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Corrupted OS How can I save my data

Posted on 2004-08-18
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Last Modified: 2008-03-17
I have spent 4 hours with Dell tech support and twice I have been hung up on.  So now I turn to the real experts. I need help! We did an update for norton antivirus and our computer shut down and could not reboot.  Even if you try selecting Safe Mode or Last known good config it starts like it is going to do something and then shuts down and you are right back where you started.  I do not care if I have to reformat my hard drive and reload everything but is there a way that I can rescue my files.
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Question by:Apex623
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11837952
You can try to reinstall Windows.  Boot up with your windows cd, it won't delete your files.
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by:Apex623
ID: 11838061
do you have to change the boot sequence in the bios to do this
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by:Apex623
ID: 11838116
When I boot from the CD do I select set up Windows XP now or repair a Windows XP installation using recovery console or quit setup without installing windows XP
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by:_
ID: 11838134
I'd try the repair, first.

You might want to recover the stuff you want to keep before you mess with the OS repair:

FREE TOOLS    ( list by CrazyOne )

PC INSPECTOR
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Disk Commander
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MRECOVER
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Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP
http://www.c2000.com/software/#win2000

Back2Life
http://www.simtel.net/pub/pd/57588.html

Hard Drive Mechanic
http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/6.html
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demo version:
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Filerecovery for Windows
http://www.lc-tech.com/filerecovery.asp
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Undelete
http://www.executive.com/consumer/undelete/undelete.asp
You know how upsetting it is to accidentally delete a file that you need—it takes just a moment to lose hours of work. Undelete file-recovery utility captures ALL deleted files including those that typically bypass the Recycle Bin. You can even recover files you purged from our Recovery Bin. With our Emergency Undelete feature, you can recover files deleted prior to Undelete being installed on your system (provided they have not been written over). Buy Undelete and you'll never again be at the mercy of lost data.

Fast File Recovery
http://savemyfiles.com/fastfile.htm
A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.


File Scavenge
http://www.quetek.com/prod01.htm
File Scavenge is the most comprehensive, award-winning file undelete and data recovery for NTFS volumes on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Active UNERASER
http://www.uneraser.com/undelete.htm
Active UNERASER is a compact and powerful undelete utility that can recover deleted files and folders on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS systems. It can even restore files from deleted and re-formatted partitions.

Undelete 3.0
http://www.pcconnection.com/scripts/productdetail.asp?product_id=309884
Undelete 3.0 restores accidentally deleted files within seconds from anywhere on your system. Version 3.0 includes new SecureDelete, full Windows XP support and expanded search options.

FinalData Data Recovery
http://www1.finaldata.com/
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by   quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory   destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

BadCopy Pro
http://www.jufsoft.com/badcopy/
BadCopy Pro is a leading data recovery tool for floppy disk, CD-ROM, CD-R/W and other storage media. It can effectively recover and rescue corrupted or lost data from damaged, unreadable or defective disks. Various damage situations and all file types are supported.

Directory Snoop
http://www.briggsoft.com/dsnoop.htm
Directory Snoop is a low-level forensic utility that can recover erased files in an emergency, wipe sensitive data, and search for hidden data at the cluster level. Step through your File Allocation Table (FAT) and map individual clusters back to the file that owns them. Purge orphaned (and possibly sensitive) file names right out of the directory structure. $29 shareware for Windows 95 through XP (NTFS drives not supported).

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by:Apex623
ID: 11838194
How do I do this if I can not get my computer to boot.  It just tries to boot then reboots and just keeps going through this cycle
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by:_
ID: 11838249
Hmmmm.... probably have to put it in another system to do this. It might even see the stuff on the drive without the recovery programs. Or if you can get your hands on another HD, put a fresh install on that (with bad drive unhooked), then reboot with the bad drive hooked up.
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by:Apex623
ID: 11838299
May I ask for clarifiaction on what you mean by it might see stuff on the drive without a recovery program
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tosh9iii earned 100 total points
ID: 11838314
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by:rid
ID: 11840107
Find out where the problem is. Try booting from any bootable device, a boot floppy or CD of any O/S. If this does not work, disconnect all unnecessary PCI cards, the HD and CD units and try a boot floppy again. If still no go, swap RAM sticks for known good ones.

