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Everything on my hard drive got destroyed
May 28 2004

Posted on 05/28/2004 9:58:21 AM PDT by dennisw

60 gigabytes. Never had problems with it. Yesterday Windows XP froze a few times. Then the computer refused to boot up again. Boot sector wiped out? I can deal with that! I then installed this drive as a slave and it wasn't recognized... was invisible.

With Partition Magic this hard drive shows up as 60 gig of (exact words) unallocated space. It had 3 partitions which are now all gone.

I used the Western Digital Utilities and the hard drive checks out as being in good shape. No errors.

I was using Norton Anti Virus. Using a firewall on a cable connection.

I don't see any references on internet to hard drives being killed all at once.

The hard drive was 50% backed up.I will consider a data recovery company if the price is reasonable.


TOPICS: Your Opinion/Questions
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To: dennisw
If you use FS there are a few things you should know.

1 It will take about an hour to do an 80 gig drive.

2. Don't format the drive, choose the recovery option to recover a defunct volume.You will need the physical volume number, ( 0, 1, 2 & so on) which you can get from administrator tools>disk mamagement.

3. You will need another good drive to recover the files to. You can't recover them to the same volume.

4. When you choose the target drive to write the recovered files to, make sure you check the option to use folder names. It will then recover with the folder, directory, subdirectory names originally assigned, and I think partition too.

In the last 90 days, I have recovered every single file off a 120 Gig drive that blew off the Master File Table (63,000 files) and a 250 Gig for a litttle over 100,000 files. I haven't found a single file missing or corrupted yet. Good luck

51 posted on 05/28/2004 10:56:42 AM PDT by kylaka (The Clintons are the democRATS crack cocaine. They know they're bad for them, they just can't stop.)
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To: dennisw
I fixed a drive that "wasn't there" once by:
  1. Removing the drive from the computer
  2. Removing the controller board from the drive
  3. Cleaning the contacts on the pins/socket where the controller mates to the case.

You will need a little teeny torx screwdriver to remove the controller board.

52 posted on 05/28/2004 10:57:10 AM PDT by snopercod (Freedom can be preserved only if it is treated as a supreme principle which must not be sacrificed)
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To: r9etb; Peter J. Huss
Good old Steven Thrasher. I read somewhere that he actually called Canon to complain that the (non-Canon) third-party service company that leaked the recording was ruining his reputation.

Anyway, as funny as the original is, some devilish soul out there took the Thrasher call and gave it a soundtrack, if you can imagine. Or don't imagine - just listen ;)

53 posted on 05/28/2004 10:58:55 AM PDT by general_re (Drive offensively - the life you save may be your own.)
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To: dennisw

Dennis while I have no tech help to offer I'm saying a quick prayer for an inexpensive and speedy solution.


54 posted on 05/28/2004 11:02:14 AM PDT by bd476 (Walking in faith is easier on my soul than walking in fear.)
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To: js1138
There's a free demo that will absolutely tell you....whether you have the knowledge and understanding to use it.

What, does it come with a multiple-choice exam in the box? Do you activate it by solving a Rubik's Cube or something? ;)

55 posted on 05/28/2004 11:03:05 AM PDT by general_re (Drive offensively - the life you save may be your own.)
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To: general_re

Steven Thrasher... I did a google for the fellow but found nothing. Glad to see he got on with his life.

Here's a more hard-core Ode to Mr. Thrasher:

http://stretta.com/~matthew/other/angry/mp3/helpdesk-reremix.mp3


56 posted on 05/28/2004 11:06:48 AM PDT by Peter J. Huss
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To: dennisw

WesternDigital 60GB harddrives have been crappin' out left & right...I had one start acting funny on me as well.

It seems WesternDigital's is having MAJOR quality problems and are no-longer safe to buy.

Go with Maxtor, they seem 100% better in all regards.


57 posted on 05/28/2004 11:07:27 AM PDT by Veracious Poet (Cash cows are sacred in America...GOT MILKED???)
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To: dennisw
For all who have this problem and don't already know, a good procedure is:

#1: DON'T TOUCH ANYTHING! Like the doctors say, first do no harm.

