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unmountable boot volume - can I restore hard drive from Windows Backup


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#1
beeteejay

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Hi there

I'm getting the "blue screen of death" UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME page on my IBM ThinkCentre XP Professional Edition desktop computer. (I think I screwed things up a bit when I attempted to restore the system using a XP Home Edition CD which came with my Compaq netbook, as the IBM didn't come with any CDs.)

Anyway, I regularly backed up the C: drive using the inbuilt Windows Backup utility. However I didn't use the Automated System Recovery Wizard mode, just the standard Backup Wizard. There's a backup file sitting on an external hard drive I have.

How would I go about restoring this backup file to the (possibly corrupt) internal C: drive? And if I need to end up buying a new OEM hard drive, is it relatively easy to restore my old data to it using the file created with the Backup utility?

Thanks!

Edited by beeteejay, 30 March 2011 - 01:17 AM.

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#2
badassbiker

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If you still need help with this try the following:

1. Boot the system from your XP setup disk

2. When the "Welcome to Setup" screen appears, press R to start the Recovery Console.

3.If you have a dual-boot or multiple-boot computer, select the installation that you must access from the Recovery Console.

4.When you are prompted, type the Administrator password. If the administrator password is blank, just press ENTER.

5.At the command prompt, type chkdsk /r , and then press ENTER.

6.At the command prompt, type exit , and then press ENTER to restart your computer.

This takes a bit longer, but the system should boot back into Windows.
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#3
beeteejay

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Thanks for that, badassbiker.

Unfortunately, my computer never came with any installation CDs (Windows XP Professional was already installed on it). I already tried doing something similar to your suggestions, using an XP Home CD which came with my other computer - a Compaq netbook - but I rather fear that using XP Home instead of Pro is what got me into this BSOD mess in the first place.

I can get to the recovery console screen using the XP Home CD, but it doesn't recognise my C: drive, and the chkdsk command won't work. How can I reformat this drive? (And should I?)

I tried ringing IBM (now Lenovo) to see if they could send me an XP Professional setup CD, but, seeing as my computer is 7 years old, it's no longer covered by warranty so they couldn't help me.

I made a backup file (.BKF) using the free Windows Backup utility and saved this on a spare external hard drive. Will this .BKF contain all the information required to create a replica of the C: drive as it was before the crash?

Questions, questions...

(Latest news: I suspected the C: drive had died, so I ordered a new internal IDE HD and a USB-to-IDE cable, in the hope that I could tinker with my faulty HD from my working netbook, and hopefully unpack the .BKF onto the new HD. However the cheaply-made USB-to-IDE cable is faulty. Good old eBay!)

Edited by beeteejay, 04 April 2011 - 09:29 AM.

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#4
badassbiker

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You need to establish if this is a hardware or software problem.

Does the BIOS correctly detect the disk? If not it may be a hardware problem. Check all all cable connections to the HDD and substitute a different IDE cable to check if the cable may be faulty. Also connect the HDD to the other IDE connector on the motherboard to check if one channel may be faulty. Also the manufacturer of the disk may have a test / diagnostic software available on their website.

If the BIOS correctly detects the disk, you may have a corrupted MBR or lost partition. In this case you will need to boot the computer by other means to try and repair. A good utility is System Rescue CD which is actually a small Linux distribution which can be run from CD / USB. Download the iso file from here and burn to CD using a tool like Imgburn or if you want to run from USB there is also an installer.

Boot the computer from the CD/USB and select the default option. When the startup is complete you should now have a command prompt. Type "startx" to start the GUI. If this gives you problems you can continue to work in the command line environment.

Once in the GUI you can run Testdisk, an advanced disk recovery program, from menu -> Misc -> Testdisk, . A guide to Testdisk can be found here.

Let me know if you need help with any of the above.

EDIT

You should have a look herebefore running test disk to see if you can make a backup of your data first.

Edited by badassbiker, 05 April 2011 - 04:14 AM.

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#5
beeteejay

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Thanks again, badassbiker. I'll try this System Rescue thing.

Two questions before I do:

1) How do I boot my PC from a USB stick? (No CD writer on my netbook.)
2) Silly question, so forgive me for asking: This process won't convert my Windows PC into a Linux machine, will it?
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#6
badassbiker

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1) How do I boot my PC from a USB stick? (No CD writer on my netbook.


There should be an option in the BIOS to boot from USB, also enable "Legacy USB support" if you have it. You can also try to hit F12 at boot, this should bring up a boot options menu.

2) Silly question, so forgive me for asking: This process won't convert my Windows PC into a Linux machine, will it?


No this will not install Linux in any way, it places an image of the OS in RAM and runs from there. :D
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#7
beeteejay

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Thanks again, badassbiker.

My problem has changed to such an extent that I'll open a new post and explain where I'm at now. This discussion can be closed.
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