If you CAN boot off a floppy, you should run a HD diagnostic and then try to access the file system to see if it's still there. If  you're on NTFS, tough luck, you'll need additional tools for this (NTFSDOS).
/RID
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by:daleoran
ID: 11840526
Hi Apex
coral47 has a point - if you can get access to a second computer, plug it in as the secondary drive and you may be able to access all you files via windows explorer. The problem seems to be with the operating system (or hardware relating to the OS) so using the drive as a secondary (or slave) drive will allow you to access it as you would a CD-ROM.
If you don't know how to do this do you know anyone who does? It's actually quite easy (if you know how).

Another solution (possibly)  - would the files that you need to recover fit on floppy disks? If so boot the computer from a boot floppy and then you can navigate to the files (using DOS) and copy them onto floppies.

If you need any help with these suggestions don't hestitate to ask :)

Michael

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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11842145
Sounds like you've been able to boot from the CDROM so put the XP CD in and do this

Pick the drive that XP is on, (It'll search for installed versions of XP) then hit enter
It'll prompt you to hit R for a repair installation (not to be confused with hitting R to goto the recovery console) Do that.
It should go through and do an overlay installation of XP.

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by:Apex623
ID: 11843644
Hi rid,

I went through tech support for Dell and my HD checks out and we are pretty sure that it is just my OS that crashed. I am able to boot up from the CD-Rom as tosh9iii has suggested but it does not list an OS for me to repair.  However, when I get to the part about partitions it shows a considerable amount of the partition already used. When I select the partition to relaod the OS then it says that there is already an OS there and if I continue I will lose data so I exited without installing.

Hi daleoran

Can I do this by buying an external hard drive or does it have to be an internal hard drive for your suggestion to work.  Also could you give me some guidance here, I am an intermediate level computer user but I have had little experience with hardware and installing new HDs.

Thanks for everyones replies I greatly appreciate the help!

Apex623
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Assisted Solution

by:_
_ earned 400 total points
ID: 11849043
It would probably be easier with an internal HD, since you need to load an OS and make it bootable.
1. Take out the HD that has the data you want to save.
2. Put in the new (borrowed) HD as Primary Master. Make sure it is set in the BIOS.
3. Boot from the Win CD, and load a clean OS on it.
4. After it is setup, shutdown system and put the 'bad' drive in as Secondary Master or on the Secondary IDE Channel. Make sure the BIOS sees it.
5. Check if Windows will now read the data on the bad drive. If yes, copy what you need to get of it to the new drive. If no, install on of the recovery programs to the new drive and see if it will get the data.

Note: If your system will boot to an External HD and you want to go that way, the procedure is the same.
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11849389
Apex, I believe your missing something, If you pick the partition that XP is already installed on you should be able after that step to select R for a repair install or ESC for a fresh install. (I have seen a few that don't but it has seemed rare since SP1 cd's came out) Check if you have a Windows XP SP1 install CD or just a Windows XP. Maybe borrow an XP install with SP1 on it if possible and retry the repair install from the steps in tosh's post (http://www.windowsreinstall.com/winxphome/installxpcdrepair/part2.htm)
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by:Apex623
ID: 11849565
Thanks for the comments I will go to work on your suggestions and let you know if I need more help.  I will try the CD idea first if that does not work I will get a second hard drive and try to recover data that way.
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11851844
Good luck Apex! We'll be waiting for your posts
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by:Apex623
ID: 11864582
Ok here is where I am at I borrowed a Service Pk 1 CD and tried to do the repair option and no dice.  Same thing it does not give me the option to do that so now I am down getting a second HD.  I will have to buy one.  How do I make sure that it will work in my computer and what is the proper way to install.  I do not know that much yet about hardware but would like to learn.  So any advice you can give me would be great!

Thanks,

Apex623
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by:Apex623
ID: 11864681
I have a ultra ATA hard drive must I use the same type of HD or does it matter?

How can I tell if my computer is compatiable with the HD that I buy?

Is there a chance the my computer does support dual drives.

How do I find out about apropriate settings for slave and master drive?

I am going to need a kti to intall the new HD?

What else do I need to concern myself with to install the HD correctly?

As I said before I am new to this so cautions and advice is greatly appreciated?

Also when I have the new drive insatlled what would be the best software to recover the data off of the old HD or I am going to need to do that?

