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HDD data recovery


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#1
blobotron

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Hi,
I cannot boot. I've tried everything. I used to be able to get into Recovery Console, but since my last strategy, instead of simply hitting enter, the RC is requiring the Administrator password, which, of course, the owner does not know. She said that Windows was already loaded when she bought the Dell and doesn't remember creating one and if she did, it would be the one and only password she has used since forever- which isn't working. I'm not sure how that works, but perhaps Dell's ship with a standard administrator password the user is supposed to change, and if so, do you know it?

Either way, the RC hasn't helped much. It sees my OS, but when trying to "Install Windows" in order to do a repair, my OS is nowhere to be found- only the option to choose a partition. I doubt a reinstall would leave her files intact, so I need a data recovery option. Puppy Linux says that I need to be booting and burning to the same drive, but her CD drive doesn't show as a boot option in BIOS.

I read a thread that refers to an external enclosure for HDD recovery. Will this work? Will I still need the administrator password?

Please help me.
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#2
rshaffer61

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If no Administrator password then leave it blank and just click ok.
Try these instructions for a repair installation. I figure that is what you are trying to do.


Repair Installation Instructions

· Insert your Windows XP CD in your CD-ROM and then Restart your computer.
· At the first post screen start tapping the Del key to enter System Bios
· Find the Advance Options or Boot Sequence screen.
· You will need to change the boot sequence so that the CDrom is first and the HD is second.
· Press F10 to Save and Exit and then press Enter to accept.
· The system will now reboot
· When the "Press any key to boot from CD" message is displayed on your screen, press a key to start your computer from the Windows XP CD.
· When you see the following message displayed on the Welcome to Setup screen, press ENTER
· To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.
· At this point an option to press R to enter the Recovery Console is displayed. DO NOT SELECT THIS OPTION.

· On the Windows XP Licensing Agreement screen, press F8 to agree to the license agreement.
· Make sure that your current installation of Windows XP is selected and highlighted in the box, and then press the R key to repair Windows XP.
· Follow the instructions on the screen to complete Setup.


You can also go HERE
to read a step by step tutorial with screenshots.

Edited by rshaffer61, 26 July 2009 - 06:15 PM.

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#3
blobotron

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Of course I would LOVE to do a repair, but my OS does not show up for me to choose- ONLY the partition selection screen in which to install a new copy. That is why I'm confused. RC finds the OS, but install option(repair option) does not.
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#4
rshaffer61

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How old is the system?
Does it have the Recovery Partition or the Recovery Disks?
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#5
blobotron

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It is a Dell2400 running XP Home(assuming at least 5 yrs old). If the disks needed to be created, then no. If it came with disks, and I don't need the Administrator password, then I'll ask her to search for them. I'm not familiar with a recovery partition, so I'm guessing no- there are 3 partitions: 1 NTFS(large), and I believe the others are FAT32(1 is 38MB and the other is 8MB if I remember correctly). This leads me to believe that it was not installed by a professional, but a reinstallation was done by someone that wasn't quite sure what they were doing, but you would know better than me. Hope this helps.
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#6
rshaffer61

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Boot the Dell and as it posts, hit F12 for the boot menu...

see if there is an option to boot from recovery partition
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#7
happyrock

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there are 2 options now...
1st is to slave the drive to a working system to recover your data...

I read a thread that refers to an external enclosure for HDD recovery. Will this work?

yep...this is the one I use regularly Thermaltake BlacX Hard Drive Docking System...here

Will I still need the administrator password?

nope..
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#8
blobotron

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A couple questions. First, is there one for a PATA drive? It is a WD800 Caviar EIDE. Next, what if there are multiple users/passwords. Do I have Administrator access- and isn't this a huge security issue?
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#9
blobotron

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Also, I am going to try to run it as a slave drive tomorrow. I'm not sure what to expect. Again, there are multiple users/passwords. Will I just see these as windows folders, but not be able to actually see the data? And if this is the case, when I do a clean install, how do I set it up so that they can get to it? I want to cover all my bases before doing any more damage. It has not been a good week.
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#10
rshaffer61

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If you slave it you should be able to backup the data without issue unless folders are password protected also
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#11
happyrock

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First, is there one for a PATA drive? It is a WD800 Caviar EIDE.

yep...this is the one I use and recommend..go here

Again, there are multiple users/passwords.

only to log on the system your working on...not the drive you slaved...

Will I just see these as windows folders, but not be able to actually see the data?

just right click on whatever drive letter the system has assigned to the drive and select explore...
all your data will be visible and available to copy to the system drive or burn to cd/dvd's

when I do a clean install, how do I set it up so that they can get to it?

if by "they can get to it" you mean the freshly installed OS...then just put in the dvd you burned and drag the data into the new folders
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#12
rshaffer61

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:rolleyes: Thanks Happyrock for the additional information. :) :)
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