Recovering NTFS Data Files

Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

stevelw

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
63
I have two laptop computers. The primary machine is 8 months old and is of fairly advanced spec. It has a DVD/CD R/W but no floppy drive. The secondary machine, which was replaced by the primary some 8 months ago, is of much lesser spec but may have either a CD R/W or a Floppy Disk drive inserted into the media bay, but not both at the same time. Both machines are running Windows XP Professional SP2 with all updates and patches installed.

Earlier this week the primary machine developed a problem and will not boot into XP, even in Safe Mode. Subsequent investigation suggests that either the boot sector of the main drive is corrupt, or the root of the Registry is. I have a live distro of Knoppix on a CD and the primary machine will run this quite happily. With Knoppix running and the NTFS mounted I can see and read all the files on the disk. I know that all the applications will have to be reinstalled, nut my problem is that there is a large volume of data (some 5 or 6 GB) that I need to recover before reformatting.

The obvious solution is to purchase a second drive, designate that as primary, reconfigure the faulty drive as a secondary, install XP onto the new primary and copy the files across from the secondary. I am investigating the possibility of this with the manufacturer of the machine, but I suspect that the price will be prohibitive.

It occurs to me that an alternative solution might be to create a bootable CD running some form of OS that recognises NTFS and has a driver for the CD R/W on the primary machine. I could create several copies of such a disk, boot the primary machine with each one and copy the data files onto the the disks. Files could then be safely copied back after re-formatting the disk.

Can anyone suggest whether or not this is feasible and advise me what software I need and where I can get it? Or is there an alternative solution that I have missed? I know I should have a backup of all the data, and I will have in future, but at the moment I simply don't!

Any suggestions will be gratefully received.

Thanks Guys.
 

DaveBurnett

Account Closed
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
12,970
Alternative:
If you have Acronis True Image you can burn a Bootable DVD from True Image, Boot from it and back up to the Same DVD which has not been finalised.

If not, get hold of a USB2 external caddie, put the old disk in it (I presume it has enough free space) and attach it to the new machine. Run Knoppix and copy files. Thats the backup out of the way.

Having backed up the data, remove the USB drive and boot into the recovery console from your install CD and do a CHKDSK /R, FIXMBR, and FIXBOOT.
If these do not solve the problem, do a repair reinstall of XP. This is done by installing from the CD and after the licence agreement it should tell you that you have XP already there and ask if you want to repair it. It then does a complete reinstall, BUT keeps all your settings and applications (and data as well).
 

DoubleHelix

Banned
Joined
Dec 9, 2004
Messages
24,388
Why don't you just connect the drive with the problems to the computer without any, and copy the data over. Then copy it back after you've reinstalled the OS on it.

The only cost is a USB drive enclosure.
 

stevelw

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
63
Time for a SitRep.

After recovering the critical files I needed from the old installation yesterday (not all the files, just the vital ones), I followed Dave's suggestions. After entering the commands in the Rescue Console I still couldn't boot, but after doing a repair installation the system swung back into life. Everything appeared to be as it should - all settings were there, apps worked and data was accessible. As it was then midnight I shut down for the night ready to continue this morning. Shutdown went fine.

This morning the problem was back - or at least a very similar problem with a few differences.

I still can't boot in Safe Mode at all. System appears to hang after, or while, loading AGP440.sys. Booting normally gives me the standard XP splash screen, then the screen clears to a light blue and I get a message to the effect that the system has been instructed to run a disk check. Allowing, or disallowing, the check makes no difference. I get a message either saying the check was complete (after running a full check - TWICE - each taking a couple of hours and neither producing any error reports) or that the check was aborted. At this point the system hangs at that point.

Running the Repair Console, the app recognises the existing XP installation and requests the Administrator password (before the re-install no system was recognised and no password requested. Repair Console simply dropped to a prompt). I then tried another repair install which, after loading the various required files, dropped straight into the Disk Check screen again and terminated at that point regardless of whether a check was permitted (if so it ran twice again) or cancelled.

I'm now not sure whether I'm looking at a software or hardware problem and I have no idea where the disk scans came from - I didn't request them! I've got to the point now where I want to crack this and recover the system rather than give in and just repartition and reformat, but I'm not sure how to proceed at this point.

Anyone got any suggestions?

Thanks
 

DaveBurnett

Account Closed
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
12,970
It is beginning to sound as thought the disk is faulty. What make disk is it? You can download test software from the manufacturers site and see what that says.
 

stevelw

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
63
It's a 100GB Fujitsu unit.

I could download test software, but where and how do I install it? XP won't boot and Linux is a Live-CD distro onto which, presumably, I can't install additional software.
 

stevelw

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
63
I was afraid of that. IF you check back to my original post you will see that the machine in question doesn't have a floppy drive!
 

DaveBurnett

Account Closed
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
12,970
Use a bootable CD. All you need to do is get to a dos/ command prompt and access the Fuji program
 

stevelw

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
63
I'll give it a try later on after I've finished transferring all my data files to the old machine via USB Stick (at least then I'll be able to do a clean install without losing anything).

I've got the Fujitsu program. I assume that it operates at a very low level? By thatg I mean will it matter if the OS into which I boot does not recognise partitions of 100GB (that is the size of the drive and it is partitioned as a single logical volume.
 

DaveBurnett

Account Closed
Joined
Nov 11, 2002
Messages
12,970
It is designed to work at a very low level and does not WANT any disk drivers to be loaded. It just needs a very basic OS to be able to load itself. It will cope with any size disk and couldn't care less about partitioning.
 

stevelw

Thread Starter
Joined
Jul 8, 2005
Messages
63
I've reformatted the drive and re-installed XP from scratch. Fortunately I managed to save all the data files I needed.

Thanks to all for help, especially to Dave Burnett, much appreciated.
 
Status
This thread has been Locked and is not open to further replies. Please start a New Thread if you're having a similar issue. View our Welcome Guide to learn how to use this site.

Users Who Are Viewing This Thread (Users: 0, Guests: 1)

As Seen On
As Seen On...

Welcome to Tech Support Guy!

Are you looking for the solution to your computer problem? Join our site today to ask your question. This site is completely free -- paid for by advertisers and donations.

If you're not already familiar with forums, watch our Welcome Guide to get started.

Join over 807,865 other people just like you!

Latest posts

Staff online

Top