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Data recovery, tried everything, Win7 freezes in all modes


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#1
Wahukian

Wahukian

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My computer started freezing a week ago, the usual can't click on anything cursor keeps loading, and i had a good feeling i got a virus because MS security essentials history said a Trojan was quarantined. Anyway, i deleted it and it was working ok, then the internet kept freezing/crashing in all browsers so i just stopped using it altogether. I used the computer to study as i had exams last week and I planned to back up my stuff as soon as i finished, but i started getting the blue screen and soon i couldn't even get on for more than 5 minutes. I turned it off till after exams so i could borrow a hard drive and back up my data but the computer was completely dead next time i turned it on.

Since then i have researched and tried every [bleep] thing. I have a windows 7 cd but i don't wanna restore it deleting my stuff, and when i go on repair it's not showing me an option to select windows 7. If i press F8 and start in safe mode or normally it either gives me an I/O error, or it freezes within a minute of startup and gives me the blue screen. I burned Puppylinux and tried using that to recover files but when i go in the hard drive folder i can't see my documents. Biggest issue now is that my computer is only detecting the hard drive about 1 of 3 times so i have keep restarting and if i'm lucky enough to log in it freezes in minutes. I know my files are there because i was able to log in the other day and transfer some folders before it blue screened. I've been trying to do that since but it's almost impossible to tranfer my stuff in that time span. I've also ran chkdsk from the repair menu and it doesn't give me anything.

I also can't take the hard drive out, it's an Acer x3400 (the small ones) and it's sooo friggin compact i gave up. I'm really worried my hard drive is damaged because it's not recognized at the boot menu half the time.

Edited by Wahukian, 23 December 2012 - 02:55 PM.

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#2
rshaffer61

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As long as the hard drive is mechanically working you can try using a Linux Live cd to retrieve your data/ Try the instructions below to access the drive and get to your data.

UPDATED April 20, 2012

Use Puppy Linux Live CD to Recover Your Data:

===================
***Required Hardware***
CD Burner (CDRW) Drive,
Blank CD,
Extra Storage Device (USB Flash Drive, External Hard Drive)

===================

1. Save these files to your Desktop/Burn Your Live CD:
  • Download Latest Puppy Linux ISO (i.e.: lupu-528.iso)
    Download BurnCDCC ISO Burning Software

    There are instructions on how to boot from flash drive with puppy here; http://www.pendrivel...e-from-windows/

  • Open BurnCDCC with Windows Explorer
  • Extract All files to a location you can remember
  • Double Click Posted Image BurnCDCC
  • Click Browse Posted Image and navigate to the Puppy Linux ISO file you just downloaded
  • Open/Double Click that file
    IMPORTANT: Adjust the speed bar to CD: 4x DVD: 1x
  • Click Start Posted Image
  • Your CD Burner Tray will open automatically
  • Insert a blank CD and close the tray
  • Click OK
Puppy Linux Live CD will now be created
2. Set your boot priority in the BIOS to CD-ROM first, Hard Drive Second
  • Start the computer/press the power button
  • Immediately start tapping the appropriate key to enter the BIOS, aka "Setup"
    (Usually shown during the "Dell" screen, or "Gateway" Screen)
  • Once in the BIOS, under Advanced BIOS Options change boot priority to:
    CD-ROM 1st, Hard Drive 2nd
  • Open your ROM drive and insert the disk
  • Press F10 to save and exit
  • Agree with "Y" to continue
  • Your computer will restart and boot from the Puppy Linux Live CD

    Posted Image

3. Recover Your Data
  • Once Puppy Linux has loaded, it is actually running in your computer's Memory (RAM). You will see a fully functioning Graphical User Interface similar to what you normally call "your computer". Internet access may or may not be available depending on your machine, so it is recommended you print these instructions before beginning. Also, double clicking is not needed in Puppy. To expand, or open folders/icons, just click once. Puppy is very light on resources, so you will quickly notice it is much speedier than you are used to. This is normal. Ready? Let's get started.

