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Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:23 pm

Unfortunately, my computer just seems to have fucking died. I'm not sure what to do about it---it tries to load up but won't even start in Safe Mode and asked me to do Start-Up Repair, which I attempted, but the same thing happened. It gets almost nowhere and then just stuck on the orange "busy" signal indefinitely. And I really don't even know what happened or where it came from. Suddenly the music I had playing just stopped and my computer stopped responding to any input. Then it wouldn't start back up.

I'm trying not to fucking panic, because I did not get my stuff off of that machine, including important documents with passwords, etc. I do have my gmail account password off computer, so that'll help if I can reset some passwords that I need to but... this fucking blows. I wasn't ready for this to happen yet. The damn machine was doing WELL lately, so I was optimistic that I could focus on medical bills, etc.

I can't even do commissions now. I required my computer and ancient scanner to be able to do that, which is now not currently an option. I'll try to start up my computer again later, but I'm not even hoping for anything at this point. It failed with everything I tried and after I gave it a break and tried again 15 mins later. The password to this site is one of the few things I remember, so I'm sending word out this way.

To folks on my Discord Server (Unicorn Valley), I will attempt to download Discord for this temporary laptop I'm borrowing, but I don't remember my pass and I hope they give the option to send it to my e-mail... If I CANNOT get in discord, could someone on my server let people there know what is going on? I would really appreciate it. And either Kitti or Valk, if you could let the stream buds group know what's going on, I would also really appreciate it.

This just. The timing is absolutely awful. I don't know what I'm really going to do for now. And all the work I've been putting into things I've been excited to do the last few weeks/months, like the Sims LP and stuff, are now on hold indefinitely.

I'm going to look into getting a new comp, but I don't know how fast this is going to happen and I'm severely upset if I've lost everything on that machine. We don't really have repair places for PCs out here in the middle of nowhere, so I really don't know what I can do now. There are some passwords and documents that I REALLY need to get off of that machine.

Sorry for the frantic, long message here. But this happened so suddenly and I'm really at a loss of what to do. If anyone has suggestions, please let me know. I'll see if I can get discord working on this thing in the meantime...

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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby HeroSoulSword on Wed Feb 20, 2019 2:40 pm

The same thing happened to me back in October, where my original desktop just suddenly bit the dust randomly. It sounds like you'll need a new computer, which is what I had to do. If you have access to Best Buy, go there to not only find a decently priced computer, but also have them transfer the old data to the new computer, which is exactly what I did. Being part of their Tech Support membership would also lessen the costs dramatically: in-store stuff is free while Geek Squad stuff is $50 flat. It's a lengthy process, I admit, as it took me over a week to get the data transferred because my computer wouldn't boot up anymore, it set me back about $500, and it took me until November to get everything fully operational, but it's worth the time and energy. In the meantime, gather up as many passwords and other important data you can and keep them somewhere safe so you don't have to reset all of them when you get your new computer. It'll be bit of a task, but it'll be worth it in the long run. Good luck.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Assimilation on Wed Feb 20, 2019 5:55 pm

You can think of your computer in 3 layers: the machine (all the hardware parts), the operating system (the OS), and your data.

It sounds like your machine is okay, but your operating system is failing. It's possible that the problem is with the machine, but I'm talking broad strokes right now.

One of the pieces of hardware in your machine is the hard drive. It is either an HDD or an SSD (click for visuals). Both your OS and your data are on it.

The operating system is what the machine loads up when you press the power button. Once your OS loads, you are taken to the login screen, and then the desktop. Whenever you want to look at your documents, your pictures, etc. that you've saved, your mouse clicks and keypresses tell the OS to pull that data out of your hard drive.

If you have a "repair CD" or "repair USB" or some other thing you can stick in, those repair media have the data needed to do a proper start-up repair. Because the repair lives in that portable media, it can take a long time (and will at times look like it's stuck) but it should do the job. However, if the repairs always fail, then it might not be the OS that's failing you; it could be the hard drive itself.

If this is the case, you still need to hold onto the hard drive. If you end up getting a new computer (which will have a new hard drive), you can also connect this old hard drive into the new machine, and then transfer the data out of the old and into the new. So long as you know the password to your old OS, and your hard drive's problem isn't the connection itself (and it sounds like it isn't), you will ultimately be able to recover your medical documents so long as you can get to someone with a computer who is willing and able to plug your hard drive into their machine.

