PSU, power, and data loss

I'm not a pro, but a hobbyist who manages to keep everyone's PCs and laptops running well and clean, and I've done some upgrading and repairs. So please be patient with my lack of expertise.

My aunt's desktop, used mainly by my teen-aged niece who loves to download crap, was dead: no power at all, no beeps, no lights on MOBO. Turns out her kittens peed on the power strip & cord; it worked when I took it home and plugged it in with my cord. There was very loud buzzing and other noise coming out of the PSU, which she said had been going on for months.

Grateful to have it powered up, I used avast, malwarebytes, and revo uninstaller to clean up the tons of junk and malware. HOWEVER, at restart, it was as if I had done a clean reinstall of the OS. No personal settings, no saved files. All programs were back to "Welcome to..."

I enjoyed making it all like new for her again and setting it up for easier, safer use. Then the power supply finally died, which I've researched how to replace and I'm sure I can do.

My main questions: Is there any way to get her photos back from the hard drive? Why would the system roll back to new like that under these circumstances?
Any input will be greatly appreciated.

The machine is about 3 years old and out of warranty: emachines et1161-07, Vista Home Premium SP1
9 answers Last reply
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  1. Hi,
    Hard to say what happened. Most probably registry entries deleted. Were all photos saved in the My documents folder?
    Can you use a "Undelete"/Recovery application?
  2. alexoiu said:
    Hard to say what happened. Most probably registry entries deleted. Were all photos saved in the My documents folder?
    Can you use a "Undelete"/Recovery application?

    Sorry, I just got the email notification of your reply.
    I will try after I replace the PSU. I have Recuva on a flash drive I've never had occasion to try.
  3. New PSU is on its way from Newegg. Still wondering why the OS renewed itself to its original state after I used clean-up tools I use often.
  4. Help, I'm so frustrated! Installed new Corsair CX430 in this desktop and still no power at all. This is what I've tried:
    Jumpered the PSU 24-pin connector pins and its fan went on, so new PSU must be good.
    I took out the CMOS battery and put it back in.
    Touched the power switch pins together.
    Took out all RAM sticks to test for CPU beep-nothing.
    There are no lights, no beeps, nothing.
    Maybe the MOBO is fried?
    Could a broken power switch be to blame, and if so, is it replaceable?
    I see one capacitor next to the 24-pin connector that looks puffy with speck of brown corrosion...Could that blow the whole thing?
    I would LOVE to find schematics of this motherboard but have had no luck. Its MCP61PM-GM, emachines et1161-07 w/ AMD X2 64. Gateway only has the general specs up.
    I'm learning as I go here, so I don't know everything about builds. The only thing I changed inside is the PSU and the changes described here.
    I'm reading everywhere for ideas and trying what I can but often I don't know how to find the components discussed. More pictures to guide me would be ideal.
    Any ideas, please?
    If I'm posting in the wrong place/should start a new thread, please let me know, thanks!
  5. Probably one of the cleaners you used dashed the registry. The files may still be there on the disk. Did you look around - you didn't whether you did or not? Continuing using that disk in a machine that has problems may lead to total loss of the data, if there is anything still there.

    Maybe the new PSU is dead. DOA is not uncommon and just because the fan went on doesn't mean it is faulty, but it is unlikely. Do you have another machine you can try the PSU in? Did you connect all the Motherboard power - the 24 pin and the 4-8 pin ATX CPU power as well?

    Yes it could be the motherboard too.
  6. Yes I connected both the 24-pin and 4-pin ATX CPU. I think the motherboard fried when the PSU went out or just because. That one capacitor does look blown. And no lights or sound at all. I really wanted to have this up and running for my aunt's birthday; replacing the PSU was supposed to be so simple...haha i guess that was my first mistake, thinking it would be.
    If it were just the power switch, the PSU fan power button would fire it up, wouldn't it?
    I wonder if its worth replacing the MOBO. Argh.
  7. Okay, how do I know if its the MOBO or the CPU before I spend any more money?
  8. Aside from installing the cpu into a known working motherbd and booting up you have no way of knowing. Odds are greatly in favor of it being the motherbd before the cpu.
  9. I'll have to use the desktop I'm on now to swap the PSU tomorrow. Thank you.
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