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Topic: OT: Computer Issues - Help! (19 msgs / 547 lines)
1) From: Lynne
I know this is off topic - but I remember a little while ago, there was 
some talk about Mac's here. I'm hoping that someone might help me 
figure out what I should do.
I use a Mac, which I love. Well,  somehow, every document - every 
single one - in my hard drive has disappeared. (Others use my computer, 
but I won't blame anyone for this.) This is devastating for me, as I 
keep EVERYTHING - there. Before you ask, no, no, no, I did not back-up 
my work. Please, I know how stupid that was. Like other bad decisions 
in life, (or inaction?), I am now living to regret this.
I found some software online called 'File Salvage' - but it costs $, 
and can't spend it yet. Was wondering if this would be the way to go, 
when I do have the money (since I haven't given up hope of rescuing The 
Lost Documents) - don't want to spend money on something that won't 
work - or make it worse, for that matter.
Since this is off topic, if anyone prefers to contact me by email, 
that's fine. I would really appreciate any words of wisdom!
Lynne

2) From: Derek Bradford
If you download a disc image called "Ultimate Boot Disk"http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/,you'll find a number of filesystem
tools with which you should be able to find out where your data has
gone, or why it has 'disappeared'.  Regardless, it's unlikely the
files are actually gone, but for whatever reason your system can't see
the files.  There are a number of possible reasons for this, but I
won't bore you with the techy details.
If you use this software suite, you'll either have to do a lot of
research to find out how to best use the tools you find there, or
you'll have to take it to a friend who knows something about
computers.  I've used this CD more times than I can remember, and I
used it last year to recover 200 of 240 gigs of lost data, and I
didn't bother recovering the last 40 gigs since they were things I
could replace.
I'm unaware of any useful, quality freeware file recovery tools, but
someone else may know of one.
I know this doesn't really help much, but keep in mind that your data
is almost certainly still there.
--Derek
On 10/30/06, Lynne  wrote:
<Snip>
-- http://www.novernae.comHome of the Wandering Sloth

3) From: John Blumel
Lynne,
I'm not familiar with 'File Salvage' but the way these undelete  
software work is by taking advantage of the way files are actually  
deleted (usually) on a disk. Rather than actually erasing the file  
contents, typically, only the directory entry for the file is  
removed, leaving the actual file intact on disk, at least for some  
time. The undelete software reads through the apparently empty  
sectors of the disk looking for pieces of documents, and  
reconstructing directory entries for them.
The problem is that the space where the file was stored now looks to  
the operating system as though it were empty and will be reused (new  
files written to it) as needed. Thus, if you are going to try to  
recover files, you really need to do it as soon as possible,  
otherwise they may be lost forever by being overwritten. (This is how  
the "security erase" features work, by overwriting each sector where  
the file is stored with zeros or random garbage.)
On the other hand, it's pretty difficult to completely delete every  
document on your computer. Are you certain that they haven't just  
been misplaced somehow? What version of Mac OS are you using? (Well,  
presumably some recent version of Mac OS X based on your email  
headers.) How do you think this happened and what were you, or  
someone else, doing right around the time that it did?
John Blumel
On Oct 29, 2006, at 9:52 pm, Lynne wrote:
<Snip>

4) From: Aaron
Lynne IF the files had indeed been deleted from your hard drive, check 
there should be some kind of recycle bin or recovery bin.  Its been ages 
since i used a mac but since windows basically stole the idea from mac 
in the beginning anyways.. theres a chance they are waiting to be 
reclaimed or undeleted.
If not and you plan on using some software to recover them, you need to 
do it IMMEDIATELY.   See each time you use the computer, read more e 
mail, visit other websites, all that kind of stuff, opens temporary 
files on your sytem.  Those files are stored on your hard drive... those 
files can overwrite where your other files used to be stored.   If a 
file is deleted but otherwise untouched, what really got deleted is just 
the directory pointer to where it was stored on disk, but the data is 
still there... If that data gets over written by other data, then its 
gone for good.
think of me using a phone book to get your address... when you delete a 
file, it in essence just rips your name out of the page in the phone 
book, but you still live there. I just dont know that anymore since your 
name is removed from the book, you still exist, i just cant find you 
without driving down every block, knocking on every door asking if it is 
you... which is kind of what these recovery programs do..   Now if 
someone else moves into your house, (think eminent domain abuse) your 
computer wants that space for it's other needs so your computer puts a 
new person in that house that you lived in, and then they put their name 
and address in the phone book. you are gone at that point, you are no 
longer part of that picture......I don't know who you are, where you are 
and the person who now lives in that house, doesn't have a clue either, 
they didn't do it, the computer did. since you are no longer 'valid' the 
computer cares less about you and you have ceased to exist.  or i should 
say your data ceases.
the sooner you recover data that is lost, the more likely it will be intact.
aaron
Oh PS, make sure there isn't a filter or something on hiding certain 
types of files from plain view.

