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Recover Data From Compaq Desktop PCs

COMPAQ PRESARIO SR1820:

I have a Compaq Presario SR 1820 desktop PC which was given to me by relatives. Each time I try to start up the system, I get a black screen with an error report, Error 256 it says. It tells me to hold ctrl+alt+del in order to restart, but when I try to do that, it just goes completely black and fails to start at all. I have given it over to a friend, who has the driver and is telling me that it needs to be reinstalled, which means losing all of the files which are stored on there, including some which are pretty important to my family. I know that I would be blamed for losing the data, and I really don’t want to do that. However, I am being told that that is the only way to recover the drive. I want to save those files so hence contacting yourselves for a solution.

COMPAQ PRESARIO 5000:

I have a Compaq Presario 5000 PC which is giving me some problem with the CD Rom. It is essentially refusing to accept that the Rom is there, and has stopped responding to it. I thought that it might be a COMOS problem, so I went into there to check that the Rom hadn’t fallen off of the Boot sequence, but it is still there, and putting it back into the sequence (removing it and then replacing it) did not work. I have a number of programs that are supposed to help me clear up problems with the PC, but I cannot find anything to solve this particular problem. I have tried using different CDs, and also tried cleaning programs which I don’t need off of the computer, and then defragging it, but this has also not worked. In fact, this has only made the situation worse, because a number of important programs and the data have now vanished, in addition to the CD drive itself and I have searched the computer and cannot find the files.