalling all of may favorite links and software. Yay...
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