There's a lot of possibilities and variables that make it unwieldy for me to try to diagnose your computer problems further without being able to physically work with it myself, so my apologies that I'm cutting it short here. My advice is to find your most computer-savvy friend or a PC repair shop, who can then try to repair the OS or else transfer your hard drive data to their computer or to another hard drive. Make sure that whomever you choose to help you with this does not use the words "format", "reformat", or "wipe" when talking about your hard drive. Reformatting is what you do to completely empty the hard drive, making your data unrecoverable.
Last edited by Assimilation on Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:31 pm

HeroSoulSword wrote:The same thing happened to me back in October, where my original desktop just suddenly bit the dust randomly. It sounds like you'll need a new computer, which is what I had to do. If you have access to Best Buy, go there to not only find a decently priced computer, but also have them transfer the old data to the new computer, which is exactly what I did. Being part of their Tech Support membership would also lessen the costs dramatically: in-store stuff is free while Geek Squad stuff is $50 flat. It's a lengthy process, I admit, as it took me over a week to get the data transferred because my computer wouldn't boot up anymore, it set me back about $500, and it took me until November to get everything fully operational, but it's worth the time and energy. In the meantime, gather up as many passwords and other important data you can and keep them somewhere safe so you don't have to reset all of them when you get your new computer. It'll be bit of a task, but it'll be worth it in the long run. Good luck.


Sorry to hear that you had something similar happen to you. And yeah, before my medical bullshit, I was saving up for a new PC, because mine was showing lots of signs of wear and slowing down. But then I had to quit my job in November and wound up in the ER, which gave me a ridiculous medical bill that I've been trying to pay off for months and still have several to go. I'm going to try to figure something out. There is a computer repair shop sorta in the area (I'll have to travel a good 35 min to get there), and I'll see what they think I should do. I doubt the computer can be salvaged, but if I can get my data, that's what I care about the most. I may have to empty savings to get a new PC, but at this point, I don't have a choice. I can't even do commissions again until I can get a new comp and hope my scanner still runs (or I'll have to get a new one of those too). I could try to hook the scanner up to this thing, but it's ancient, so idk if it will work. If it DOES, there's a potential to download a free art program and use that, so maybe I could still do commissions in the mean time to try to make the money. It's the most I can hope for right now. If I lose my data, though, I'm in a rough place. I just hope that can be salvaged from my PC somehow. I have at least a few important passwords already written down on paper (for financial/g-mail account), so that's something. I'm in the process of resetting some passwords that can be reset with use of e-mail. Thank you, though. I'm going to find a way through this. I new this PC was on its last legs, but I was not prepared for it to suddenly do this.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Wed Feb 20, 2019 6:52 pm

Assimilation wrote:You can think of your computer in 3 layers: the machine (all the hardware parts), the operating system (the OS), and your data.

It sounds like your machine is okay, but your operating system is failing. It's possible that the problem is with the machine, but I'm talking broad strokes right now.

One of the pieces of hardware in your machine is the hard drive. It is either an HDD or an SSD (click for visuals). Both your OS and your data are on it.

The operating system is what the machine loads up when you press the power button. Once your OS loads, you are taken to the login screen, and then the desktop. Whenever you want to look at your documents, your pictures, etc. that you've saved, your mouse clicks and keypresses tell the OS to pull that data out of your hard drive.

If you have a "repair CD" or "repair USB" or some other thing you can stick in, those repair media have the data needed to do a proper start-up repair. Because the repair lives in that portable media, it can take a long time (and will at times look like it's stuck) but it should do the job. However, if the repairs always fail, then it might not be the OS that's failing you; it could be the hard drive itself.

If this is the case, you still need to hold onto the hard drive. If you end up getting a new computer (which will have a new hard drive), you can also connect this old hard drive into the new machine, and then transfer the data out of the old and into the new. So long as you know the password to your old OS, and your hard drive's problem isn't the connection itself (and it sounds like it isn't), you will ultimately be able to recover your medical documents so long as you can get to someone with a computer who is willing and able to plug your hard drive into their machine.

There's a lot of possibilities and variables that make it unwieldy for me to try to diagnose your computer problems further without being able to physically work with it myself, so my apologies that I'm cutting it short here. My advice is to find your most computer-savvy friend or a PC repair shop, who can then try to repair the OS or else transfer your hard drive data to their computer or to another hard drive. Make sure that whomever you choose to help you with this does not use the words "format", "reformat", or "wipe" when talking about your hard drive. Reformatting is what you do to completely empty the hard drive, making your data unrecoverable.


