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Please help a girl down on her luck :>(


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#1
Me11y

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I don't know what happened, either Windows XP Home Edition
died or my hard drive failed me. All I know is I have no windows,
just a blank screen & yes I double checked my monitor. All I

know is I have no way to reach anything on my hard drive.

I called Microsoft & a kind tech worked with me for quite awhile
he tried several times in different ways, to get into safe mode. I
pressed F8 enough times to convince me it just wasn't working.
He did his best, tried everything he could but to no avail. We did
find that my files were still on my 80 gig hard drive. He did
caution me against running any diagnostics for fear of losing
those oh so important files.

When I turn on my PC I hear
the beeps as normal, my hard drive spins as
normal, the fans run normally too, the Dell
logo comes on as normal & I see normal bios
boot stuff & the Norton's Go back program
comes on too also normally.In fact, I used
the Go back program to go back one hour
& it said it was successful but still no Windows.
It did not resolve my problem. After Go Back
comes on the screen, the screen goes
black/blank & a white curser blinks off & on
in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
Every detail is normal & as It should be
except there is no sign of Windows. :>(

He said there are places that could help me recover the
information on my hard drive. He said all I would have
to do is take my hard drive to them & they would copy it
to CD or DVD. Well I went to my sister's house to use her
PC to look for these people online. I found some people
that say they can do this but they want $500.00 dollars or
more to do it!!!! There is no way I can afford that!

Isn't there another way? Can't I save my files? Somehow
copy my files to CD or DVD myself? Does anyone know
what I can do to get to my files to save them? I had just
put a ton of photos I was storing on my PC to upload to my
paid & insured online storage site. They can not be replaced.:>(

Please, somebody help I am drowning!!!

Thank you for any help you can spare :>)

Dell Dimension XPS T600
Intel Pentium 111 598MHz
Memory RAM
mem_slot0: 128Mb
mem_slot1: 256Mb
Maxtor 20 gig hard drive
WDC 80 gig hard drive
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Norton SystemWorks 2005

PIONEER DVR-AO5 all in 1 drive
DVD-RW,CD-RW,DVD,CD-R

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

Edited by Me11y, 11 January 2006 - 11:41 AM.

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#2
austin_o

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Hi and welcome to Geeks to Go. Do you have a bootable windows install cd, or a bootable Dell recovery cd? If you do, it may be possible to do a repair install (this would leave your data intact). See the guide at
http://www.geekstogo...ws-XP-t138.html
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#3
dsenette

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also...could you describe what happens in detail?

when you turn on the computer....do you see anything on the screen? like the normal bios boot stuff?

or is it blank the whole time?
are there any beeps?
can you hear the hard drive spinning?
how about the fans?
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#4
Me11y

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Yes dsenette, When I turn on my PC I hear
the beeps as normal, my hard drive spins as
normal, the fans run normally too, the Dell
logo comes on as normal & I see normal bios
boot stuff & the Norton's Go back program
comes on too also normally.In fact, I used
the Go back program to go back one hour
& it said it was successful but still no Windows.
It did not resolve my problem. After Go Back
comes on the screen, the screen goes
black/blank & a white curser blinks off & on
in the upper left hand corner of the screen.
Every detail is normal & as It should be
except there is no sign of Windows. :>(
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#5
dsenette

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do you have any disks in the computer? cds floppies? if so take em out

also...go into bios and make sure it's set to boot to hd then cd
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#6
Me11y

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No austin_o, I'm afraid to since the microsoft
tech told me not to use a recovery or bootable
CD. He said I could lose my data.
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#7
warriorscot

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You could only lose the data if you reformatted the computer which is a whole different option from repairing the OS.

Alot of people have success recovering data using a linux live cd, you boot from it to get linux and it can then access the drive and get the data and you can copy it to another HDD or a DVD.
http://www.ubuntulinux.org/ or i like slax because its quite small and comes with what you need http://slax.linux-live.org/ , you can burn the boot CD and boot into linux from the CD without affecting the computer and you can then use it to access the drive minus the windows stuff that can stop you if there is damage somewhere, like i said some people have success with it.
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#8
Me11y

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Yeah dsenette this problem is scary for me.

I have been looking around but am afraid to
make a bad choice. I found this for $129.00
butI don't know how effective it is:

MagicRecovery Professional v3.2
Professional Hard Disk Recovery Software at:

http://www.software-recovery.com/

This is free & has been out for awhile. It
sounds great but it looks a bit complicated
for me & again I don't know how effective
it is:

Rescuing Your Data with Knoppix at:

http://www.shockfami.../cedric/knoppix

Edited by Me11y, 11 January 2006 - 12:19 PM.

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#9
dsenette

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there are other ways of getting the data off...that are free...i just want to see if we can exhaust all other options of getting into the system the way that it is...
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#10
warriorscot

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You should definatley give getting it going as it is, although thats a great little tutorial for knoppix data recovery youve found.
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#11
Me11y

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Thanks dsenette & warriorscot.

I am sorry this is late but I have a pain issue & the
medication made me too sleepy to continue. I agree
with both of your latest replies though & it definately
pays to be careful. I have a lot to lose. :>)
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#12
dsenette

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have you checked the boot order in bios?
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#13
dsenette

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i've got another quick question...just to see where we will need to go with this.....how comfortable are you with the inside of a computer?
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#14
Me11y

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Ok dsenette,

Here are your questions along with my
answers to them:

have you checked the boot order in bios?

Yes. and the order is:

#1 CD-ROM
#2 HARD DRIVE
#3 NETWORK BOOT
#4 REMOVABLE DEVICES


i've got another quick question...just to see where
we will need to go with this.....how comfortable are
you with the inside of a computer?

I added a 80 gig hard drive a year or so ago

I installed my PIONEER DVR-AO5 all in 1 drive
DVD-RW,CD-RW,DVD,CD-R

I added 256mb memory module

I am not terrified of the inside of my PC but I
am aware that I haven't even made a scratch
on what I should know to try anything much
without an experienced tech to guide my way. :)
I am also aware of how very important your help
is. :tazz:

I suggest you not assume I know very much at all.
But not to worry I will remind you of my lack of
expertise should I not understand something you
instruct me to do. In other words Sorry, but yes,
you will need to have some patience with me. You
will probably :) a few times working with
me. lol But I will do my very best.
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#15
dsenette

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can you change your boot order to be hard drive first? and see what happens?
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