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Recover data from hard drive


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#1
KM Nomad

KM Nomad

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Hello, all. This is my first post.

Issue:
Probable borked hard drive with important data.

system:
Sony Vaio Desktop
P4 3GHZ
512 RAM
Windows XP Home- service pack unknown
160 gig Western Digital HD

Details:

My brother thought that his computer was infected with a virus, so he downloaded fixes and deleted many files. (He does not recall specifically what was downloaded nor what files were trashed). Afterwards, the computer is locked in a "boot loop". Computer will show Windows splash screen for a short time and then reboot.

I am not able to boot to safe mode nor last good setting

Attempted to do a Restore from Windows Install CD. Process hangs at "Checking Hard Drive".

Attempted to install UBUNTU 7.10. Ubuntu was unable to partition disk do to "unknown error."

Removed the troubled 160gig disk from computer and installed a new 6 gig hard drive. Hard drive was able to take an install of XP- this eliminates possibility of bad memory, MB, etc.

Attempted to install troubled 160 gig drive as a slave to the 6 gig XP install. Bios recognizes Master (6 gig) and slave (troubled 160), but system does not complete boot. After windows splash screen, computer hangs with black screen. (I waited over 20 minutes before shut down).

Removed troubled 160 from computer and installed into external USB case. The new Windows install (on the 6 Gig) was able to see the disk, sort of. The disk showed up as three disks (I assume there are 3 partitions on the disk). However, windows was not able to see the files in the disks. Properties show each disk full @ 0 MB capacity.

I am stumped. I would give up and tell my brother to buy a new hard drive and start over, but coincidentally a janitor at his work accidentally threw away a box with all of his backups. This disk has project files that are irreplaceable.

Your help and ideas are greatly appreciated. "I is stumpified."
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#2
happyrock

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Hi KM Nomad...and welcome to G2G... :)


as a few last ditch attempts to rescue the data...
try PC Inspector File Recovery...get it here...
not sure if it will help...if it does not work then you could try puppy linux...it will boot from cd drive and run totally in ram...
this one is not free but its supposed to be really good...Spinrite...get it here...

Edited by happyrck, 14 June 2008 - 10:20 AM.

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#3
The Skeptic

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I am sure that the 160Gig disk will work perfectly after formatting so don't throw or replace it yet. In addition to what happyrck suggested please try to boot to recovery console. While there. change to the letter of the broken disk and run chkdsk /r.
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#4
KM Nomad

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happyrck- PC Inspector seems to be something that I need to be able to boot the disk in order to run, so I don't think this will work in my situation. I will give puppy linux or [bleep] small linux a try.

Skeptic- I can't get to the recovery con with this disk installed. Prior to the recovery con options, their is a check disk process that makes the install disk hang. I really do hope not to throw away the 160 gig disk, but at this point, I am not really sure HOW I can reformat it as I am unable to do so from the windows recovery disk.

So, I will try the linux on ram approach and let ya know what I find.

Thanks for the suggestions.

EDIT #1

Give the puppy a bone! Downloaded Puppy Linux and was able to mount the offending hard drive and copy the critical files to a USB drive. AWESOME EASY. I will be playing with the puppy more.

Everyone should give Linux a try anyway. Fewer virus problems to deal with.

Thanks happyrck!

Edited by KM Nomad, 14 June 2008 - 09:26 PM.

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#5
The Skeptic

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Nice that you saved the data. Now format the disk. there are numerous ways to do this.
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#6
happyrock

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puppy linux is slick... :)
now format the drive like The Skeptic said...DO NOT use the quick format option...
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