    3a. Mount Drives
  • Click the Mount Icon located at the top left of your desktop. Posted Image
  • A Window will open. By default, the "drive" tab will be forward/highlighted. Click on Mount for your hard drive.
  • Assuming you only have one hard drive and/or partition, there may be only one selection to mount.
  • USB Flash Drives usually automatically mount upon boot, but click the "usbdrv" tab and make sure it is mounted.
  • If using an external hard drive for the data recovery, do this under the "drive" tab. Mount it now.
3b. Transfer Files.
  • At the bottom left of your desktop a list of all hard drives/partitions, USB Drives, and Optical Drives are listed with a familiar looking hard drive icon.
  • Open your old hard drive i.e. sda1
  • Next, open your USB Flash Drive or External Drive. i.e. sdc or sdb1
  • If you open the wrong drive, simply X out at the top right corner of the window that opens. (Just like in Windows)
  • From your old hard drive, drag and drop whatever files/folders you wish to transfer to your USB Drive's Window.
For The Novice: The common path to your pictures, music, video, and documents folders is: Documents and Settings >> All Users (or each idividual name of each user. CHECK All Names!) >> Documents >> You will now see My Music, My Pictures, and My Videos.

Remember to only click once! No double clicking! Once you drag and drop your first folder, you will notice a small menu will appear giving you the option to move or copy. Choose COPY each time you drag and drop.

YOU ARE DONE!!! Simply click Menu >> Mouse Over Shutdown >> Reboot/Turn Off Computer. Be sure to plug your USB Drive into another working windows machine to verify all data is there and transferred without corruption. Congratulations!



Posted Image

If you're doing this to recover from a virus or malware infection, (or even if you're not), DO NOT copy executable files (.exe, .scr. etc...) if any of these files are infected you could be copying the corruption over to any new device/computer. just copy documents, pictures, music, or videos.

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#3
Wahukian

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I actually followed your guide from another thread, this same guide. It actually works but the hard drive only appears to mount for 3-5 minutes and when I copy things it gives me errors.
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#4
rshaffer61

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I don't understand as it should remain mounted till you are finished.
Try the following and let me know what it shows.
Run hard drive diagnostics: http://www.tacktech....ay.cfm?ttid=287
Make sure, you select tool, which is appropriate for the brand of your hard drive.
Depending on the program, it'll create bootable floppy, or bootable CD.
If downloaded file is of .iso type, use ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/ to burn .iso file to a CD (select "Write image file to disc" option), and make the CD bootable.

NOTE. If your hard drive is made by Toshiba, try the Hitachi DFT CD Image version of the software

Thanks to Broni for the instructions
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#5
rshaffer61

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Are you still having problems with your issue?
It has been 14 days since your last response and I was wondering if the issue has been resolved?
If so can you explain how it was resolved so others may be able to fix it if they have the same issue.
If not please let us know and we can continue with helping you to resolve the issue.
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#6
Wahukian

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Sorry for not replying for so long. I was trying to figure out how to run the hard drive diagnostics as you suggested but the problem is just getting worse and worse.

My computer just couldn't recognize the hard drive for more than few minutes and only about once a day, so I couldn't run any diagnostics because the computer didn't even know there's a hard drive attached. I gave it in to a store to get a data recovery quote and they said $115 for recovery and $160 for fixing the computer, apparently my power supply has an issue according to them but i don't get why, the computer turns on and off fine and puppy linux runs fine too. They wouldn't give me details unless i was willing to get it fixed, i don't wanna spend all that money so i just brought it back.

I then found a guide to remove the hard drive and tried plugging it on another desktop i have, same issue hard drive doesn't even show up. I think i feel it spinning but i really can't tell because it could be the fan, and i don't wanna touch it while it's running. At this point i have no hope, the hard drive looks dead:(

I wanted to try the freezer trick but i don't know of the risks, would you recommend it as the last resort? Or is there anything else i can try now?
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#7
rshaffer61

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Let me ask is there a clicking noise coming from the hard drive?
The freezer method is a long shot and may give you enough time to run diagnostics but I don't put much hope in that.
You say linux runs but the drive shuts down on you so the problem does seem to be the hard drive is failing. Short of paying the recovery fee it may be the only way to get the important info off the drive.
As for the PSU it may have a week or failing voltage rail and that is what they could be talking about. If so then the only way to know for sure is to have it tested under a load.
If indeed it is the problem then a replacement would be needed.
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#8
Wahukian

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Nope no clicking noise, it's like the drive doesn't even run. The data is important but definately not worth $115, it's mostly personal stuff like photos, documents, videos and music. I don't even mind if the hard drive dies after, as long as the freezer trick gives me enough time to transfer files. I'm just worried if it doesn't work then my drive will be permanently damaged and it'll guarantee my stuff is gone.

As for the computer itself, i tried putting an old hard drive in and it froze while loading the windows screen. I'll try putting the windows cd in and re-formatting that old drive, see if that works.
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#9
rshaffer61

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Is the old hard drive from this system or from another? If it is from another then it probably won't boot due to the wrong drivers for the motherboard.
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