Thanks
Apex623
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by:Apex623
ID: 11864683
Sorry kti is supposed to be kit
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by:_
ID: 11867157
Most of the process is in my last post

>>>I have a ultra ATA hard drive must I use the same type of HD or does it matter?

If you mean the same brand, the answer is no. All IDE HD's are ATA now.

>>>How can I tell if my computer is compatiable with the HD that I buy?

That would depend on what mobo chipset you have. Check the manual or Dell's website. As a guess, if your current HD is larger than 32gig, I'll say you should be OK up to a 120gig.

>>>Is there a chance the my computer does support dual drives.

This should not be a problem

>>>How do I find out about apropriate settings for slave and master drive?

Usually marked on the HD itself. The only thing to really look for is if it takes a special setting. One make of drive (Western Digital??) has a setting for Single Master and another for Master with Slave. But most are straight up Master or Slave.

>>>I am going to need a kti to intall the new HD?

Should not.

>>>What else do I need to concern myself with to install the HD correctly?

Hmmmmm..... Make sure your Power Supply has enough juice. What all is in your system?

>>>Also when I have the new drive insatlled what would be the best software to recover the data off of the old HD or I am going to need to do that?

The new install of XP might be able to see the data on the bad drive. If not, Good results reported with:
PC Inspector (freeware)
GetDataBack  (not free)

Note:
Once you get everything fixed, you might want to use the extra drive for backing up.
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by:Apex623
ID: 11867235
I have a Dimension 4400 computer running a 1.6Ghz pentium chip
768 DDR SDRAM at 266mhz bus
64 MB NVIDIA GeForce2 G-Card
80gb HD 7200 RPMs ATA
3.5 floppy drive
250 Iomea Drive
PCI Network Card
PCI 4 port USB 2.0 Card
16x/10x/40x CD-RW drive

Are all HD's standard width or do they very?

How would I know if my power supply is sufficent?

Good point on the backing up of data. Before this all happened I was getting ready to buy an external HD to back up data.  Oh Well!
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by:_
ID: 11867281
>>> getting ready to buy an external HD to back up data <<<     LOL   I got caught the same way.

>>> Are all HD's standard width or do they very?
They are mostly the same ( 3.5 inch ). Bigfoot's ( 5.25 ) are getting hard to find.   : )

>>> How would I know if my power supply is sufficent?
It should be written on the Power Supply (wattage). 300 watts should be minimum. 350 or higher is better.
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by:Apex623
ID: 11867304
Is this hard to change if I need to upgrade the power supply?
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by:_
ID: 11867411
Na, usually 4 screws and unplugging the power connectors. Just make sure the new PSU has all the correct type of connectors on it (if it needs the extra mobo and/or video plugs)
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by:daleoran
ID: 11867843
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11874511
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11876303
>>Are all HD's standard width or do they very?<<
>>How would I know if my power supply is sufficent?<<
>>Is this hard to change if I need to upgrade the power supply?<<

Now 99% of the drives are the same size, yours will also be the same as the norm 3.5" drive.
Your power supply is sufficent judging by the specs you listed above.
Don't worry about it your power supply wont need upgrading just to replace your drive. It'll handle fine.
Sorry bout the delayed posts, I was on Vacation! got back just now in a wonderful storm (booooo rain)
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by:DoTheDEW335
ID: 11876334
Also when your going to replace anything or want to know how to add parts here's dells documentation on your Dell PC

http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/dim4400/replace.htm#1101572
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by:Apex623
ID: 11877654
Thanks for the posts tomorrow I will get the drive and let you know if I need further assistance and what the outcome was.  In away I excited to put in another drive I always wanted to learn more about Hardware.  

Again thanks for the help!


Apex623
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by:_
ID: 11877705
>>> I always wanted to learn more about Hardware <<<    This will be a good start.   : D
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by:Apex623
ID: 11877706
One question though. Does the size of the drive matter.  Meaning should I stay away from drives that are larger than the one I have in my computer or does that matter at all.
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by:_
ID: 11878000
It doesn't matter. The only thing you need to find out is the maximum size your mobo will support. Since you have a 80gig already, you should be able to slide a 120gig in there with no problem. But you need to double check first. With WinXP SP1, you might be able to get a 137+gig.
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11878342
Go to this webpage:
EVEREST Home Edition v1.10
http://www.lavalys.com/products/download.php?pid=1&lang=en&pageid=3

download>install>open>Computer>Summary>Right Click>Copy> and post it here, that shold tell us whether or not your motherboard can handle the big hard drives.
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by:Apex623
ID: 11888155
I tosh9iii,

I wish I could but the reason I need a second drive is to recover data off of the drive that has crashed.  I will just get 60 0r 80 gig drive to be safe.

