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Solutions: You may be able to retrieve 'lost' data

I recently restored my Gateway PC from the restore discs that came with the computer. Unfortunately, I lost everything, as it restored to date of purchase. I have a few questions. Is there a way to get my pictures back? Also, it reinstalled Norton and I don't want it. I use Security Essentials. I removed Norton from programs, but remnants remain. How do I get the uninstall tool for Norton

Did the Gateway restore discs do a reformat before reinstalling? If they did then most likely you will not be able to recover your personal data. However, many PC makers give several options when restoring "back to factory" condition without reformatting. In that case your personal data may still be there.

Go to C:\users and see if your old user name is there. Drill down through that file to see if your personal folder such as Pictures is there. As a last chance, go to www. piriform.com/recuva and download the free version of the file recovery program. It is possible it may be able to put some of the pieces of your old files back together.

As for completely uninstalling Norton, go to their support website to download and run the Norton Removal Tool.

I have a new computer running Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 9. I use Real Player to play most of my videos. Is there any way to configure Real Player to show a thumbnail image of each video in Windows Explorer like it does for video files playable with Windows Media Player? At present, all that is visible for the Real Player files is the Real Player logo.

There is no way to do it through Windows Explorer or Real Player itself without adding additional registry entries or freeware DLLs. There is a free DLL called RealThumb that can be downloaded at www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~mbarrien/projects (note the tilde character before the word mbarrien in the URL).

Read the README.txt file at that site and follow the instructions for installation (moving RealThumb.DLL to the WINDOWS/SYSTEM32 folder).

Send questions to personaltech@tampabay.com or Personal Tech, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg, FL 33731. Questions are answered only in this column.

Solutions: You may be able to retrieve 'lost' data 02/05/12 [Last modified: Sunday, February 5, 2012 3:30am]
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