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applications drive lost... help!

Posted on 2001-06-12
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2010-04-13
okay, i have a drive containing only application files (ms office, ms money, visual studio, messenger etc.)

on win 2k prof. w/ sp2. - windows on one drive, apps on another (drive for apps seemingly dead)

the drive gets locked in these clicking sounds (click, click, click) when it starts up... it clicks about 5 times, stops, then starts again, as if the head cannot get positioned right. i am assuming the drive is dead, but the data is still there.

so, here are my questions:

1) is there any way to retrieve the data on the drive and mirror/copy it to a new drive? or does it sound dead for life? if there is a way... who/how/what?
2) if i boot up into win 2k w/ a new drive, how should i re-install my applications:
a. should i just install them normally
b. try to remove them from "add/remove applications", remove any references in registry and start menu shortcuts, then install them
c. just try to remove whatever i can from "add/remove applications", then install them

the reason i have several choices here is because i am worried that installing the applications again will corrput/damage my registry and any other settings... becuase as far as windows is concerned, the applications are installed, just not there!

- will it create duplicates in the registry? if so, how do i repair?
- what other problems could i face by re-installing "already installed" applications on a new drive?
- does win 2k have a repair tool for installed applications so it will know what is missing and install appropriately in right locations?

the new drive will have the same drive letter as the old one... applications will be installed in same folders.

please read this question thoroughly before answering... i want thorough/clear answers. thanks!
Question by:loyaliser
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LVL 63

Accepted Solution

SysExpert earned 800 total points
ID: 6182946
1) If yu really need the data and have the $$$ then try

www.ontrack.com since the drive sounds dead.

I would recommend that you download a diagnostic disk from your harddrive manufacturer's url. This will tell you right off where you are at and if
   you can recover from it. It may be under waranty, the harddrives are usually covered for three years and you can make out the RMA on their site
                     also. Depending on the manufacturer of the hard drive, you can download diagnostic utilities from their sites to check the drives.

Just re-install the software, the same registry keys will probably be used.
You will not be able to remove the apps unless you have the old drive working.
I hope this helps !

Author Comment

ID: 6183207
i have downloaded those tools and am checking drive now... still sounds like the head is tripping out badly. still scanning drive ...

i'll skip ontrack...

about re-installing... will there be a problem w/ software like ms office that creates that registry number or product id thingy? i am still concerned that the registry will be messed up.

do u know if ms office will run a repair tool instead of a full re-install?

LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 6183325
It will try, but since the office directory is not there, it will re-install. The registry should not be a problem since it is rebuilt after each install. There are no duplicate entries etc.

I hope this helps !
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LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 6183441
If you are that worried about your registry i suggest you do this:

Plug in the new hd.
Insert your win2000 cd and boot on this.
Start an installation, when it asks you where to install, choose the old c: drive, say no to format it and when it asks you where to install it, type in a new path like WINNTNEW instead of the normal WINNT.
Proceed by unchecking everything and choose to install networking later.

This is only to create a small working windows 2000, that can be used to recreate the apps on the d: drive without toouching the original installation on the c: drive.

Once you have this extra win2000 setup, you will have an extra option on the boot menu and the default bootoption will be the new minimal installation.

Proceed with formatting the new d: drive and the you must install all the apps again on the d: drive exactly as they were before.

When this has finished, you can try and boot on the original installation and see if the apps are working ok.

If so, you can just delete the \WINNTNEW directory and edit the \boot.ini, so you remove the lines whith \WINNTNEW.

This is a way to do it, without touching your original installation, but it is long hard work.

Hope this helps
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 6183474
Actually ,  tonnybrandt  is partially correct. Any files in the \program files directory , are common to both installations, so you may be "messing" something up.

I would save the parallel install as an option  if the normal install fails for some reason.

I hope this helps !!
LVL 10

Expert Comment

ID: 6183516
True, but i have never seen a problem with that, as long the new installation is the same OS, as the original one. I have done this before on my home machine, to fix an unbootable machine, and that is also why i dare to recommend it.

Another option is of course to partition and format the d: drive during the setup, and install the new win 2000 on that drive. This will take care of the \programs issue, and leave the c: drive untouched except for the bootupfiles and bootmenu.

Infact at work i have a Win NT 4.0 Terminal server, with two other NT installations, server and workstation and a win 98. All the NT installations is on the same partition, and all works.

My suggestion here is a workaround. I don't think the apps will create duplicate registry settings during installation either, but the questioner seems very concerned with his registry, so that's what made me suggest this.


Expert Comment

ID: 6183592
If the C drive is fine and only the "applications" drive is bad, and there is nothing you HAVE to have in the applications drive, then:

a) remove the drive and replace it with a new one.

b) Re-install the applications using the same exact locations as you had before.

The deal with re-installing windows to a different folder is for when your registry and/or your windows system is royally screwed up. I don't recommend it for this case.

If you don't remember where you installed something, look at the contents of your start menu. Examine the properties of the short cuts and that should be enough.

About the only place where problems might occurr is if you have LICENSED software. If you have something like SQL Server installed on that application drive, the licensing is probably in the registry and/or windows system folders.

You could end up with a situation that thinks you are trying to install a second license.

Other than that I think you should be ok.


Author Comment

ID: 6183626
well, the parallel install w/ a new sub-install of win 2k sounds interesting, yet too troubling/time-consuming. i'm afraid it will cause more trouble.

i will do the following:

1. re-install all the apps that were on the old damaged apps drive - in fact, i will re-install one app and check for duplicate registry (if duplicates, then figure out another strategy - maybe parallel install, or find a way to clean out old registry settings or something)
2. skip over-writing newer files for apps (if the installers ask)
3. install service packs etc. on new app installs (specifically, ms office, ms money, visual studio etc.)
4. hope for the best!

if the above fails, then i will try the parallel install.

any way, all i need to do is get a few important apps running. as long as they work i don't care. i plan to wipe the entire system and get new hd's w/ win xp and office xp when they are both available... on that note, when will win xp be available?

does this sound like a plan? start w/ re-install, if no good, then do parallel...

Author Comment

ID: 6183631

thanks for that note... i feel the same way, and this exactly why i doing the re-install route w/ the new drive first.

no, i don't have LICENSED software like sql server... i use to about a year ago though... good thing not anymore. phew!
LVL 44

Expert Comment

ID: 6184208
These made help aid you in making the Registry changes

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The Crazy One

Author Comment

ID: 6184272
well folks... the first answer was the right approach... here are the results:

1) i used the diag tool on the dead drive and the diag tool said: hey fellow! this drive is dead meat... (too bad no more warranty)
2) i installed the new drive
3) booted into windows and went into add/remove programs application... some of the apps have a repair button/link here, which i used (e.g. ms office, visio etc.)
4) for those that did not have repair button, i created an empty folder for app (same name as before) on the new apps drive
5) then installed the apps again
6) some apps had minor problems... nothing to worry about

only problem is if u have service packs installed, win still thinks they are installed?!?! solution: after install, un-install, re-install, then install service packs... or install a newer service pack.

that's it! thanks for help!
LVL 63

Expert Comment

ID: 6184301

I'm glad you got this working !!

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