Thanks,

Apex623
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11888718
Oh yeah, I forgot that you couldn't use your computer, sorry about that.

Keep us updated on your progress.
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11888772
By the way, based on the speed of your computer (1.6 ghz) I'm pretty sure that you're motherboard should be able to take hard drives bigger than 137 gb.
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by:Apex623
ID: 11907475
Yeah!!!!!!!! I successfully installed a second hard drive of 120 gigs and was able to retrieve the data off of the old drive.  It took me awhile to get the settings correct for master vs slave but got it.  Now the only problem I have is in order to install the second hard drive I had to use the ATA connection that was attached to the Zip drive.  Are there cables out there that will let me have all three hooked up or am I stuck! The other question I have is given all of the help that has been provided to me can I award more than just the 500 pts.  If so how?  
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11909323
Well, one of your choices is to get a ide controller card

 ( -(MUST ENTER --- pricewatch --- for Coupon Code) )

http://www.acortech.com/.sc/ms/dd/1092846221636072/9/nc/ee/486/SD-ATA8212%2520ATA133%2520IDE%2520CONTROLLER%2520RAID%2520CARD%2520RETAIL%2520BOX
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by:_
ID: 11909973
Agree. Most mobo's only support 4 IDE drives. 2 on each channel.

Hmmmm.... Looking back over your specs, it looks like you still have a plug open.
80gb HD 7200 RPMs ATA
250 Iomea Drive
16x/10x/40x CD-RW drive
Plus new HD = 4 devices. Might have to get creative to get all four hooked up though.

>>> can I award more than just the 500 pts <<<  No. They are currently Enforcing the 500 point limit. Period.  : (
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by:Apex623
ID: 11917058
I will see if I can find a better cable to hook up my  CD/RW drive and my Zip.  Right now there is a second connection on that cable but there is not enough slack to hook them both up.

What is does the IDE controller do?  And by the way what does IDE stand for?
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by:_
ID: 11919297
IDE = Integrated Drive Electronics

>>> What is does the IDE controller do <<< The Addon one? It lets you put more than four devices and/or larger drives and/or faster drives, in your system. Most have their own BIOS, so you are not limited to what your system is. < say you want to put a ATA100 80gig HD on a system that only supports ATA66 32gig HD >

>>> but there is not enough slack to hook them both up <<<    Been there. You might have to move the drive locations around (the way they are stacked in the drivebay). As long as the drives are jumpered as M/S and not cable select, it USUALLY does not matter which plug is used. You can put a master in the middle plug instead of the end one.
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by:_
ID: 11919322
2 things:
are you using 40wire/40pin cables or 80wire/40pin cables?

If you still want to give more points, open another Q, and post the link here, and we can keep "filling in the gaps" there.    : D   <joking>
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by:Apex623
ID: 11966344
Ok, a new cable came with my new HD and it had more seperation between the two drive plug-ins.  So I was able to hookup both my CD/RW and Zip drive on that cable.  Is there any problems with doing this and is there any settings such as slave and master that I need to setup to make this work properly? Thanks again for your help.  Also how would I know if I have a 40 wire or 80 wire cable?

Thanks,

Apex623
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by:tosh9iii
ID: 11969911
"Is there any problems with doing this and is there any settings such as slave and master that I need to setup to make this work properly? "

No, basically you just plug it in.
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by:_
ID: 11970267
Correct, just make one master and the other slave. Personally I would make the CDrom master, but it shouldn't matter.

>>> if I have a 40 wire or 80 wire cable <<<  The hard way is to count the ridges (wires) in the ribbon. The easy way is to compare it to an old IDE cable, the 80/40 has finer and smaller ridges. Easy to tell the difference after you have seen it a time or two.  
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by:Apex623
ID: 11993838
Thanks for your help I know this took awhile but I am happy to have my data back as well as a back.  I will close this question now thanks!!!!!!!
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by:_
ID: 12003326
Thank you much.    : )

Glad to hear you are up and running again.
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by:nthna1
ID: 12159756
h
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