Do not use any utilities that write to the drive, as they could damage it further. If it's your boot disk that's dead, boot with Knoppix to see if it's readable (Knoppix booting won't touch the hard drive). If it is readable (Windows just died, not the file system) you can try your Windows recovery disk or use Knoppix to move the data to its own folder on the hard drive and reinstall Windows without reformatting. If it isn't readable:

#2: Get another hard drive or other storage that can hold the data. For my 120GB hard drive I couldn't afford another drive that big (120 was the biggest available at the time and very expensive) so I pulled it off in chunks to the computer and wrote to DVDs.

#3: Have patience. This is going to take a while.

#4: Get software like File Scavenger ($40) or OnTrack (real expensive) that does read-only recovery of the drive. There is a demo of File Scavenger available to see if it works.

#5: If that doesn't work, decide if your data is worth the several hundred to several thousand dollars pros will charge for recovery. If the data is classified, well, how much you got left on your IMPAC card?

#5: After you're done, reformat the drive and do a sector-by-sector disk check. It should still be good to go if it was just a corrupted MFT that caused the problem.

58 posted on 05/28/2004 11:08:22 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: LanPB01
I think it's a physical problem with the drive, and not virus or software related.

I've seen cases where the hard drive's controller died, but often it's just the MFT getting corrupted. It's pretty rare (for me one time in five years of NTFS usage), but it does happen.

59 posted on 05/28/2004 11:10:02 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Peter J. Huss

Well alrighty then! this poor soul has said everything I dearly wanted to say to tech support but didnt LOL!


60 posted on 05/28/2004 11:11:43 AM PDT by suzyq5558 (The demodemons are ANGRY at the administration? so pray tell what is new?)
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To: LibKill
Once you have your data back, consider using a hard drive to back up your hard drive. I do this and once you get past the initial expense of a second hard drive, removable drive bay or USB case, there is nothing better. You set it to back up before you go to bed. No disk flipping, no fuss. I back up a lot more frequently now that I have this in place.

Interesting... I got a new computer a couple of months ago & was figuring I'd just get rid of the old one, but now I think I may keep it hooked to our home network, share the hard drive root directory and just periodically back up data on it.

61 posted on 05/28/2004 11:12:02 AM PDT by Sloth (We cannot defeat foreign enemies of the Constitution if we yield to the domestic ones.)
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To: LibKill
No disk flipping, no fuss. I back up a lot more frequently now that I have this in place.

If you're going to back up hard drive to hard drive, consider just using RAID 1 (mirroring). Most modern motherboards have RAID 1 built in. If the hard drive dies, a perfect copy is always right there and you won't miss a bit of work (until you get a replacement drive and rebuild the array).

62 posted on 05/28/2004 11:16:33 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: dennisw
BUMP, BOOKMARK and Good Luck!

(I'm buying a 250Gb this weekend for the Athlon 2800+ toy I'm about to build. Brand unknown - the FRY'S ad doesn't say, but what, WD's are NFG? Anyone else to avoid?)

63 posted on 05/28/2004 11:17:37 AM PDT by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything!")
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To: dennisw
My laptop is slow on the NET.
Not a virus (I have Norton & keep it upgraded) scanned - - - - nothing.
Windows XP
Internet explorer 6
I have tried everything even system restore. I can only go back to may 23 and that is worse.
Any suggestions will be most appreciated! !!
64 posted on 05/28/2004 11:19:15 AM PDT by DeaconRed (Never forget 9/11. Lets Not Forget our Brave Military for keeping us FREE and say Thank You Everyday)
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To: antiRepublicrat
It should still be good to go if it was just a corrupted MFT that caused the problem.

