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Need to recover data files from Lenovo hard drive

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by 62rdr, Nov 7, 2009.

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  1. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    I have a Lenovo IdeaCentre K210 desktop. My hard drive ran out of room and now will not boot. I tired using 'safe mode' to delete some old files and I did recover some extra hard drive space but it still will not boot. (The .exe file that starts the OS appears to be hidden in a special 'Lenovo created partition and I am unable to find it in safe mode.)

    I hooked my hard drive to another computer (using a USB device) to recover my data files but all of my data files are missing my latest saves? I seems that Lenovo creates a special type of file or partition called 'dynamic buffer.' I can only assume that my most recent saves are located there and are placed on 'C drive' when I 'release the dynamic buffer' (of course did not happen when the hard drive became full.)

    Lenovo web site has a 'recovery' program but (if I understand correctly) it reformats the hard drive and reinstalls the OS. If this is true, all my data would be losted.

    My best solution would be to be able to 'boot up' from my hard drive. I tried the OS cd to repair the boot problem but apparently it does not know where the special .exe file is and nothing is fixed.

    The second best solution would be to find a software program that can extract my data from my hard drive. Anyone know of one?
     
  2. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

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    UBUNTU
    you can run this from the CD without touching the harddrive and then copy from the PC harddrive onto a USB hardddrive - done it a few times myself and also people on forum have

    good luck

    www.ubuntu.com
     
  3. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    Thanks for your response. I took a quick look at www.ubunto.com and it looks like an OS? Not sure how this would help me to re-boot from my old drive or how it will help me recover my latest saves that may be hidden within a Lenovo special file or partition? I have already hook the old drive (using a USB device) to another computer and have recovered some data but not my latest saves? Looking for something that will let me back into those saves.
     
  4. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    I can't imagine why your personal data would be saved to some type of hidden partition. Did you save things in normal folders like Documents? Did you encrypt them using some type of utility?
     
  5. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    I thought everything was done in a normal fashion but apparently not. It appears that Lenovo has a 'dynamic buffer' feature. I think this is where my latest changes are located. My hard drive became full before I could 'release the dynamic buffer.' If I could boot my old drive, I may have enough free room to do this but the .exe file seems to be hidden in a special Lenovo file/partition.
     
  6. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

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  7. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    My Lenovo came with Vista (probably at a 'clean install.' Appears to have had Windows XP and then upgraded to Vista). I do thank you for your efforts and time. It is unlikely that I will be able to recover all of my data but I had hope to find someone who had already been through this. I am sure there are others but it now seems unlikely that anyone found an answer.
     
  8. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

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    I dont realy understand
    Not my understanding of how vista works .....
    if data is saved it goes to the location specified
    You can have a partitioned drive and set up user accounts on that drive
    I have 3 toshibas and an ACER in the family setup like that
    so the Harddrive is partitioned with a C: and D: drive
    I have set the user profle to save to D:
    therefor on D: there is a
    documents folder
    Music folder
    Picture folder
    download folder
    etc

    so by booting up UBUNTU you should be able to access all areas of the Harddrive and copy data off to a USB device
    I have done this about 5 times now all successfully
    on XP and Vista machines
     
  9. DoubleHelix

    DoubleHelix Banned

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    Where did you hear/read about this thing called a "dynamic buffer"? Data that's saved to a hard drive is saved to the hard drive. I've never heard of any computer putting it into some special hidden partition.....until when? When would the data be written? Are you talking about documents or files you had open and did not actually save before the computer crashed?
     
  10. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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    Etaf's idea is the best as yes Ubuntu or any Linux OS could care less about Windows parameters or permissions and can read anything on the hard drive and therefore you can easily copy to a usb drive whether it be flash or external drive. The Linux OS boots into a wholly contained operating system from a "live cd".
    Here is a much smaller footprint than Ubuntu as it is around 100 meg and when you boot to Puppy Linux, after you are booted up you can even remove the cd and burn to a cd or dvd as well as it retains the OS in memory.
    http://puppylinux.org/main/index.php?file=Overview and Getting Started.htm
    It downloads to an iso file and then use either Nero or Roxio to convert to a bootable cd. If you don't have those this freebie will work fine:
    http://www.snapfiles.com/get/burncdcc.html
     
  11. etaf

    etaf Wayne Moderator

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    Rich-M the link did not work, I would like to create that puppy linux CD as last week I wanted to create direct to CD and had to copy to between PCs - sounds like the ideal tool
     
  12. Rich-M

    Rich-M

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  13. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    DoubleHelix, had I known more about Lenovo's OneKey setup (and its dynamic buffer), I would have turn it off. I never had heard of 'dynamic buffer' until my Lenovo alerted me that it needed to be release. Did not know exactly what that meant, but I did what it said to do at first. Then it seem to be a hassle, so I ignored the warning. Then I messed up and let the hard drive run out of room. I can see where someone who has never experience this would not understand it - - - I didn't realize what had happen until I tried to recover my data files. All my data files (Quicken, spreadsheets, database, photos, etc.) where out-of-date or missing. The only thing that can explain this is I did not release Lenovo's 'dynamic buffer.'
     
  14. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    Etaf & Rich-M, I will tried UBUNTO. Perhaps it will expose Lenovo's hidden files/partition/whatever. It may be a little while but I will post the results later. Thanks for your time and willingness to help.
     
  15. 62rdr

    62rdr Thread Starter

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    Briefly, I tried UBUNTU and not only did it show the Lenovo hidden partition, it showed me the files within it. Several MSDOS exe files (xcopy, append, etc.) that just supports my assumption about my current saves being some where in one of those files. Now if Lenovo would only provide instructions on how to retrieve my data. I suspect that is wishful thinking. Thanks again for all your help.
     
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