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Unresponsive Vista Home Premium - Need to save Data

Discussion in 'Windows Vista' started by brothepro, May 24, 2011.

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  1. brothepro

    brothepro Thread Starter

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    I have a Dell Inspiron 530 Desktop that is about 3 yrs old and came with Vista Home Premium already installed. 2 Days ago, I came home and tried to boot up, and got nothing but a black screen and mouse pointer. After several hours of trying "safe mode" , startup repair, and several other options, I am nowhere. My conclusion is that somehow the hard drive is corrupted. I read an old forum here from 2008 that suggested rebooting from my installation disk and then using command prompt to run the following: chkdsc C:/ f/ r/ which I think took about 4 hours and seemed to go through every file in the computer and was apparently fixing various corrupted files and formatting issues. However, at the end of the day, still no luck. I just want to somehow save my work files from the hard drive before I buy a new one. (fyi: I'm an idiot and tried system restore but because I never did a backup or restore point, it doesn't help).
    Any advice would be much appreciated.:confused:
     
  2. DaveA

    DaveA Trusted Advisor Spam Fighter

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    If you did a "System Restore" your data should still be intact. BUT, if you did a "System Recovery" then your data may be gone.

    When buying a new machine from a local source, they should be able to recover your files off of the OLD drive and transfer them to the new machine. Most will do this free of charge.
     
  3. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    One option is to use a Live CD of a Linux distribution to copy your data. Puppy Linux works well for this.
     
  4. brothepro

    brothepro Thread Starter

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    Ok, so I downloaded the Puppy Linux and installed from CD. I have to say, I was amazed at how easy it booted up. The problem I have now is learning how to run Linux so I can "export" or copy and save my files to an external hard drive or flash drive.
    If you know of any quick directions on how to use Puppy Linux to extract files from the hard drive, that is my biggest hurdle. Otherwise, I'm sure there are plenty of "free" online tutorials on using Linux.

    Thanks
     
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Use Ubuntu Live CD to Backup Files from Your Dead Windows Computer is a pretty good description, but I think it's even easier with Puppy.

    My attachment is from Puppy running in a Virtual machine and the only storage is the (virtual) partition in which it is running--sda1. In the area I circled you should see various partitions. One of the sd<letter><number> ones will be your Windows installation (what you know as the "C drive" ). There will also be an icon there representing your CD/DVD drive. Sometimes the icons get overlaid on each other--simply click on one and drag it to see if there is an icon hidden underneath. A single click on one of those will mount it and open the file manager, also shown in my attachment.

    You can open one window with your Windows files and another with the USB flash drive, external hard drive or CD/DVD to which you want to copy. Using right click or drag and drop you will quickly learn how to copy them. The hardest part is to single click when most of our fingers have learned to double click. :)

    When you open the sd.. representing your C drive one of the folders will be "Users." One of the folders in Users will be your account name. If you copy that entire folder (your account) you will probably have everything you need. If that's too big then you will have to copy just the appropriate parts. You can probably find things like your Documents, Music and Pictures OK. If you need help finding email messages, bookmarks or favorites, and other things like that be sure to tell us what browser, email client or other programs are used.
     

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  6. brothepro

    brothepro Thread Starter

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    TerryNet, this is great advice and everything worked exactly as you described, except when I dragged the files to my external hard drive, I receive the error "Read-only file system". Then it does not seem to copy over to my external hard drive. Does this mean there is no hope for getting the files off my system??????
     
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