5) From: Derek Bradford
Lynne,
I found this just now.  I've never used it before and cannot tell you
that it will work, but it (I hesitate to say) probably will.  It's
free and will recover HFS and HFS+ data.  It still won't be foolproof
to use, and you'll have to consult the documentation carefully, but
you might find it useful.
I second what John said, and meant to say it myself.  The sooner the
better, but your data is, for the most part, quite likely still there
and relatively easy to get at.http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDiskCheers,
--Derek
On 10/30/06, Lynne  wrote:
<Snip>
-- http://www.novernae.comHome of the Wandering Sloth

6) From: jim gundlach
Lynne,
      One joke some folks play on other users of a Mac is to hide the  
files.  Go to Mac Help and ask "Finding hidden files"  follow the  
directions to search for some file names that you know you have.  I  
would do this before downloading the recovery tools because  
downloading them could over write some of the files if they have been  
deleted.
     Pecan Jim
On Oct 29, 2006, at 9:45 PM, Derek Bradford wrote:
<Snip>

7) From: Jon Rosen
Lynne,
Check to see how much disk space is in use. Is it the same as it was  
before? If so, the files are probably still there. Sometimes, as you  
may have heard, the simplest solution is the most likely solution.  
It's possible that someone dragged your home folder or documents  
folder into another folder and that's why you can't find them. Use  
Spotlight or the Finder to search for a document name that you know  
should be there. See if it's someplace else on your disk.
HTH,
Jon
On Oct 29, 2006, at 9:52 PM, Lynne wrote:
<Snip>

8) From: Michael Guterman
Lynne,
Every Apple store has a "genius bar".  Do not use your computer.  
Everyone is correct about overwriting the files if they have, in truth, 
been deleted.  Call your Apple store, make an appointment, and go there 
with the computer.  The service is part of owning an Apple.
Good luck.
Michael
Lynne wrote:
<Snip>

9) From: Lynne
Aaron -
Thank you so much for the info - and the easy-to-understand 
explanation. Unfortunately, it's been a couple of weeks since I 
discovered they were gone (I know, I know.... I can hear the collective 
moans across the US - but in my defense, it's been insane in my 
household with one serious crisis after another. Have only so many 
hours in the day, and just so much energy...)
I actually found some of (the hard copies) my papers that I did NOT 
want to lose - this morning. My sweet daughter cleaned for me (hooray!) 
and dug up some of the papers I was missing, and I still have copies of 
some older ones on an old email address (don't ask - my way of making 
sure I don't lose something important). So while this is really 
annoying, it is not the worst thing to have happen. Granted, I had lots 
of stuff there, but very little was irreplaceable.
I don't think there's any filter - and I've checked (did a search) for 
all .docs, but came up empty-handed.
Lynne
On Oct 29, 2006, at 10:42 PM, Aaron wrote:
<Snip>

10) From: Lynne
Thank you, Derek, for the website. I'm going to give it a try. I'll let 
you (and everyone else who has been so kind, here) know  how it turns 
out.
Lynne
On Oct 29, 2006, at 10:45 PM, Derek Bradford wrote:
<Snip>

11) From: Lynne
Hey, Pecan Jim -
<Snip>
Nice joke! (I say that with sarcasm, of course).
<Snip>
Did that - no hidden files revealed. There is actually no one in my 
home who is very computer savvy (I'm actually the one who has solved 
some problems with it in the past). I did, however, 'convert' my son to 
Mac-dom (overheard conversation to one of his friends, "Don't get 
anything but a Mac.")
Lynne

12) From: Lynne
Jon-
<Snip>
I checked right away - unfortunately, that age has crept upon me, the 
stage where I can remember a song and the facial expression of someone 
I met briefly while hearing that song, some 15 years ago - but I keep 
forgetting things like the very thing I went to the store to buy, why 
on earth I went into the kitchen, several of my kids' names, and, yes, 
just how much space was left on my hard drive (oh, yeah, add to that 
list - the names of the .doc's I'm missing).
<Snip>
I thought about the possibility that the folder(s) were dragged 
somewhere else, but searching turned up nothing.
Lynne

