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Read the article that everyone's commenting on.
"Blizzard"...there's a logo I haven't seen since the days of Starcraft and Diablo2 #I refused to play WOW when it came out as I'm certain it would have been too addicting for me and based on the fanbase I'm probably right#.
What's your poison Leo? WOW? Starcraft2? D3 beta tester perhaps?
Unlike my other post, I'll stay a little more on topic here...I've not done an accidental delete of "everything" but I do have a friend who, in the early days, discovered the command "deltree" and somehow fat-fingered the "c:\" directory. He shortly afterward discovered how to reinstall Windows because he didn't do backups either.
I accidentally deleted all my family pictures on my computer which numbered about 5000. I tried several expensive data recovery systems and all failed. Then I found Get Data Back & Deleted File Recovery and was able to recovery all of my pictures. That was one of the happiest days of my life. I now back up all of my files on 3 hard disk drives.
As a C128 user, I regularly use a Unix CSH-shell account at our ISP, so "rm -fr *" isn't exactly unfamiliar, though I have never had occasion to use that particular combination of switches, myself. <<Shudder.>>
But I am curious: What, in freak's name, (besides Satan himself), could ever have possessed you to enter that particular command from your root directory?! Yikes!
One alternative to removing the disk or installing Windows to another drive, would be to boot Windows from a live PE CD or DVD or from Live Linux disc such as Ubuntu. Ubuntu is probably the easiest option as it freely downloadable and a PE disk needs to be created. Here's a tutorial to do itfrom Ubuntu.
Way, way back in the old DOS days, I managed type del *.* from the c:\ prompt. I was so used to answering "Y" when using the del command to delete such relatively useless things as backup doc files, that I was on autopilot and answered "Y". It was a mistake I made only once.
Always happy to hear that somebody else has done the "rm -rf *" command from the root directory. And to answer a previous comment, it happens because you're logged in as root, and for some reason you lose track of what directory you're in. Every long-term Linux/UNIX user I know of has done this once. I try to stay away from the people who have done it twice. ;) And just so Leo doesn't delete this message because it meanders too far off-topic, I have a followup: Are there any Linux live recovery CDs you'd recommend for recovering a Windows drive? My wife insists on using Windows XP, and I have to deal with trashed hard drives occasionally.
I looked into the various means of backing up data on my hard drive - an external hard drive, and decided on an off-site backup servce such as Carbonite or Mozy. My computer guru recommended Mozy and every night at 3 a.m., all the files I designated to be saved are backed up to be retrieved if and when needed.
If the hard drive was trashed, there may be another way.
While using Nero Vision to capture a DVD-RW, the app hung. I had to turn off the computer using the power switch. I put the HD in a USB case and found that both the W7 and logical partitions were unidentified file systems. And there were two additional partitions that should not be there.
I tried repairing with W7 install DVD. NG. Used Easy Recover app in a PE disk that has worked in the past. It did not see all files, but those it recovered were damaged. None of the .mpg files would play.
Used TestDisk 6.12. I attached to the PATA in another computer because TestDisk did not see the disk when in USB enclosure.
I opened testdisk_win.exe and chose the advanced mode. It found the hidden W7 boot, the labeled logical partition, and two unlabeled invalid partitions. I used the cursor keys to select the W7 and set it to as the boot partition. I set the logical to logical, and the two invalid partitions set for deletion.
All files were readable and good when viewed XP.
I put drive back in the original computer, and all worked again.
I run Windows 7 Ultimate and Kubuntu Natty in a duel-boot configuration. I'm forever messing around with my OSes and occasionally have had to pay the price with an unbootable system. I've lost count of how many times I had to reinstall my operating system(s). No biggie, though, as I always have my personal files backed up to my portable hard drive so other than the time I used for reinstalling/reconfiguring my OSes, nothing was lost. Sometimes I just get bored and trash my OS for fun so I can reinstall. PS: who in the world would ever include the wild card with the rm command? That's a rookie mistake. :-)
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