Author Topic: Lost everything  (Read 4127 times)

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Offline waspberry

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Lost everything
« on: April 20, 2016, 09:08:38 PM »
Avast offered to clean its registry. I agreed. It wanted to restart but I shut down as I didn't have time to wait. When I switched on again it had removed all my files (about 500GB), all my browser preferences and bookmarks (gathered over 10+ years across 4 browsers), all saved passwords and several installed apps - though not all of them.

Anyone got any idea what might have happened?

Offline waspberry

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2016, 09:12:09 PM »
Oh yes, and it's swapped the @ and " keys - nothing I do switches them back to normal. Not happy.

Offline Eddy

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #2 on: April 20, 2016, 09:50:27 PM »
Do you have a license for avast CleanUp ?
If not, avast CleanUp doesn't change anything but just informs you of things it has found that it can remove.

If all your files really would have been removed, you would not be able to boot because the (boot) drive would be empty and there would not be a OS.

When it comes to (personal) data (files), there is a reason why someone once made it possible to create a backup ;)

Without more details it is not possible to tell what has happened.
What OS/SP ?
What exact version of avast ?
Any other security (related) software installed ? (or was there)
Any other "cleaner" application installed ?
etc.

Offline waspberry

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 10:17:34 PM »
Thanks for responding.
Yes - paid up customer for Avast Internet Security & Avast Cleanup. When I started up earlier (to find everything gone) Avast had installed its browser - I did not select any options to install it. I'm using Windows 10 (is that the problem, I wonder?) and Avast 11.2.2261

The files that have been removed are all the data files I have created, not all the apps - in Dropbox (yep, I'm backed up there, not stupid :) ) - and desktop. Some apps have gone. All my app preferences have gone too.

I was halfway through syncing Dropbox again just now when I had to restart, and it all disappeared again - it's like travelling a couple of rungs up a ladder, then sliding all the way down a snake.

No other apps were running before or after. No cleaners.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 10:19:47 PM by waspberry »

Offline davexnet

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 10:30:13 PM »
I thought avast Cleanup gave users the opportunity to examine the proposed action(s) before
hitting the "enter" key and committing the changes.  Did it do so, and did you look at them ?
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Offline waspberry

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 10:39:41 PM »
Thanks for taking an interest.

I can't quite remember the last Avast screen - it was yesterday, I was rushing. I think it offered registry clean up - I looked for options, but there weren't any. I trusted it, so went ahead, then ran out the door to work.

Meanwhile, I've just had a pop-up from Windows saying 'thanks for updating to Windows 10' which is odd, because I installed W10 a couple of months ago. Do you think these symptoms could be from a new (unasked for) install of W10? It seems odd that it would happen in the same restart period as Avast, and that Avast browser would appear and everything else disappear at the same time. However, the second evaporation of Dropbox in the last couple of hours suggests it might be an OS problem (I don't think Avast gets off without blame thougt)

Offline davexnet

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 10:49:26 PM »
If you find yourself in Windows 10, much of your old OS can probably be found in the folder windows.old.
Regarding cleanup-type programs.  They should NEVER be trusted to make changes by themselves, always look first.
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Offline waspberry

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 11:10:45 PM »
I agree. But there weren't any options - I looked.

If I buy a product to perform a task, that's the task I expect it to do, no more, no less. To have 500GB of data files, all app prefs and some entire apps deleted isn't a set of options that I should need to guard against when a paid-for app is performing a simple protection function.

What I find bewildering is how whatever gremlin has been mucking about with my system chose what to delete and what to keep.

Offline waspberry

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2016, 12:42:05 AM »
Each time I restart I find Avast Browser has crept back in again. This is getting silly...

Offline Eddy

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2016, 07:27:38 AM »
Something is wrong that is for sure.
If it is Windows, avast or both I don't know.
If Windows for whatever reason (re)installed itself it can explain the change registry settings.

I would start with a clean installation of avast 2261 and see what happens after doing so.
Let it run e.g. a week and if nothing strange happens, run CleanUp.

Offline Martin Kudlicka

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2016, 09:49:00 AM »
Hi, registry clean just optimizes space occupied by registry files. It doesn't delete any (other) file including browser passwords, preferences or bookmars. In fact, Cleanup doesn't have this capability at all, this features are part of Browser Cleanup.
For me seems strange the message you got - "thanks for updating to Windows 10" if you were already running Windows 10. Because during upgrade to Windows 10 some application might get uninstalled.
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Offline Charyb

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2016, 03:23:57 PM »
This all seems too strange and coincidental. I would post in the viruses and worms section of the forum to see if an answer could be found after following the instruction at the following link.


https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=53253.0

Offline stibi

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2016, 07:49:02 PM »
No operation inside the Win registry ca delete your private files on the computer. Not even CleanUp which I do not know.
The must have happened some other function  :)

Offline abruptum

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2016, 11:05:49 PM »
Maybe the culprit is Browser Cleanup Tool and disastrous (un)known bug.

  https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=151506.0

Offline bob3160

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Re: Lost everything
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2016, 11:12:57 PM »
Maybe the culprit is Browser Cleanup Tool and disastrous (un)known bug.

  https://forum.avast.com/index.php?topic=151506.0
That may be an old topic but, I don't see any resolution to that problem posted by Avast.  :(
I've requested a reply from Avast.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2016, 01:02:32 AM by bob3160 »
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