13) From: Lynne
Michael -
<Snip>
I think you are a genius! Yes, that's what I should do... if I can find 
the time to go there. Last time I went there (last year) I got some 
tutoring on how to use my iMovie & iDVD. They were incredibly helpful.
<Snip>
I do, however, need to use my computer. I have no choice. Anyway, it 
may already be too late - on the plus side, I just discovered hard 
copies of many of the important documents (my writings) so I don't feel 
too bad. They aren't all there (hey, but neither am I), but with all 
that's happened to me, this is really minor. If I can get them back, 
fine. If not - then I have learned a valuable lesson - do BACK-UP of 
all important work.
Lynne

14) From: Lynne
John -
I'm using OS X 10.3.9. Have no idea what was going on when this 
happened - think it could have been a friend of my son (who was staying 
with us for a while), who didn't actually know his way around the 
computer, and who had way too much time using it. So I have no idea 
what happened, except that they disappeared (and I may have discovered 
it awhile after it happened, too).
I didn't realize that rewriting occurred when the computer is used 
afterwards. Bad for me - but interesting to learn.
Thanks. Even if I can't solve this, I learned something.
Lynne
On Oct 29, 2006, at 10:32 PM, John Blumel wrote:
<Snip>

15) From: Lynne
Derek -
Went to that webpage, but I can't figure out which to download.
Lynne
On Oct 29, 2006, at 10:24 PM, Derek Bradford wrote:
<Snip>

16) From: Derek Bradford
Lynn,http://www.cgsecurity.org/testdisk-6.5.darwin.tar.bz2Click on this link.  This is the file you need.  Stuffit should take
care of it for you.
Cheers,
--Derek
On 10/31/06, Lynne  wrote:
<Snip>
-- http://www.novernae.comHome of the Wandering Sloth

17) From: Jon Rosen
Lynne,
I recommend that you purchase an inexpensive FireWire or USB 2.0 hard  
drive and leave it connected to your computer for automatic nightly  
backups. There are several programs that will do incremental backups,  
so you can "roll back" to files that were removed days or even weeks  
earlier. OS X 10.5 will include an automatic software backup feature  
as part of the OS, but that doesn't help you now. Some hard drives  
ship with Retrospect Express, which is very good backup software.
Jon
On Oct 30, 2006, at 7:59 PM, Lynne wrote:
<Snip>

18) From: Sandy Andina
--Apple-Mail-283--640334956
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7bit
Content-Type: text/plain;
	charset-ASCII;
	delsp=yes;
	format=flowed
If you get a .mac account, you get free backup software
On Oct 31, 2006, at 7:43 PM, Jon Rosen wrote:
<Snip>
Sandy
www.sandyandina.com
--Apple-Mail-283--640334956
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable
Content-Type: text/html;
	charset-ASCII
If you get a .mac account, you =
get free backup software
On Oct 31, 2006, at 7:43 PM, Jon =
Rosen wrote:
Lynne, I = recommend that you purchase an inexpensive FireWire or USB 2.0 hard = drive and leave it connected to your computer for automatic nightly = backups. There are several programs that will do incremental backups, so = you can "roll back" to files that were removed days or even weeks = earlier. OS X 10.5 will include an automatic software backup feature as = part of the OS, but that doesn't help you now. Some hard drives ship = with Retrospect Express, which is very good backup software. On Oct 30, 2006, at 7:59 PM, Lynne wrote: Michael - Every Apple store has a "genius = bar"....Call your Apple store, make an appointment, and go there with = the computer. I think you = are a genius! Yes, that's what I should do... if I can find the time to = go there. Last time I went there (last year) I got some tutoring on how = to use my iMovie & iDVD. They were incredibly helpful. Do not use your computer. = I do, however, need to use my computer. I have no = choice. Anyway, it may already be too late - on the plus side, I just = discovered hard copies of many of the important documents (my writings) = so I don't feel too bad. They aren't all there (hey, but neither am I), = but with all that's happened to me, this is really minor. If I can get = them back, fine. If not - then I have learned a valuable lesson - do = BACK-UP of all important work. Lynne homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = homeroast mailing listhttp://li=sts.sweetmarias.com/mailman/listinfo/homeroastTo change your personal list settings (digest = options, vacations, unsvbscribes) go to http://=sweetmarias.com/maillistinfo.html#personalsettings = = --Apple-Mail-283--640334956--

19) From: Lynne
Yeah, I know - used to have one. Was trying to save money.
For now (money is ziltch), I am just going to save important stuff on 
CD (have lots around). After I get work (hopefully it'll be work that 
will actually equal the rent, food, utilities AND leave a bit left 
over), then I think that's actually the smartest way to go.
Lynne
On Oct 31, 2006, at 10:07 PM, Sandy Andina wrote:
<Snip>


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