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Desktop goes back to factory settings when we reboot

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HP 24-g200 All-in-One Desktop PC series
Microsoft Windows 10 (64-bit)

Our desktop is now going back to factory settings every time we reboot it (or the power goes out and we turn it back on).  We were thinking it might have to do with a power outage that happened but it was fine when we turned the computer back on immediately.  It wasn't until we got up the next morning and Avast had run an update that had required a reboot.  Could be Avast??  I had to reboot two days later while trying to reset up Avast Passwords (because it just loaded and loaded (spun and spun...)) - same outcome.  Had another power hiccup two days later - same outcome, not connected to Avast that time...


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A serious problem you will be facing with power outages is that they often are accompanied by power SURGES when the power comes back on -- and those can cause serious damage to sensitive electronic components like PCs.  I run my on surge protectors to prevent this very problem since we seem to be plagued with power outages every time we get a serious storm.


Unfortunately, there are no diagnostics we can provide you that will check the PC's components for damage, so there's no real way to determine what was done to it.


You can try disabling Avast as what it might be doing is an extensive, in-depth file scan, which will serious tax the hard drive and might be causing the failure as a result.  But if that IS the case, then the hard drive got damaged and needs to be replaced.


If your PC is new enough to support UEFI, you can use these steps to test the hard drive:

If not, to check the drive you have to follow these steps:
1) Press Esc key repeatedly, several times a second, while rebooting the laptop. Do NOT hold the key down, just press it over and over.
2) Eventually, you will see an HP Startup Menu
3) Press the Function key for testing the hard drive (usually F2) and let it run.

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***Please mark Accept As Solution if my post solved your problem***

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Thank you for your help! I held off on the hard drive scan as when we reboot we lose everything and have to spend several days retrieving everything from our backup company.  Well, we had another power outage the other day so I took the opportunity to scan the hard drive and everything checked out fine.  Interestingly, when our home screen came back up afterward some of what we’d supposedly had wiped clean was back - our Quickbooks file is there and up to date (though our Quicken files are not...) our bookmarks in Chrome are back, all our passwords in the Avast vault are back, and a program that my husband uses was there on the desk top again when it hasn’t been the past several times (though the Quicken and Quickbooks programs never disappeared off the desktop with previous shut downs).  There were several other files here and there on the desktop that had returned, but not everything.  Does any of this help to indicate where the problem might be?

Also, we’ve always used surge protectors with our electronics, but my husband commented that he’d heard after a few years they don’t work well any more (any truth to that?) and that perhaps ours wasn’t a good quality one...  


Any thoughts would be much appreciated!  Thank you again!

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