Question Appears I’ve lost my OS and all files on C drive. How? Help please.

Aug 15, 2019
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I have no idea how but left my PC on Monday night and woke up to my computer on the Msi BIOS screen. Now I can not load windows at all. I have tried everything I can think of. This computer is only 8 months old. I see my C drive there in DOS but it will not let me access it. When browsing ( from within windows setup to search a driver) it shows c but shows me no folders within like all other drives - like it’s empty. Since trying different boot priorities now all I get is “reboot and select proper media device” regardless of what I make priority.

I have a SSD which is the one on c that must be corrupt or something as well as a larger separate d drive. In bios I am able to see both drives so I know they are seated properly.

I have tried on DOS to transfer all files from d to external but when I try it says it’s full which I verified on another PC that it’s almost empty.

I have the windows utility on a flash drive that I’m able to load but startup repair fails and it’s unable to restore.

Under custom install I see disk 0 with 4 partitions that allows me to do nothing with. Can’t install, delete or create new partition.

Tried creating new partition in DOS using Diskpart and got an error. However back in windows setup I see a new volume. This time trying to install windows to it... it at least attempts. It gets through “getting files ready for installation, installing features, installing updates and then stops at finishing up and tells me “windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation”. Whaaaaaa!!! Tried twice.

At this point I have No Idea how to get back up and running.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. Remember I can’t get to login so can only work with DOS and any utilities I can run from a flash drive.

Thanks
 

cin19

Titan
Moderator
I think you need to reinstall the OS on other HDD or SSD, if you try anything. If you don't have the backup, and you will lose all the files on it, sorry. But you can try to use the software to recovery the files after format the SSD, but there is no guarantee you can recovery all.
 
Reactions: gn842a

gn842a

Respectable
Oct 10, 2016
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You may need to remove the drive entirely and examine it as if it were an external drive, on another computer, connecting it through USB. This other computer will have a working OS.

Leaving your computer on should not do this. It is the proximate event but not necessarily the cause. The only time I could "see" my directory and not be able to access it was when I was using Win 10 and it renamed my account and essentially seized control, turning me into a guest on my own computer. This has actually happened to other people. I never found a solution, I did an OS reinstall.

If you really really really want those data files you can send the drive to a professional service which will charge $$$ but can get the job done.

=> You can go to best buy, get a new drive for the OS, do a fresh installation on the new OS, and use the new OS drive to examine the one that failed

How to get back up and running FAST is do what you likely did not do, every now and then clone your drive to another drive, or get Macrium and start making mirrors. Being very lazy I just make an occasional clone of the OS, which is on one drive, and make file backups using Iperius. And I have Carbonite.

But this does not get you back up and running. I see two or three things:

1. A hardware crash possibly caused by a failing OS drive or a failing PSU, the psu having provoked the failed crash by zapping the OS drive as it does its failing PSU thing. You can do a minimum proof of life thing on the PSU by watching it as you boot up, it should have a fan and the blades should move on boot. If the blades don't move you likely have a dead psu and it probably murdered your OS drive. If the psu blades do move you might have a psu problem anyhow, but it can be kicked lower on the priority list.

2. Some kinda weird Win 10 thing, especially if you are not using Win 10 local install. Local install means that if Win 10 wants you to prove you are you, it asks you for your Mom's dog's name. If it has your phone number and sends you a text, it is NOT a local install and may be considerably more unstable.

3. Some kinda hack attack. I don't consider this likely, but it can happen.

Myself, I would proceed by 1. Booting machine and seeing if fan works on the power supply at startup (it will turn off unless it gets hot easily). If the power supply passes that test, I would get a new drive at Best Buy (I say this because they are convenient to a lot of people and you can just do it without waiting for shipment from Amazon or Newegg). I would do LOCAL install on the OS and use it to examine the crippled drive which now can be examined via USB (or hook it up with extra SATA power and data connector AFTER you've booted the pc up on its new hard drive. If you have access to your files and can copy them, do it. If you can't do it, and you have a Ph.D. dissertation on the drive and it is the sole and unique copy, then you'll need to use a data recovery service. So this will be your learning experience about backups.

If you didn't build this computer yourself you may not have extra SATA power and SATA data cables. That gets tricky. SATA data cables are cheap (as low as $2 or $3) and so that's a Best Buy thing. SATA power cables--you have to have the right ones for your power supply. If you look inside you are likely to see unused power connectors one of which can be put to use on your old drive.

If you can't, decide whether you want to spend the $$$ to send disk to a data recovery service.

If you've got a hack attack or some kinda weird win 10 thing you might be looking at a fresh install. If you are good at DOS consider formatting the original drive with format command. If you are not allowed to do that then, again, you'll likely need another drive with OS so that you can nuke the first drive.

The question is whether the first drive, once formatted and with a new OS on it, will be dependable.

Greg N
 
Aug 15, 2019
4
0
10
0
I have no idea how but left my PC on Monday night and woke up to my computer on the Msi BIOS screen. Now I can not load windows at all. I have tried everything I can think of. This computer is only 8 months old. I see my C drive there in DOS but it will not let me access it. When browsing ( from within windows setup to search a driver) it shows c but shows me no folders within like all other drives - like it’s empty. Since trying different boot priorities now all I get is “reboot and select proper media device” regardless of what I make priority.