Looks to me like he blew away either the partition table or the entire MBR, not the MFT - nevermind files, he can't even find the partitions. With a low-level disk editor, you can track down the backup boot record (if it's an NTFS disk) and write it overtop the corrupt copy - I pulled that rabbit out of my hat a couple of months ago, but it's not for the faint-hearted ;)

65 posted on 05/28/2004 11:22:47 AM PDT by general_re (Drive offensively - the life you save may be your own.)
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To: dennisw
Gotta run scandisk (there is a XP version in Exporer _drive_ properties) once and a while on any MS operating system product. Gotta!
66 posted on 05/28/2004 11:23:52 AM PDT by veracious
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To: general_re
What, does it come with a multiple-choice exam in the box? Do you activate it by solving a Rubik's Cube or something? ;)

No. The interface is exactly like the full product. You scan the damaged drive and it lists the files it has found, along with their dates and sizes. It just won't allow you to recover files above a certain size. If all your files were small documents, you wouldn't have to buy the product.

When the file allocation table is lost it is tricky to reassemble fragmented files. (This might be an obscure reason to run defrag.) On the NTFS disk I recovered there were multiple "views" of the files. The directory trees were partially lost of scrambled. It took quite a few hours to recover the important documents, but I got everything I needed -- Quicken files, several thousand emails, thousands of image files. I didn't try to recover anything but documents.

67 posted on 05/28/2004 11:25:10 AM PDT by js1138 (In a minute there is time, for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. J Forbes Kerry)
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To: dennisw
That happened to me under Windows 2000.

I recovered ALL the data ALL by myself with this GetDataBack.

You'll need to get a new drive, install it and install your windows restore disk or WinXP, whichever works. Then install the 'bad' drive as D Drive and run this software. If the data is there, this program will find it. I got it done all by myself. It was very cool. Someone recommended the Knoppix fast boot CDROM, that's another good way to see the drive from a non-windows point of view.

68 posted on 05/28/2004 11:29:25 AM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: dennisw
Are viruses etc. known to do this? Kill the file allocation table?

Yes.

Just because Microsoft-based products can't see the data, doesn't mean it isn't there.

69 posted on 05/28/2004 11:30:54 AM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: Peter J. Huss

LOL


Backups rule!


70 posted on 05/28/2004 11:34:21 AM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: Veracious Poet
It seems WesternDigital's is having MAJOR quality problems and are no-longer safe to buy.

IBM went out of the drive business over their 60 gig drives. I, of course, bought three of them for myself and for family members. One of the three died, and that is the one I used RT on.

In defense of IBM, it was my fault the partitions were lost. Before I pushed the wrong button, all I had was a drive that booted with a S.M.A.R.T. warning. It still had all the data.

I screwed up trying to use a Maxtor utility to copy from the old to the new. The utility didn't work and while trying to do a fresh install of Windows on the new drive I accidentally deleted the partitions on the old one. The recovery program did get the documents from the old drive, but it was painful and time consuming.

71 posted on 05/28/2004 11:35:15 AM PDT by js1138 (In a minute there is time, for decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse. J Forbes Kerry)
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To: js1138

Hmmm. Perhaps my smiley was too small. ;)


72 posted on 05/28/2004 11:35:49 AM PDT by general_re (Drive offensively - the life you save may be your own.)
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To: Grig

GetDataBack really saved my chestnuts a couple months ago...I can't praise it enough.


73 posted on 05/28/2004 11:36:06 AM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: Sloth
That's a VERY wise move. We have five computers on the home network, and anything truly irreplacable gets backed up on three or four different systems.

Redundancy Rules!

74 posted on 05/28/2004 11:43:51 AM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: dennisw

Step 1: Grab a hammer

Step 2: Beat the _(&)^&(^(%*%*%*&^ out of the hard drive.


75 posted on 05/28/2004 11:51:51 AM PDT by JRios1968 (Service to this Nation...with a smile thrown in for free!)
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To: general_re
nevermind files, he can't even find the partitions.

Neither could I, the disk just wasn't there. But the recovery software took care of it easily, even if it did take forever.

I pulled that rabbit out of my hat a couple of months ago, but it's not for the faint-hearted ;)

Nice trick, but I'm a safety nut and try not to alter a drive that's died. Like you said, not for the faint-hearted, but you pulled it off!

