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Windows 7 won't boot, trying to recover MBR! Don't want to lose important data!!!

Discussion in 'Windows 7' started by Mr Davo, Apr 9, 2013.

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  1. Mr Davo

    Mr Davo Thread Starter

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
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    Hi Everyone,

    A friend of mine experienced a BSOD crash on their Windows 7 computer. Unfortunately I was not in a position to see the exact message that was presented, however in my experience this doesn't always make a great deal of difference. After offering to fix my friend's computer I quickly discovered that one of the installed RAM sticks is faulty. I replaced both RAM sticks, and tested - all is fine on the RAM front. However the hard drive also appears to be corrupt. Windows 7 will not boot, and I have tried the following to rectify the situation:

    1). Booted into Windows Recovery (using the W7 installation disk)

    [​IMG]

    2). Windows didn't detect an Operating System install, so I made my way to the Command Prompt

    [​IMG]

    3). Executed a number of commands that would normally fix the MBR and other boot related issues, notice after both the bootrec.exe /fixmbr & the bootrec.exe /fixboot commands reported "...completed successfully"! Then I issued the bootrec.exe /rebuildbcd command and Windows 7 promptly informed me that it couldn't find any Windows installations...

    [​IMG]

    4). I then considered the possibility that the wrong partition may be set active on the disk, so I tried swapping the Active partitions around (and once this didn't achieve anything I switched back!)

    [​IMG]

    Having had no success with the Recovery options I physically removed the hard disk and connected it to a docking bay -

    *** Whilst the docking bay is connected to Windows 7 (64 bit) I get the following message ***

    [​IMG]

    *** When I then use an XP Virtual Machine, and connect the drive to it I get a slightly more promising message ***

    [​IMG]

    I still really want to recover this disk, and boot into Windows 7 from it. There is quite a bit of personal data on this disk that my friend cannot replace. Any suggestions on how I might go about fixing this will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    Davo
     
  2. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

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    If the hard drive still works you might try a usb sata/ide connector to try and rescue whats on the drive and put it on a cd or dvd so its not lost forever.as to the booting problem it wont boot because for some reason the master boot record has been corrupted somehow.however if the harddrive has gone bad then your chances of retrieving anything worth saving will be slim to none.
     
  3. Mr Davo

    Mr Davo Thread Starter

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    Hi SUEOHIO,

    Thanks for your interest in my post - at this stage there doesn't seem to be any way to get the data off the disk, at least not using Windows! Due to the MBR being corrupted Windows is unable to see the contents of the disk, regardless of whether it is connected by USB (which I have been doing with a hard drive dock) & a healthy computer. I have not tried a SATA connection to the healthy computer, however I can't see any reason why the drive would work with a SATA connection as opposed to a USB connection.

    Any further thoughts & / or directions will be greatly appreciated.

    Kind Regards,

    Davo
     
  4. SUEOHIO

    SUEOHIO

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    Well i figured it was worth a try even if the hard drive itself is going bad but not totally dead.You just never know it might work.All i know is if i had things on a hard drive i wouldnt want to lose id try it before giving up.i dont know how many times the usb sata/ ide connector has been a lifesaver in retrieving things from a drive that was clearly failing because the drive itself was going bad.unless im missing something an MBR or operating system gets messed up for 3 reasons. a failing drive, a virus, or a registry cleaner was used.
     
  5. TerryNet

    TerryNet Moderator

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    Terry
    Sometimes Puppy Linux (use a Live CD) is able to read a drive on which other OSes choke.

    Assuming that doesn't work your friend could try a for-pay service that rescues data or you could accept the Windows 7 offer to format (quick) and then try data recovery software.

    Of course, I assume you are also trying to think of a gentle way to tell your friend that the time to determine the importance of data (hence the number of copies desired) is before it is lost.
     
  6. Mr Davo

    Mr Davo Thread Starter

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    Thank you TerryNet I am now downloading Puppy Linux :)
     
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