I tried some things with help from Belloc and Rill. And they seem to think my computer is stuck in what's called "Start-up Repair Loop Error". I tried various things like safe mode and Repair Your Computer and a few other things Bel instructed to try, but the same thing would happen with the stuff trying to load and then just freezing after a few seconds, staying busy for a few minutes, and then all activity gone and stuck on the screen where nothing was happening.

Honestly, as long as I can get my data recovered, that's #1 priority for me. I don't know how I'm going to get a new comp just yet, but I need the data files and all my drawings and my downloads folder and such. I need the documents with my passwords and stuff pretty urgently. That's the stuff I really want is the recovery. My computer has already been struggling for a couple years. It's old. It had Win 7 when Win 7 was new. But I didn't expect this to happen out of nowhere and I still have zero idea as to what triggered it.

I plan to try to bring it to a tech place that's sorta in the area, though I won't be able to bring it for awhile with the winter storms we're getting here. I'm using a laptop that is not mine in the mean time, but I hope it will keep things afloat while I try to get this all figured out. Getting my data is definitely what I want to focus on the most, though. I even have a really old external HD (160GB) that might still work and that I hope would help the tech guys with recovery storage if it'll still work.

Thank you for the info, though. I do know that wipes and reformats destroy the data and restore to factory settings and such is bad, but thanks for the reminder. Ironically, my older brother who moved out of the area with his family some time ago would have been able to help with this. But he's several states away from me now. So I'll just have to hope that the tech guys can help me. And from there, figure out what to do about a new comp and what I can feasibly afford and what this crappy laptop can assist me with in the mean time. I appreciate all the tips, thanks. I think I've given up trying anything else on my own for now, as my computer seems to do the same thing regardless of what options I choose in the F8 menu. So I'm just going to leave it alone for now and see how soon I can contact the tech repair place and prioritize getting my data back.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby HeroSoulSword on Thu Feb 21, 2019 12:29 pm

Chameleonette wrote:Sorry to hear that you had something similar happen to you. And yeah, before my medical bullshit, I was saving up for a new PC, because mine was showing lots of signs of wear and slowing down. But then I had to quit my job in November and wound up in the ER, which gave me a ridiculous medical bill that I've been trying to pay off for months and still have several to go. I'm going to try to figure something out. There is a computer repair shop sorta in the area (I'll have to travel a good 35 min to get there), and I'll see what they think I should do. I doubt the computer can be salvaged, but if I can get my data, that's what I care about the most. I may have to empty savings to get a new PC, but at this point, I don't have a choice. I can't even do commissions again until I can get a new comp and hope my scanner still runs (or I'll have to get a new one of those too). I could try to hook the scanner up to this thing, but it's ancient, so idk if it will work. If it DOES, there's a potential to download a free art program and use that, so maybe I could still do commissions in the mean time to try to make the money. It's the most I can hope for right now. If I lose my data, though, I'm in a rough place. I just hope that can be salvaged from my PC somehow. I have at least a few important passwords already written down on paper (for financial/g-mail account), so that's something. I'm in the process of resetting some passwords that can be reset with use of e-mail. Thank you, though. I'm going to find a way through this. I new this PC was on its last legs, but I was not prepared for it to suddenly do this.


From my own experience, as long as the hard drive is still in one piece, then the data can very easily be salvaged. Like with mine, when my computer keeled over, they removed the hard drive and transferred all the data from it to my new computer, since the hard drive itself was unaffected and undamaged. One reason why it took me so long to set things up was because I wanted to confirm if all my data was still intact, which it was, so that was a major relief. So, as long as the hard drive is functional and undamaged, your data can easily be recovered. They even gave me my old hard drive after the transfer in case I ever needed to repeat the process again. So, as I said before, as long as the hard drive is fully functional (which is should be, since, from what you're saying, it sounds like the main system is what's failing, and the hard drive is separate from that), then every piece of data can be recovered without too much of a fuss.

