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#1
Duncan Chaplin

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I need to get some data recovered from a hard disk that crashed. Will the Geek Squad (at Best Buy) do a good job? They only charge $259 so I like the price.
Thanks,
Duncan
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#2
wannabe1

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Hi Duncan Chaplin...

It really depends on the tech you get. Geek Squad has some very good people...they also have their share of idiots. $259 is a good price, though.

Let me ask you, does the drive work at all...as in does it spin up? Is it a main drive that will no longer boot and you just want the information from it? What is the nature of the problem with the drive?

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#3
warriorscot

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I would be tempted to go somewhere else, geeks squad has more than there fair share of numpties(maybe bceause we only see the things they couldnt fix) but they generally have a poor reputation.

From what i understand they just use a set of recovery tools that anyone can buy with no guarantees, they also pirated one of the best apps they had and are facong court action, you could buy recovery software for that money, but even then actuall recovery of the files is still difficult and often impossible. If you post the details we can try and help the data might not be gone its just inaccesible to you at the moment.
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#4
Duncan Chaplin

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Well, I don't mind futzing around myself and the next cheapest price was $900. Not sure the data I had was worth that much. Here are the details.

The computer is a Compaq Presario 2100. I think I had 20-30 GB of files--mostly pictures, but also some music and text files that I would like to get back. The computer started acting up about 1 week before it died. It would crash periodically and I'd have to reboot. I was getting blue screens with messages about failed sectors.

I've been using an 80 GB Western Digital Backup external backup hard drive for over a year. I have it set to automatically back up my laptop every night. When I got to the point where I couldn't get the laptop to boot up at all I called my technical support person (I had paid extra for an extended warrantee) and he said that I should try reinstalling the operating system, though warned me that I'd lose all files on my hard drive. I figured that was fine because of the backup. I followed his directions (indeed he was on the phone as we did this). After finishing the process (reformatting the hard disk and reinstalling the operating system) the computer still would not boot up. At this point I decided to buy a new computer (I'd been planning on doing so anyhow). When I got the new computer I hooked up my external backup drive to that and discovered that the backup drive only had a copy of my old operating sytem--apparently put there when I was tryiing to reinstall the operating system on my old computer. My mistake was to leave the external ahrd drive attached when I was working on the old computer (though in my defense the technical support person did not suggest that I disconnect any external hard drives or mention this possibility to me). Very sad news.

Bottom line:
The files may be there and fine on the laptop hard drive, but that hardware may be damaged.
The files may also be on the external hard drive, though presumably at least some of them were over-written when the old operating system was "installed" there.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Thanks,
Duncan
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#5
wannabe1

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Can you describe for me just what happens when you turn the machine on and try to boot to windows?
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#6
Duncan Chaplin

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Ok- Here's what happens. A blue screen flashes briefly. Then I get a black screen that says:

"Windows could not start because of a computer disk hardware configuration problem. Could not read from the selected book disk. Check boot path and disk hardware. Please check the Windows documentation about hardware disk configuration and your hardware reference manuals for additional information."

Good?

Dunc
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#7
wannabe1

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Not sure yet... :whistling:

I don't suppose you could round up a WinXP Pro retail version cd, could you? How about a floppy drive...does the machine have a working floppy?

There's a possibility we're looking at a missing boot sector. If that's what it is, we can probably fire it up. We need to boot the machine from an outside source such as cd or floppy to do anything. Let me know on the above questions...
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#8
Duncan Chaplin

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Interesting. I found a Windows XP CD. I'm using that to "repair" the operating system now. I'll let you know how that goes tommorow morning.

Thanks,
D
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#9
Duncan Chaplin

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Wow. I'm not sure what happens but it appears that my computer is now working. It is very slow, but that I can deal with. Basically when I inserted the CD it asked me if I wanted to repair Windows XP. I said yes. It took a long time
I can now see all of my files. I'm going to copy them to a 2nd Backup drive I own and then to the original backup drive. That way, if the computer dies again while I'm making the first copy I'll still have the original backup drive as a possible way to get my files back.

Thanks for the help!
Duncan
p.s. I'm still worried that I have a hardware problem so I'm going to try to avoid moving the computer in case that causes a problem.
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#10
wannabe1

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Great news!

Once you get your important data backed up, click Start, then Run, type chkdsk /r and click "Ok". In the window that results, type Y and press "Enter" to schedule the check to run on the next startup.

This will check your HDD over to see if you have bad sectors that might lead to a failure. Be patient...this is a long procedure.
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#11
Duncan Chaplin

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Well, I ran the command chkdsk /r and everything went as you said, except that it was done in about 2 seconds. It rebooted and now I'm looking at the regular screen again. The computer is still very slow, but other than that things seem normal. Any thoughts on how to get it back up to it's old speed?
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#12
wannabe1

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Download, install, and run HiJackThis. Save a log and attach it here for me. If you have trouble attaching it, Copy/Paste it and I'll attach it for you. This will allow me to get a better picture of whats running on the machine.

Mean while, you can run Disk Cleanup and then Disk Defragmenter on the machine (found in System Tools)...that should help a little.
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#13
Duncan Chaplin

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Sounds good. This will likely take me a week or so. I'll let you know once I've done that.

Thanks,
D
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#14
IO-error

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Euhm, you could also defrag your harddisk... maybe, after all that damage it had, it's files got fragmented.

Start -> Programs -> Accesoires -> System tools -> Defrag.
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