76 posted on 05/28/2004 11:51:53 AM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Peter J. Huss
Here's a more hard-core Ode to Mr. Thrasher: http://stretta.com/~matthew/other/angry/mp3/helpdesk-reremix.mp3<

Good one!!

77 posted on 05/28/2004 11:57:05 AM PDT by balrog666 (A man generally has two reasons for doing a thing. One that sounds good, and a real one.)
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To: dennisw

I've used "gpart" to recover a couple partition tables in the past. It has the advantages of being free and working with a great variety of partition types. It has the disadvantage of only running (natively) on Linux/FreeBSD:

http://www.stud.uni-hannover.de/user/76201/gpart/


78 posted on 05/28/2004 12:05:30 PM PDT by theepengu1n
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To: Grig

If the computer BIOS recognizes the drive then it very likley is not a hardware failure.

Try GetDataBack to recover the data.
http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm
______________________________________


Thanks. Am trying get back right now. Hard drive does show up on bios and diagnostic utilities said it was in good shape.


79 posted on 05/28/2004 12:13:58 PM PDT by dennisw ("Allah FUBAR!")
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To: antiRepublicrat
The trick is to be sure that the only place you write to is the MBR cylinder, so in a worst-case scenario, you end up no worse off than where you started - with a fried MBR. If you know what you're doing, and you're careful, it's not all that dangerous.

Of course, you could say the same thing about brain surgery or assembling nuclear weapons - if you know what you're doing, and you're careful, it's not all that dangerous. But that still doesn't mean it's a good idea for John and Jane Enduser to take a whack at it ;)

80 posted on 05/28/2004 12:44:19 PM PDT by general_re (Drive offensively - the life you save may be your own.)
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To: dennisw
"Broken lines, broken strings,
Broken threads, broken springs,
Broken idols, broken heads,
People sleeping in broken beds.
Ain't no use jiving
Ain't no use joking
Everything is broken.

Seem like every time you stop and turn around
Something else just hit the ground"
-- Bob Dylan Everything is Broken
81 posted on 05/28/2004 12:47:22 PM PDT by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything!")
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To: dansangel
Best Buy did mine for $60.00 last year.

Does that price include the blackmail charges for keeping their mouhs shut about what they find on the customers hard drive?

82 posted on 05/28/2004 12:58:26 PM PDT by lowbridge ("You are an American. You are my brother. I would die for you." -Kurdish Sergeant)
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To: general_re
The trick is to be sure that the only place you write to is the MBR cylinder, so in a worst-case scenario, you end up no worse off than where you started - with a fried MBR. If you know what you're doing, and you're careful, it's not all that dangerous.

Thanks for the tip. I've never had a fried MBR on a modern OS, so I'll keep this in mind for when it eventually does happen.

83 posted on 05/28/2004 1:09:24 PM PDT by antiRepublicrat
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To: Grig

Did a test run with demo version of getback. It seems to work. The files are there. Have to pay for the fully functional version to recover them


Looks good!


84 posted on 05/28/2004 2:05:38 PM PDT by dennisw ("Allah FUBAR!")
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To: antiRepublicrat
I do use a mirrored RAID array. However, I back up the primary once a week to an external hard drive.

The reason I do this is that in a mirrored array, anything that is written is written to both drives at once. If a newly installed program trashes the OS, both drives won't boot.

I actually had that happen once.

Anyway, counting the external backup, my main computer has 3 hard drives. :)

85 posted on 05/28/2004 2:10:43 PM PDT by LibKill (There's nobody more peaceful and less troubling than a dead trouble-maker.)
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To: dennisw

Well, i am a little late getting here, and I am learning , haven't had this problem yet.

I have both Maxtor and Western Digital drives and a Western Digital 120 GB drive I have has been making strange noises but is still functioning.

I am trying Datalink 7 to back it up , but first trys didn't allow the backup to boot up.


86 posted on 05/28/2004 3:59:51 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: martin_fierro

2 cups butter?????? wow!!! hmmmmmm if this is a for real recipe I am tempted to try it.