Also, when hunting down a new computer, don't always think "expensive = better" as my new computer was only $489, which is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but it functions way better than my 16-year old clunker ever did (yes, I've had my old computer for at least 16 years, as it got me through high school, college, and so on), which was closer to $1200 when I first bought it. The only reason I had to spend more was because I broke my old monitor when hooking things up, setting me back about an extra $70 or so in order to buy a new one. So, don't automatically assume that the more expensive the computer is the better it is, as that's not true. You will need a minimum of 12 gigs, as most newer operating systems require high gigs in order to be effective, but with careful hunting you can find some pretty good deals out there. Again, I gained a lot of faith in Best Buy during my episode, as they have some pretty good offers and often have sales that are downright affordable, but do as many searches as possible to compare prices and such and see what works best for you. Good luck.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby MementoMori on Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:49 am

I'm really sorry to hear about this event, first and foremost, I really hope everything works out in the end and sending you good luck!

Second of all, I've dealt with a similar type of issue several times and personally, as a last resort, one thing that would always save my computer at least just enough that I could get back onto it one more time to transfer everything off of it myself so I wouldn't lose anything, until I could buy a new computer, was this - if you have access to another computer somehow, you can download these free really aggressive antivirus tools by Norton or Trend Micro - I always used the Norton Power Eraser here: https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/hom ... file_en_us but here's the Trend Micro version of a similar free tool as well: https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/forHom ... tools.html

I dunno if they would help you in this situation, but if it's due to a virus, those programs would be able to remove anything causing it, even something hidden deep inside of the system files that's triggered to run at the computer's initial boot or anything like that. In my case, it saved my computer every time, but once it couldn't, because my last computer died from a really violent blackout hitting our area while my computer was plugged in :(

Hopefully that could have a chance of saving your computer for free, so I thought I'd share it with you, and again good luck no matter what!
Last edited by MementoMori on Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby angel2 on Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:13 am

Oh, no so sorry for that's happened to you. It is suck for lost data... backup of private cloud like your own important things on dropbox and arts/etc on private only of imgur.
it happened to me before because hard driver was full screamed at me.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:11 pm

HeroSoulSword wrote:
Chameleonette wrote:Sorry to hear that you had something similar happen to you. And yeah, before my medical bullshit, I was saving up for a new PC, because mine was showing lots of signs of wear and slowing down. But then I had to quit my job in November and wound up in the ER, which gave me a ridiculous medical bill that I've been trying to pay off for months and still have several to go. I'm going to try to figure something out. There is a computer repair shop sorta in the area (I'll have to travel a good 35 min to get there), and I'll see what they think I should do. I doubt the computer can be salvaged, but if I can get my data, that's what I care about the most. I may have to empty savings to get a new PC, but at this point, I don't have a choice. I can't even do commissions again until I can get a new comp and hope my scanner still runs (or I'll have to get a new one of those too). I could try to hook the scanner up to this thing, but it's ancient, so idk if it will work. If it DOES, there's a potential to download a free art program and use that, so maybe I could still do commissions in the mean time to try to make the money. It's the most I can hope for right now. If I lose my data, though, I'm in a rough place. I just hope that can be salvaged from my PC somehow. I have at least a few important passwords already written down on paper (for financial/g-mail account), so that's something. I'm in the process of resetting some passwords that can be reset with use of e-mail. Thank you, though. I'm going to find a way through this. I new this PC was on its last legs, but I was not prepared for it to suddenly do this.


From my own experience, as long as the hard drive is still in one piece, then the data can very easily be salvaged. Like with mine, when my computer keeled over, they removed the hard drive and transferred all the data from it to my new computer, since the hard drive itself was unaffected and undamaged. One reason why it took me so long to set things up was because I wanted to confirm if all my data was still intact, which it was, so that was a major relief. So, as long as the hard drive is functional and undamaged, your data can easily be recovered. They even gave me my old hard drive after the transfer in case I ever needed to repeat the process again. So, as I said before, as long as the hard drive is fully functional (which is should be, since, from what you're saying, it sounds like the main system is what's failing, and the hard drive is separate from that), then every piece of data can be recovered without too much of a fuss.

Also, when hunting down a new computer, don't always think "expensive = better" as my new computer was only $489, which is on the cheaper end of the spectrum, but it functions way better than my 16-year old clunker ever did (yes, I've had my old computer for at least 16 years, as it got me through high school, college, and so on), which was closer to $1200 when I first bought it. The only reason I had to spend more was because I broke my old monitor when hooking things up, setting me back about an extra $70 or so in order to buy a new one. So, don't automatically assume that the more expensive the computer is the better it is, as that's not true. You will need a minimum of 12 gigs, as most newer operating systems require high gigs in order to be effective, but with careful hunting you can find some pretty good deals out there. Again, I gained a lot of faith in Best Buy during my episode, as they have some pretty good offers and often have sales that are downright affordable, but do as many searches as possible to compare prices and such and see what works best for you. Good luck.


