Advice/help needed

One of our laptops was not starting up. My stepson assured us he had a computer friend who could check it out. One daylater he contacted us to say something had burnt out and t was useless. We asked him return it to us. He did return it five day s later saying he got it going - Yay i thought. Till I started it and the stepson or hi friend has taken Vista off, inculdig all documents and three years of photos, and had put Windows 7 on it, with of course less memory too. Now he was not gven permission to do this - didnt even ask to do this in fact. He is away this weekend in Wgtn so no chance to track him down at the moment. Also te version of Windows 7 he has put on it is not authorised.

Need some advice on what to do!I am beyond angry, and devestated to loose photos. I am yet to take it to my dads to see if he can help, but am too angry at the moment to face anyone as dad wll also remind me Ishould keep my photos on an external memory.

So any ideas - am willing to contact police as I now feel the stepson had an ulterior motive and perhaps wanted to wipe everything from us and sell it on - therefore theft. Im probably beng over paranoid I dont know:-(

geek_bowdl1, May 26, 3:53 pm

you found a cowboy tech. you need to keep backups next time.

geek_gibler, May 26, 4:14 pm

Yea I should have:-) But he was only meant to look at the hardwre of the laptop not play around with software:-(There be big trouble in little quakechurch when this boy gets home tommorrow

geek_bowdl1, May 26, 4:21 pm

Did your stepson steal anything from you!If he didn't, there was no theft.Police would send you away with a flea in your ear and probably tell you to sort out your family problems.Might even charge you with wasting police time.My advice is: cool down, have a talk with your stepson and your husband and try to salvage something from the whole episode. You are suffering from remorse now because you didn't get your Dad to look at it in the first place.

Put the outcome of your bad decision down to experience and stop trying to pin some ulterior motive on your stepson. By agreeing to let him deal with the problem of your sick laptop, you entrusted him with finding a solution.No contract was violated when he then chose to agree to his friend updating the operating system.

A possiblity is that SS agreed to an offer by his friend to do a Vista-to-Win7 upgrade.Find out.If he did that, all you need to do is buy your own upgrade pack from DSE or Noel Leeming and put in the serial number.Then you will have a legal Win 7 that you can activate.Do that soon as there is a time limit for activation. (There's no such thing as a free upgrade).

As for the data, if it was in fact an upgrade and not a clean install, the data will still be there.If I remember rightly, it will be in a big folder on the C drive, named windows.old.It will be in the Users/yourname sub folder.

geek_wombatunder, May 26, 4:30 pm

thankyou wombatunder-)good easy to understand calming advice:-)

geek_bowdl1, May 26, 4:39 pm

Take this as a lesson to back up your important files - you just as easily could have lost everything through theft or hardware failure.

geek_vtecintegra, May 26, 4:51 pm

I would have taken it my dad but he is very unwell, I have found what looks like documents and photos - they are in "shortcut" form, when I click on them it says it refers to being changed or moved so will no longer moved. I cannot see a windows.old.

Believe me, lesson well learnt:-(

geek_bowdl1, May 26, 5:15 pm

Look inside the users folder on your C drive. Seeing that you still have your old desktop shortcuts there's a strong chance this *was* an upgrade and not a clean install.The installer should therefore have retained your photos and docs in your (old) personal folder.What the name of that might be is anyone's guess as it depends on what user name you gave when you first started using your old Vista.But I do think there's hope you will be reunited with your files.

geek_wombatunder, May 26, 5:27 pm

This is no way a sure fire method, but may save a lot of dicking around trying to find out where he stuck your files (If he kept them at all).
click the windows icon in lower left corner and enter .jpg in the search box. Hit enter and see what comes up. (No useful results does not necessarily mean they're not there though)
If you do get some of your photos showing up right click on one and select open file location. That will tell where the faux tech has dumped your stuff.
If hes done the job without transferring all your files, then hes a total ass. and your out of luck. You could try a tool like recuva, but on a system drive there would be so much junk and over write corruption - I doubt you would get much back.

geek_oclaf, May 26, 6:31 pm

Friend/relative: someone who'll say they can fix your computer and will end up screwing it badly.Cost Free - result UNHAPPY

Cowboy 'tech': someone who'll say they can fix your computer and will end up screwing it badly. Cost you $$$ -result UNHAPPY

Real Tech: someone who'll FIX your computer . Cost you $$$ - result a working computer and HAPPY

geek_drcspy, May 26, 6:48 pm

Always beating up us cowboys.

geek_gibler, May 26, 6:50 pm

My profile says it "TITAT"
If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur."

geek_gj, May 26, 7:45 pm