87 posted on 05/28/2004 4:04:06 PM PDT by pollywog (Psalm 121;1 I Lift mine eyes to the hills from whence cometh my help.)
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To: dennisw
Thanks. Am trying get back right now. Hard drive does show up on bios and diagnostic utilities said it was in good shape.

Keep all your helpers posted on whether this works, if Bios sees the drive it must be a "software" problem.

88 posted on 05/28/2004 4:08:18 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: antiRepublicrat

Knoppix is Linux only?


89 posted on 05/28/2004 4:22:03 PM PDT by Ernest_at_the_Beach (The terrorists and their supporters declared war on the United States - and war is what they got!!!!)
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To: pollywog
That recipe came from a newsgroup where someone alleged to have been charged $250 for the recipe by Neiman-Marcus.

Most likely urban fiction.

Let me know how they turn out. <|:)~

90 posted on 05/28/2004 4:29:25 PM PDT by martin_fierro (</pith>)
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To: Sloth
Interesting... I got a new computer a couple of months ago & was figuring I'd just get rid of the old one, but now I think I may keep it hooked to our home network, share the hard drive root directory and just periodically back up data on it.>

Good move, Sloth.

I have two computers networked and I often copy vital data from the Primary to the Secondary computer.

When I was recommending hard drive to hard drive backup I was speaking only of my own experience. I CLONE drives. If the primary fails I can remove it and put in the "B TEAM" and boot from my last backup.

However you do it, a good backup is a good friend.

I prefer to backup to hard drive because it is easy and simple. That is to say that it is simple and easy AFTER you have it set up. While you are setting it up it can be difficult (depending on your skill level) and it is expensive. An 80G WD drive sells for about $100 at my local computer extortionist. That does not count the cost of the box that you put it in.

Removeable hard drive rack, $20.

USB case for hard drive (cable not included) $40.

Cable for same $5.

Peace of mind, knowing that you can restore your system from the last backup, priceless.

91 posted on 05/28/2004 4:46:32 PM PDT by LibKill (There's nobody more peaceful and less troubling than a dead trouble-maker.)
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To: dennisw

92 posted on 05/28/2004 4:49:08 PM PDT by sweetliberty ("Better to keep silent and be thought a fool than to open your mouth and remove all doubt.")
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To: dennisw
Did a test run with demo version of getback. It seems to work. The files are there. Have to pay for the fully functional version to recover them.

Great!

93 posted on 05/28/2004 4:49:43 PM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: dennisw
Never keep anything of importance on a hard drive. Especially if you run Winblows. That'll teach ya.

Anyway, reboot and replace Windows if possible.

94 posted on 05/28/2004 5:03:43 PM PDT by Dec31,1999 (Capital punishment saves lives.)
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To: Petronski
Have to pay for the fully functional version to recover them.

Great!

Own stock in the company?

95 posted on 05/28/2004 5:29:46 PM PDT by Revolting cat! ("In the end, nothing explains anything!")
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To: Revolting cat!

Nope. But it did recover 15 gigs of highly precious data for me in March. Nothing else I could find would work at all.


96 posted on 05/28/2004 5:32:41 PM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: Voter#537
My first guess would be adware/spyware/malware.

Download and run the free version of Ad-aware.

97 posted on 05/28/2004 5:32:46 PM PDT by Leroy S. Mort
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To: dennisw; bobsatwork
Data recovery will cost about $600.

I'll do it for half that, with the Vaseline included.

New hard drives are cheap. Start there...

98 posted on 05/28/2004 5:34:01 PM PDT by Libloather (John Kerry would be great at giving the State of the Union Address, and the rebuttal...)
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To: Libloather

Definitely sounds like an adware/spyware issue to me.


99 posted on 05/28/2004 5:35:24 PM PDT by Petronski (They could choose between shame and war: Some chose shame, but got war anyway.)
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To: Dec31,1999
...replace Windows if possible.

Go with Champion?

100 posted on 05/28/2004 5:35:58 PM PDT by Libloather (John Kerry would be great at giving the State of the Union Address, and the rebuttal...)
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