No, I'm serious, this isn't a clickbait title...
So a few days ago I posted a thread about Windows 7 failing to download/install updates correctly. Someone suggested manually installing the updates from Microsoft's site (perfectly reasonable suggestion, I am absolutely not blaming this on them). I did that, and the update finished installing and prompted me to shut down. I shut down and went to bed, expecting it to finish up whatever it was doing while I slept.
The next day, I went to power on the computer. BIOS/POST went fine as usual, and I chose Windows 7 at the GRUB prompt (this is a dual boot machine). Black screen...nothing happened. It wouldn't boot, and it was totally locked up (CAPS Lock wasn't even responding). I hard reset the machine powered it on again, and tried the whole routine one more time. No luck.
Since I needed to print something for school, I decided to just boot Linux, and figured I'd just reinstall Windows later. Ubuntu booted into "Emergency Mode", and complained of problems mounting my Windows NTFS partition (I mount it in Linux so I can share files between the two OSes). Took out the battery and reset the BIOS just for good measure; still no luck.
My next idea was to take the HDD out, copy all my files off of it using another laptop, then reinstall both OSes and copy my files back over. I tried plugging the drive into a Windows 10 machine, and Windows informed me that the main NTFS partition was corrupt, and that I should run
chkdsk on it. So I opened up a command prompt and ran
chkdsk, and got a whole bunch of "Deleting index entry" log messages, then
chkdsk finished up and said everything was fixed.
I went to open the drive in Windows Explorer and found it totally empty except for "System Volume Information" and some
chkdsk (or maybe Windows Update, idek) had deleted all the files for some reason, rather than fixing them.
So now my weekend plans are to use Piriform Recuva and TestDisk/PhotoRec to recover as much of my crap as I can. The moral of the story is don't trust Windows Update or chkdsk with your data, and always have a backup.
Any suggestions/help is appreciated.