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Windows XP won't start


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#1
phays

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Out of the blue a few days ago, my Toshiba Satellite laptop wouldn't start correctly. When I power on it goes to a black screen saying Windows didn't shut down properly, how do I want to open it; Safe Mode, Last known Good Configuration, normally, etc. I have tried all of these options and it always takes me to a blank black screen. I would like to just use a recovery CD to get the computer working (if thats the only option) but I don't want to erase everything on my computer.

Can somebody please help me to get my computer working without deleting everything on it?

Any help is SO much appreciated!!!!

Patty :)
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#2
Ztruker

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Hi Patty, welcome to G2G.

Boot your XP CD. If you don't have one download either of these and create a bootable CD from the .iso file

XP Recovery Console
Another XP Recovery Console

You don't burn the iso file itself to CD., you create a CD from the iso file using your CD burning software. There is a good freeware burner called DeepBurner which will do this. Another called ISO Recorder is also very easy to use.

Boot the CD and at the first opportunity, enter R to start the Recovery Console.
Next, choose which XP installation you want to login to. Normally this will be 1.
Lastly you will be asked for the Administrator password. Just press the Enter key as the Administrator does not have a password (unless you gave it one, then you would enter it).

From the command prompt, enter: chkdsk c: /r

Allow it to complete undisturbed.
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#3
phays

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I Just turned on my computer and this popped up:

Smart Failure Predicted on Hard Disk 0:HTS424040M9AT00-PM

It also said replace hard drive . Is this as bad as it seems?
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#4
phays

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Upon start-up. it also says this:

Immediately back-up your data and replace your hard-drive. A failure may be imminent.

Please help!!
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#5
wannabe1

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Hello phays...

The message you are receiving indicates that your hard drive is failing or has failed.

If Windows won't start, you may be able to recover your data by connecting the drive as a slave to another machine and copying the files to the host machine's hard drive or removable media. There are also external enclosures that will allow you to do this by connecting through a USB port on another machine.

wannabe1
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#6
phays

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THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!

This is the most helpful reply I have gotten!

A few questions though:

1. How do I hook up my machine to transfer data to another computer? Is it a program or a device I have to buy? Can I send the data to a USB memory stick?
2. Should I try running a recovery CD after I transfer my data?
3. Is it worth buying a new hard drive or after saving my data? Or just invest in a new computer?
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#7
wannabe1

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With Windows not starting, probably the easiest way to try and recover the data would be through the use of an external hard drive enclosure like those shown HERE. You'll need to get the correct type (IDE or SATA) and the correct size (3.5"/desktop or 2.5"/laptop). This will allow you to connect your hard drive to another machine much as you would a flash drive. While there is no guarantee that you can recover the data this way, there is a good chance it will work.

The "Failure is imminent" message usually indicates the drive is experiencing a physical failure, so I would not trust it for continued use. However, if you have your recovery cd's or Windows installation cd, installing a new hard drive and then installing Windows to that should rectify the problem. Unless you really want to upgrade to a new machine, a new hard drive would be a much less expensive alternative.
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#8
phays

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SO if I understand the external hard drive enclosure correctly, I take the hard drive out of my laptop and put it into the external hard drive? Would I be able to then plug the external hard drive into a new computer? And this may be a silly question but where is my hard drive on my laptop?
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#9
wannabe1

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You would be able to connect the enclosure to another running computer or to your computer after you have replaced the hard drive and reinstalled Windows. You will need a 2.5" enclosure for a laptop hard drive.

The hard drive should be located behind an access panel on the underside of the machine. What is the make and model number of your computer? I'll take a look at the manual so I can point you to the exact location and the instructions for making the change. This should also tell us which type (IDE or SATA) of drive is installed in the machine.
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#10
phays

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My laptop is a Toshiba Satellite M35X-S114. I think I found the hard drive. If I get the external hard drive enclosure I can use this computer I am writing to you on to transfer the data to. Does it matter that the computer I am on right now uses WIndows Vista and my laptop used WIndows XP?
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#11
wannabe1

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It should work just fine... :)
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