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Windows XP won't boot, installation corrupted


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#1
dwarf_of_ignorance

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My PC won't boot up Windows any longer in safe or normal mode. I get 'disk error' when trying to boot without a disk.

I am using a MESH Computers recovery CD to access Windows XP setup, but it offers no available Windows installations to repair, only the option to format the C:\ drive and reinstall, which would delete my data.

I have also used the CD to access the recovery console, but it only allows me to access D:\ drive and then asks for an Administrator password. My administrator password for my Windows user account does not work, nor does leaving it blank and pressing enter.

Is there any way I can log in to Windows or recover data from my hard drive without logging in, before I reformat drive C:\ and reinstall?
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#2
123Runner

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Welcome to geeks to go.

Is this a laptop or a desktop computer?

Your answer will determine how to proceed. In either case, there are a couple things you can do.
You can slave the drive to another computer.
You can burn puppy linux to a CD and boot from the cd and copy what you need to CD or flash drives.
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#3
dwarf_of_ignorance

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It's a desktop
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#4
123Runner

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Do you have another desktop available for your use?
If so, how comfortable are you in removing the hard drive from the computer?
You would need to remove it from yours and install it in another desktop as a slave drive. Then you can save all your data.

You could also purchase a USB enclosure and put the hard drive in that. You would still need another computer. You could use a laptop for this because now you hook it to the other computer with USB.

If you can't do the above, then you would need access to another computer where you can a CD with puppy linux.
You then boot off the CD. Puppy runs in memory and does not install to the hard drive. You can then save your data to a cd or flash drive.

Let us know how you want to proceed.
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#5
justingong2008

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i think probably ur hard drive is about to die.
go to this place http://www.download.....html?tag=mncol
download the software demo. Remember follow the instructions and try use this demo see if it will able to find data on the hard drive.
if not , it means all the data has lost in ur hard drive, i would suggest u to get a new hard drive instead of using this as primary drive.

good luck :)
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#6
dwarf_of_ignorance

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I think Puppy Linux is the better option. I'm more concerned about recovering data than saving my PC, and slaving the hard drive to another computer seems too complex/unfeasible for me. The computer is five years old so is probably about to die anyway.

Will I be able to access the USB ports through Linux to save everything to my external hard drive? And will Linux boot directly from the CD as soon as I switch the power on?

If this doesn't work, will the Selkie Rescue programme be likely to work if I don't have another networked computer that can access the files on the drive I'm trying to save?
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#7
123Runner

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Go to HERE for the info on how to use puppy linux.

You will find Puppy Linux HERE.

If all the hardware is good, then puppy linux will work. You boot from the CD and it runs in memory. The USB's and CD can then be used.

You may have to change the boot order in the bios. You have to boot from the CD.
To enter bios, it's usually esc or del. When booting, it will usually tell.
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#8
dwarf_of_ignorance

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Ok, I've downloaded and burned Puppy and it's running without a hitch, so it seems like my hardware is ok for now.

The only problem now is that I can't find the files that I had on drive C:\. Should it be obvious how to get to them within Puppy? I've tried to use GParted partition manager to copy the NTFS drive to my USB external drive, but it doesn't seem able to read it. It doesn't appear when I try to mount drives either.

Does this mean the C:\ drive is dead? If so, are there any data recovery programmes that could be downloaded and run in Puppy to rescue anything that I still can?

Edited by dwarf_of_ignorance, 24 December 2008 - 01:35 PM.

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#9
dwarf_of_ignorance

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So any ideas what I can do to access the C drive?
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#10
justingong2008

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I need to know more about information on drive C. with puppy running , could you see any thing on drive C ?
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#11
dwarf_of_ignorance

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The problem, I believe, is now sorted as best it can be. Parts of the drive are unreadable, but I burned a BartPE boot disk, used DiskPart to delete the FAT32 boot partition that had been marked as drive C, assigned a new drive letter to the NTFS partition containing all my data, and am now running Roadkil's unstoppable copier in BartPE. From what I can tell, it seems to be copying most of my files successfully, with only minimal corruption.
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#12
justingong2008

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So I assume you got the problem has been solved. correct?
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#13
dwarf_of_ignorance

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Basically yes. I've got most of the data I wanted. When it's all copied I'll try to reformat the drive and reinstall Windows if the drive isn't dead, but I suspect it probably is.
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#14
123Runner

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Good luck with the format. Why not try running the drive manufacturers diagnostic tools first to see if anything shows up (link in signature).
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#15
happyrock

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for future reference I will post the instructions for getting your data off the dead or dying hard drive...these are for using a flash drive but just substitute a usb hard drive if you have one...

quick guide for saving data...music..files on a system that will not boot using puppy Linux..


after you get to puppy desktop..
click on the drives icon...looks like a flash drive...top row..it will list all the drives connected to

your computer...

click on the red icon for the drive you want to mount...in this case its a flash drive ...puppy will

mount the drive..the drive icon turns green when its mounted...
minimize the drives mounter window..you will need it again in a few minutes..
drag the right edge of it sideways to shrink it to its narrowest size...about half the width of the screen...then drag the window to the right edge of the screen...

now click on the icon that looks like a filing cabinet (kind of yellow) on the main drive...it may
already be green..if not it will turn green
you will see a list of all the folders on the main drive Usually your C: drive..shrink that window to
the narrowest you can..about half the width of the screen...drag that window to the left side of the screen...
at this point you should have 2 windows open on your desktop..the flash drive on the right side..
go back to the folders on the C: drive...click on the documents and settings folder...then your user
name or all users..find the folders that has your data..
drag and drop the folder with the data you want to make copies of to the flash drive window...

your options are to move ..copy ect...JUST COPY..if its to big you will have to open the folder and
drag and drop individual files until the flash drive is full...(I have a 120 GB external USB drive for
big data recovery jobs and a 4 GB flash drive for the smaller jobs)..after you get the files copied to
the flash drive...
Click on the drives mounter you minimized earlier
UNMOUNT THE FLASH DRIVE by clicking on the green icon..you will once in awhile get error messages when
unmouting the drive..ignore them..when the flash drive icon turns red again its safe to remove the
flash drive..trot on over (stroll if you want to look cool) to another computer and plug in the flash

drive and copy all the data files ( I drag and drop) to the other computer..
make sure the other computer can read them...

now delete the data on the flash drive...take it back to the misbehaving computer and plug it in

again..click on the drives icon again and repeat until you have all your data transferred to the working
system..
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