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System Recovery or Data Recovery on Sony VAIO PCG-TR2AP Notebook - Critical Situation

Environment:  SONY VAIO PCG-TR2AP Notebook running Windows XP Pro with Service Pack 2.  

A customer called me up today for help with her Sony VAIO notebook.   No matter what she does it ends up booting to the blue Microsoft Windows XP screen and no further.  She says this began after installing SP2.  I can't be sure if SP2 got all the way on or not.

I've tried safe mode, debugging mode, last good mode, enable boot logging, anything to trick it into going somewhere where I can work with it.   It always goes to the same place and hangs.  CTRL-ALT-DEL does nothing.  I can get into the system bios setup menu, but that's done no good.

She's been to SONY and they say they can tell her how to wipe her hard drive and reinstall from their boot partition.  She'd do this, but needs the data off first.  If this were a desktop I'd just pull the hard drive, put it into another computer, and copy it from there.  
 
Best case would be to recover her system without wiping it.  Second best case is to recover the data off it and then wipe.  

Further complications are the fact that she no longer has her XP Pro install disks, has no backups, and she's leaving on a business trip to Europe Tuesday morning.  She needs the notebook and data for that trip.  One more thing, she thinks she may have some of the data on an older laptop.  She has asked me to call her ASAP if I think the data is unrecoverable so she can go to that one and try to get it off there.    
 
Thanks,
Al

Ps. I tried to make this question worth 1000 points but it won't let me.  I thought with premium services I could assign it a difficulty above 500.
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alanlsilverman
Asked:
alanlsilverman
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2 Solutions
 
SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
Hello alanlsilverman =)

This all Started after SP2... so first try to get rid of it,,,, u can use Recovery Console to uninstall it, and to use RC u can use any standard XP CD, coz u just need to goto the C:\Windows prompt and then uninstall SP2 as described here,

How to remove Windows XP Service Pack 2 from your computer
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?kbid=875350
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
OK, so its our first try to Recover her system by kicking out the SP2.... and just consider that if it fails, and damage is somewhat bigger than just SP2.... then u will have to wipe out the drive, but need data, to do it, u can take out her hard drive, can hook it in a desktop system using an IDE convertor adapter, and then can put the drive as salve to copy her data to the master drive of the desktop system and can hook back the drive in laptop to wipe it and install XP freshly :)

How To Connect a Laptop Hard Drive to a Desktop PC:
http://techrepublic.com.com/5100-6255-5160538.html

and if u want there are also IDE to USB adapters available which can connect any hard drive to the USB ports of either a desktop or laptop to access the external hard drive... so u can get one of them to hook her crashed hard drive to her old laptop via the usb ports to copy her data to the old one, and then can work on the crashed system freely while she is on her trip to Europe :)

Good Luck =)
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
Recovery console didn't work.  I'll try getting the data off her hard drive using the method above.
Thanks,
Al
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
hmmmmm listening..... :)
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
Looked at tech republic site.  I have a fire express 2.5" ultra slim usb external hard drive enclosure that I was going to put the notebook hard drive into.  But I can't find any instructions on removing the hard drive from this model sony.  I called sony support but they don't give out that sort of information and I couldn't find any schematics on the Internet.  Is there any way to extract the data without opening it up?  
Thanks,
Al
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bobo_techCommented:
Probably not in your situation.  You could try using something like the ultimate boot cd and trying to boot using the active ntfs  reader for dos to see if you can access the files, however yoiu will be limited to the 1.4 meg floppy sized transfers.  ultimate boot cd is at http://www.ultimatebootcd.com (awesome utility)

You really need to remove the drive.  If you are careful and just take your time, you should be able to figure out how to disassemble the laptop enough to remove the hard drive.
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
You can ask any hardware technisisna,,,, and he will be able to tell u how to open and take out the hard drive :)

and btw bobo's ultimate bootcd, rememnded me of Bart's PE >> http://www.nu2.nu/pebuilder/
u can boot with this CD in case if the OS was crashed..... check it and see if u can enter into OS to get out some of data or if can move it on the other partition :)
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
Going to close this now and will document what I finally did.
First, this Sony laptop harddrive has a propriatary connnection, so unfortunately I couldn't take it out and hook it up to a desktop harddrive.  But thanks for the suggestion.  This should work on other laptops.
What I did to get the critical data off was to use Remote Recover from Sysinternals.  I used the trial download from this site:  http://www.sysinternals.com/ntw2k/freeware/remoterecover.shtml
It's a great little utility.  You can transfer data off a dead computer via tcp/ip.  Unfortunately the trial version allows only 100Meg of data transfer at a time, which really limits its use.  I've emailed them to see if they have an inexpensive version I could buy, since the overall suite of programs is very expensive.
Thank you for all your help.
Al
 
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alanlsilvermanAuthor Commented:
I tried to make SheharyaarSaahil's answer the accepted answer and bobo_tech's the assisted, but it went in the other way around.  Thank you both for your help. I'm also curious why I couldn't make this a 1,000 pointer, even though I'm a premier member.  I though I could.
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SheharyaarSaahilCommented:
no problem alan.... not at all a problem :)

and why cant u make a 1000 points question, its becoz the maximum points limit for all memebers for asking questions is 500..... and no one can cross this limit, so that's the reason we cannot make a question with more than 500 points :)
Cheers ^_^
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