Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Want to copy HDD after "unmountable boot volume" error


  • Please log in to reply

#1
antconsig

antconsig

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
A few days ago my dell e1505 runnig XP SP3 did a hard shut down after the battery went below minimum battery level. Now when I start it I am seeing the blue screen telling me there is an "Unmountable boot volume" error. I have tried starting in Safe Mode, Last Good Configuration - each time I keep going back to the blue screen. I tried running recovery console and "chkdsk /r." It went through and I got no error messages. I figured it had cleaned up the HDD, but no luck. I would have just liked to repair XP without losing all my data (last backup only included My Docs) but now I just want to copy the HDD to my external one. I got a dock and tried copying all the data from the broken drive, but when I click to Copy and Paste I keep receiving an error message telling me that the drive is not formatted and asking if I want to format it now. This is as far as I can get trying to backup the broken HDD. Any help would be appreciated. If I can just copy the broken drive I'll wipe it clean and do a complete reinstall, otherwise any suggestions on how to repair from what I'm seeing?

Edited by antconsig, 01 August 2010 - 11:22 AM.

  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Fenor

Fenor

    Trusted Tech

  • Retired Staff
  • 5,236 posts
Hi antconsig!

Getting a message that the hard drive is not formatted is not a good thing. One thing you can try is doing a parallel installation of Windows XP.

-----------------------------

Parallel Installation of Windows XP

Boot to the Windows XP installation cd by pressing a key when the "Press any key to boot from cd" prompt appears at the top of the screen.
  • At the "Welcome to Setup" screen, press Enter to set up Windows XP.
  • Accept the License Agreement by pressing F8
  • With your current installation selected in the box, press Esc
  • Select C: Partition1 [NTFS] in the box and press Enter
  • To continue setup using this partition, press C
  • Now you should see formatting options...choose the last one, Leave the current file system intact (no changes), and press Enter
  • To use a different folder, press Esc
  • Name the folder WINDOWS0 (just type a 0 (zero)) and press Enter
The Windows installation should begin. This will install Windows to a new folder, leaving your data intact. Any programs installed on the old directory will have to be reinstalled to the new one. Device drivers will also have to be installed for all the hardware to work as it should.

The data will be located in the Documents and Settings folder (C:\Documents and Settings) under your old user account name...so when you set up the new installation, give yourself a slightly different user account name.
  • 0

#3
antconsig

antconsig

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
Thanks for the advice. Is there any way to extract all the data on the hard drive from a docking station to a seperate HDD under these conditions:

1) I ran chkdsk /r it recognized the broken hdd and it was also recognized in working condition in the BIOS

2) Broken HDD is not recognized using docking station connected to second PC (all disk usages report 0%)

3) The 'Backup' section of my broken HDD is working fine, so it seems just the regular partiion of my data isn't working.

I can reinstall all the programs and apps, etc. but I would like that to be a last resort. Is there any way I can at least have a log of all the info on the broken drive before creating a seperate partiion like a list of the folders and directories you see in Win Explorer? If I do it the way you described I would not be erasing the data, but would it make this unreadable partiion readable again?
  • 0

#4
Fenor

Fenor

    Trusted Tech

  • Retired Staff
  • 5,236 posts
You're not creating a separate partition with a parallel installation. You are leaving the entire HD structure intact. All the installation is doing, is creating a new folder (called Windows0) to install Windows into.

All you really want to do here is get the data off and then do a fresh format and reinstall of Windows on the Windows partition (not the backup partition; that partition won't be changed at all), because if chkdsk didn't repair the installation of windows, then nothing else will, and a reinstall is the only option. We are just doing the steps here to get your data backed up on the backup partition before doing that.
  • 0

#5
antconsig

antconsig

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
Great. One last question: I currently have a borrowed XP reinstallation cd for the same brand pc. The official dell one is currently in transit. I'm guessing that I won't be able to run a product key-scanning program to find the original key in the broken drive, right?
  • 0

#6
Fenor

Fenor

    Trusted Tech

  • Retired Staff
  • 5,236 posts

Great. One last question: I currently have a borrowed XP reinstallation cd for the same brand pc. The official dell one is currently in transit. I'm guessing that I won't be able to run a product key-scanning program to find the original key in the broken drive, right?

If the computer is from dell, the Windows CD Key should be on a sticker somewhere on the box itself. Search around for it, otherwise just wait for the official Dell ones, because their XP cd's read the key right off of the motherboard, so you don't need to input it at all.
  • 0

#7
antconsig

antconsig

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 43 posts
Bit a roadblock. I'm at the screen highlighting my current partition but pressing ESC does nothing. My choices are to set up XP, delete a partition, or create a partition in unpartitioned space (of which there is only 8MB available.) The screen looks like this:

-: Partition 1 [FAT]
c:Partition 2: [Unknown]
D: partition 3: Backup [NTFS]
F: Parition 4 [FAT32]
Unpartitioned space

The worst thing I'm seeing is that it says my current partition is 100% free. Should I abandon all hope at this point that I'll be able to recover the data?
  • 0

#8
Fenor

Fenor

    Trusted Tech

  • Retired Staff
  • 5,236 posts
Looks pretty bleak that you will get that information back on that hard drive. You can still try plugging it in as a slave on another computer (not as a USB drive, but actually plugging it in using the SATA/IDE port on the motherboard) and letting that computer run a scan of the drive and see if it can possibly recover the drive enough to at least allow you to recovery the files off of it. If that doesn't work, then you can resort to file recovery programs like Recover My Files and the like. If nothing on the drive is drastically important enough to attempt a file recovery, then I would just format that partition and reinstall Windows.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP