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missing partition and network config

By s_larocque ·
I have an IBM thinkcentre desktop with xp home. It has an 80G drive that came partitioned..20G is the E: drive or Service drive (where a backup of the system is stored).It is the host computer on my network...my router is connected to rogers via cable modem. My laptop is connected via wireless.
I was getting a strange error on windows startup...like an application or dll error. Other than this error msg, the system was operating fine and normally. But I decided to backoff to a restore point. I had to go back 2 months to find one that was good. After I restored, I lost my network. So I tried to backout the restore and found that none of the restore points could be found anymore. They are listed but, when you select it, the msg says it can't be found. And then, I discovered that I could no longer se my E: drive under 'my computer". Disk Management sees it...I can display it under command prompt. Nothing I've tried has changed or fixed any of these problems.
Please help! I have a teenager that keeps hogging my laptop...I need to get the other system back.

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by s_larocque In reply to missing partition and net ...

Oh...and I should mention that my laptop is working fine and connected to the network.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to missing partition and net ...

Well this depends on how much functionality you have left working.

What I would suggest here is to perform a Backup of all your critical Data and then use the IBM rescue install alternative and just reinstall Windows and all the software that originally came with the unit. You can do this in several ways but the best would be to use a USB Drive to save to if you have one as it's never too soon to start a DR Plan and keep it up to date. What you need to remember here is that a computer isn't a disposable piece of equipment and has a great value in the data stored on the HDD so you should treat it accordingly and HDD Do Fail sometimes without warning. If that was to happen you would be looking at well in excess of 9K USD to recover your data and possibly a lot more if they had to spend a lot of time to recover the data on the drive.

Now as you have lost your Internet connection and part of the Computers Menu system as well as any restore points newer than what you rolled back to and I would hazard a guess that other things are no longer working as well but you as yet haven't run into them.

The main reason that you get error messages on Boot up is because someone has installed a Game and not removed it correctly or installed it correctly with everything else being equal so I would setup a password on the system to prevent others using it when you are not around and if you simply must have a Guest account open set it up with Limited privileges so that the computer can be used but not have anything installed on it.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to

You'll also need to make sure that the Wireless connection is properly tied down as that is a possible access point into your computer if there isn't sufficient security involved not to mention the Legal Ramifications of someone parking within 500 Metres of your wireless connection and downloading something nasty if that happens you will be responsible for the download even if there can be no trace of it found on any computer at your house, you are responsible for securing your Internet connection and you are the one who wears the blame when something goes wrong.

Now for a suitable DR Plan you can use something as simple as a USB Caddy with a off the shelf HDD fitted and formated up to suit your OS or if you think that you may want to move it around you can format it to a FAT 32 Partition and carry the CD with you so that way you'll have access to other computers to save data from.

Col

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by s_larocque In reply to

I should note that I have been in the IT industry for over 25 years...most of that as a programmer. I am very well aware of the benefits of DRP and I do have a current backup of my system. I know I can restore from the original CD but was hoping to not have to. I would rather determine what is causing this first. There are no virus's...the system is and has been clean for a long time. My wireless is encrypted and I monitor the logs. My admin is password protected and the only profile on my system with admin privileges.
Does anyone have any technical ideas/assistance they can provide. Pointers to what else I can check?

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by sgt_shultz In reply to missing partition and net ...

how does Safe Mode with networking behave? can you use your restore points then?
i wish you'd say you had up to date virus protection and have scanned with several malware detectors and are sure you are free of same.
because this sounds like a virus or somethign to me.
that system restsore is so microsoft. mostly bling without the zing.
re: why you can't see the e: drive, check for a tool like Tweak UI (it'll be in control panel, hopefully) that could be hiding your drive...
re: getting the network back. can you re-run the Network Setup Wizard (control Panel) on the laptop, let it make a disk to help you get the desktop back on...?

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by s_larocque In reply to missing partition and net ...

Hal & sql_schultz..Thanks for your responses. Sql_shultz..to answer your questions,yes I've run malware programs. As I said, my system is virus-free. I've even re-run to be sure. In safe, the network still doesn't work. I've uninstalled and reinstalled the network driver. I've used the wizard to recreate the network connection. I tried to create a second network connection with some different settings, it goes through the steps but never shows up in connections. I've got it now where at least the os can see the network adapter. The SCM error log says it's failing to start the tcp/ip protocol driver service because the system can't find the file specified.
I'll check out that tweak ui. Maybe that will get the drive back. If it does, I can restore the system from there. At least my backups are current. The rest of the system is working fine.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to missing partition and net ...

OK as I now know that I'm not trying to answer a question for a newbie you can try the following run System File Checker and replace any files that have been altered or become corrupt. After that you should have a functioning system again but you'll need to reinstall any patches and installed software, that's if it actually works as quite often the so called rescue features in Windows don't actually work that way that they are claimed to.

There is another possibility here that is fast though not cheap unless you already have a copy of the program and then there is no problems.

Run On Track's Easy Recovery and this should rebuild the corrupt files and various features of Windows I've used more times than I care to think about and it's always worked for me but it's by no means the cheapest option if you don't have a copy of the software.

That would be the best way out of your current problems as it works a treat and is easy to use.

If you don't have a copy it's available on line from the following URL

http://www.ontrack.com/software/

That would be the best technical answer that I could give you though if you don't have a copy of this program it's by no means the cheapest option available but when it works it is fast and very effective.

Col

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