Yeah, from what I've heard from others, it seems unlikely that my hard drive was damaged. It's possible, but as long as there's good hope of getting my data back, I can feel a bit more optimistic. (Losing all of that would have been way too devastating.) I'm going to make sure to tell them NOT to wipe or reformat the comp afterward. In case something goes wrong with the data recovery transfer, I'd like to still have the hard drive with my stuff on hand if I should need it again.

My younger brother is actually going to build me a new computer. Paying for the parts isn't going to be easy, but I trust him and what he thinks will work best for what I need it for. Even the tentative total he has so far is isn't what my old machine cost ($1000+ from Wal-Mart), so that's already a save. My monitor still seems like it should be OK, so I'm not going to replace that. I'm pretty sure it can still work for what I need it for. And I don't have a Best Buy around here anyway, but yeah. My younger bro enjoys building computers and he was more than willing to offer to build it for me and ship it across the USA to me, too. He's been an immense help to the whole process and relieving a lot of my anxiety. And he's probably sick of me saying 'thank you' by now. But I have hopes that aside from being in a tight money spot with this and an ER bill, things could work out.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:19 pm

MementoMori wrote:I'm really sorry to hear about this event, first and foremost, I really hope everything works out in the end and sending you good luck!

Second of all, I've dealt with a similar type of issue several times and personally, as a last resort, one thing that would always save my computer at least just enough that I could get back onto it one more time to transfer everything off of it myself so I wouldn't lose anything, until I could buy a new computer, was this - if you have access to another computer somehow, you can download these free really aggressive antivirus tools by Norton or Trend Micro - I always used the Norton Power Eraser here: https://support.norton.com/sp/en/us/hom ... file_en_us but here's the Trend Micro version of a similar free tool as well: https://www.trendmicro.com/en_us/forHom ... tools.html

I dunno if they would help you in this situation, but if it's due to a virus, those programs would be able to remove anything causing it, even something hidden deep inside of the system files that's triggered to run at the computer's initial boot or anything like that. In my case, it saved my computer every time, but once it couldn't, because my last computer died from a really violent blackout hitting our area while my computer was plugged in :(

Hopefully that could have a chance of saving your computer for free, so I thought I'd share it with you, and again good luck no matter what!


Thank you! I'm definitely feeling more optimistic now than I did a couple days ago. Far as I have been told, there's a good chance my data may be recoverable, as long as my hard drive isn't damaged.

I am pretty sure this wasn't actually a virus. I had been having problems with a certain anti-virus software, actually. Namely, the demon that calls itself Avast. A few weeks prior to this, it started stealing all of my CPU and memory out of nowhere and freezing my computer. I followed a youtube video instruction of how to get it to stop by going into the uninstaller and messing with it to take out some of their bogus programs I didn't want. My computer claimed the process was "unsuccessful" after a restart, but for the last week, my computer was running better and Avast wasn't causing as many problems. But when I sent a picture of the start up repair loop error thing I was getting, someone noticed that the last file my comp loaded/tried to load before it stalled/froze in place was an Avast file. So Avast might have just fucked up my OS. And I don't have a copy of Windows 7, nor the expertise to mess with it comfortably myself.

Thank you for sharing, though! The data recovery is what's paramount to me. I had actually been trying to replace the old computer (which is going on 10 years or so) for the last year, but had a wrench thrown in the end of last year when I a lot of unfortunate things happened IRL. So I was back to square one and hoping that it would last a while longer for me. Clearly it hasn't, though. So my focus is really just to get the data back. And my younger brother is going to build me a new computer as long I pay for the parts. So I'm trying to stay positive.
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Re: Everything Went Kaput

Permanent Linkby Chameleonette on Fri Feb 22, 2019 7:20 pm

angel2 wrote:Oh, no so sorry for that's happened to you. It is suck for lost data... backup of private cloud like your own important things on dropbox and arts/etc on private only of imgur.
it happened to me before because hard driver was full screamed at me.


Yeah, the funny thing is, I had planned to back things up just about a week or so before this happened. But I was lured into a false sense of security when my computer's performance improved and the previous problem seemed to have gone away. I've learned my lesson, though, and I'm going to make sure I have proper back-ups from now on.
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