I have a SSD which is the one on c that must be corrupt or something as well as a larger separate d drive. In bios I am able to see both drives so I know they are seated properly.

I have tried on DOS to transfer all files from d to external but when I try it says it’s full which I verified on another PC that it’s almost empty.

I have the windows utility on a flash drive that I’m able to load but startup repair fails and it’s unable to restore.

Under custom install I see disk 0 with 4 partitions that allows me to do nothing with. Can’t install, delete or create new partition.

Tried creating new partition in DOS using Diskpart and got an error. However back in windows setup I see a new volume. This time trying to install windows to it... it at least attempts. It gets through “getting files ready for installation, installing features, installing updates and then stops at finishing up and tells me “windows could not prepare the computer to boot into the next phase of installation”. Whaaaaaa!!! Tried twice.

At this point I have No Idea how to get back up and running.

ANY help would be greatly appreciated. Remember I can’t get to login
I think you need to reinstall the OS on other HDD or SSD, if you try anything. If you don't have the backup, and you will lose all the files on it, sorry. But you can try to use the software to recovery the files after format the SSD, but there is no guarantee you can recovery all.
thanks but it won’t let me format either drive for some reason. I tried from external drive but apparently can’t through usb. So best bet... buy a new hard drive?
 
Aug 15, 2019
4
0
10
0
You may need to remove the drive entirely and examine it as if it were an external drive, on another computer, connecting it through USB. This other computer will have a working OS.

Leaving your computer on should not do this. It is the proximate event but not necessarily the cause. The only time I could "see" my directory and not be able to access it was when I was using Win 10 and it renamed my account and essentially seized control, turning me into a guest on my own computer. This has actually happened to other people. I never found a solution, I did an OS reinstall.

If you really really really want those data files you can send the drive to a professional service which will charge $$$ but can get the job done.

=> You can go to best buy, get a new drive for the OS, do a fresh installation on the new OS, and use the new OS drive to examine the one that failed

How to get back up and running FAST is do what you likely did not do, every now and then clone your drive to another drive, or get Macrium and start making mirrors. Being very lazy I just make an occasional clone of the OS, which is on one drive, and make file backups using Iperius. And I have Carbonite.

But this does not get you back up and running. I see two or three things:

1. A hardware crash possibly caused by a failing OS drive or a failing PSU, the psu having provoked the failed crash by zapping the OS drive as it does its failing PSU thing. You can do a minimum proof of life thing on the PSU by watching it as you boot up, it should have a fan and the blades should move on boot. If the blades don't move you likely have a dead psu and it probably murdered your OS drive. If the psu blades do move you might have a psu problem anyhow, but it can be kicked lower on the priority list.

2. Some kinda weird Win 10 thing, especially if you are not using Win 10 local install. Local install means that if Win 10 wants you to prove you are you, it asks you for your Mom's dog's name. If it has your phone number and sends you a text, it is NOT a local install and may be considerably more unstable.

3. Some kinda hack attack. I don't consider this likely, but it can happen.

Myself, I would proceed by 1. Booting machine and seeing if fan works on the power supply at startup (it will turn off unless it gets hot easily). If the power supply passes that test, I would get a new drive at Best Buy (I say this because they are convenient to a lot of people and you can just do it without waiting for shipment from Amazon or Newegg). I would do LOCAL install on the OS and use it to examine the crippled drive which now can be examined via USB (or hook it up with extra SATA power and data connector AFTER you've booted the pc up on its new hard drive. If you have access to your files and can copy them, do it. If you can't do it, and you have a Ph.D. dissertation on the drive and it is the sole and unique copy, then you'll need to use a data recovery service. So this will be your learning experience about backups.

If you didn't build this computer yourself you may not have extra SATA power and SATA data cables. That gets tricky. SATA data cables are cheap (as low as $2 or $3) and so that's a Best Buy thing. SATA power cables--you have to have the right ones for your power supply. If you look inside you are likely to see unused power connectors one of which can be put to use on your old drive.

If you can't, decide whether you want to spend the $$$ to send disk to a data recovery service.

If you've got a hack attack or some kinda weird win 10 thing you might be looking at a fresh install. If you are good at DOS consider formatting the original drive with format command. If you are not allowed to do that then, again, you'll likely need another drive with OS so that you can nuke the first drive.

The question is whether the first drive, once formatted and with a new OS on it, will be dependable.

Greg N
Thank you so much for your detailed response. Unfortunately it seems both drives along with the PSU are inside a metal box, riveted with no access. Why would anyone build a PC like this? It’s a CyberPower PC. It has no available power cords. Ugh!!!
 

gn842a

Respectable
Oct 10, 2016
605
43
2,040
5
Am in disbelief that they make the build so you can't pull drives out. I just read some very poor reviews of Cyper Power on Amazon. I don't know if you can save this build, but were I you, it is high time to watch some how to build a desktop videos and venture out into the sea of electronics with your own builds.

And for god's sake give some thought to back up protocols.

Greg N
 

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