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Disk Boot Failure

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by Morgoth, Dec 7, 2011.

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  1. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    My father's PC is currently refusing to boot. It actually did this before, but last time, I managed to fix it with chkdsk via the recovery console. This time no joy, also tried using the fixboot command, to no avail.

    I'm assuming the HD is failing, but the question is how to get the data off the old drive when it cannot boot to windows. I have a hard drive spare which I intend to install windows on, but unfortunately the case only has space for one hard drive in it so I can't simply put them both in there at the same time and run the old one as a secondary drive to copy the old data over.

    My questions are twofold- 1) is there anything I could try that might give the old HD life enough to boot to windows so I can copy the data to an external hard drive?

    2) What are the other ways I might be able to get the data from the old drive onto the external hard drive?

    I had the 'bright' idea of installing windows on the external hard drive so that I could use it as a boot drive to access the data, on the old drive, but after I attempted to install Windows on it, it BSODs every time I try and boot to the external drive (I selected 'removable' as the thing to boot to in the bios). It seems the BIOS does not support booting to an external hard drive, or something of that nature.
     
  2. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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  3. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    You can take the drive out and temporarily attach it to a working pc to salvage the data.

    http://www.dtidata.com/resourcecenter/2007/04/23/how-to-slave-hard-drive/

    You may have to take ownership of the files first: http://support.microsoft.com/?kbid=308421

    . . or, You can use an adaptor like this: or an external enclosure like this.

    or, you could use Ubuntu - this would eliminate the need to physically remove the Hard Drive.

    You can get it from here: http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download

    Step #2 on that page shows you how to create the USB/CD.

    Once you boot into Ubuntu, (choose the option where it runs off the USB/CD) you can use it to copy your files from the Windows Partition to an external hard drive (Note: Do not copy anything to the Ubuntu Filesystem as it will not be saved on shut-down)
     
  4. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    Thank you! Good suggestions. I have put ubuntu on a cd, and this allows me to see the HD and the external hard drive. However, I'm having the problem that it only is showing some of the files on the old HD. It is showing 220GB free space on the drive and only 40GB of the actual files. Is this ubuntu messing up somehow or does it indicate some potential corruption?
     
  5. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    Likley indicates damage to the drive . . You may have to use recovery programs to retreive the files. GetDataBack is a good one
     
  6. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    It turns out I stupidly misread what was going on. I forgot that in the attempt to install windows I partitioned the external drive, and what I'd been looking at that I thought was the old drive was just another partition of the external drive *facepalm*. I'm assuming the actual old drive is the thing called 'filesystem' which I can't really open or properly get the properties of at all and of which it says 'some contents unreadable'. It's either that or I can't see the old drive at all..
     
  7. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    If you partitioned the drive, you will have to use some heavy duty data recovery software to retreive the data
     
  8. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    No- I meant I partitioned the *external* drive, not the old one I'm trying to get the files from. My point was that I had thought I was seeing the external drive AND the old hard drive, but it turns out I was just seeing two different partitions of the external drive. And I can't seem to see the old HD at all through linux.
     
  9. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    Same solution . . recovery software is the next step
     
  10. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    I have a spare drive, and so I installed windows on it and put it together with the old one in another PC I have. This was in attempt to boot to the new drive and access the old drive's data from there. However, I am getting the problem that if I have the old drive connected, the new one will not boot to windows. I just get a black screen. Could the old drive really be so mucked up that it now actually can somehow prevent the other one from booting? I have the correct drive selected to boot first in BIOS.

    Is my only option to obtain recovery software that works from a CD or something, since I can't seem to get Windows to boot with this thing attached? Starting to wonder if this data is at all recoverable.
     
  11. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    Okay, now I managed to get past the black screen and boot to the new drive (very slow process) but old drive is not showing at all once it has booted. How can I run recovery software on something that's a no show? It does show up in the BIOS fine, and the boot priority is correct.
     
  12. blues_harp28

    blues_harp28 Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    What happens if you remove the external hard drive - the new hard drive and just have the non starting hard drive installed?
    What is showing when you boot from the Linux Cd?
     
  13. Old Rich

    Old Rich

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    . . Or use a pc that is operating
     
  14. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    I tried booting up linux with only the old HD in it and it showed no drives at all. I could not run 'Get Data Back' on it in Windows from the new HD because it's not there to select. Tried 'PC inspector' which claimed to be able to find 'lost' drives, but it did not find it either.
     
  15. Morgoth

    Morgoth Thread Starter

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    Okay.. so now it's not even showing any more when I boot to the windows recovery console. When I try and do 'dir' I get 'there is no cd or floppy disk in the drive'. Chkdsk results in it saying 'the volume has one or more unrecoverable problems'. There is 200gb of data on this which is not backed up- it seems it may be unrecoverable?
     
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