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Unable to get data off laptop harddrive

    I have a laptop with a 30GB HD that boots to the "Starting Windows" screen and then flashes a blue screen and reboots. When I tried to use an XP disk to repair or reload the OS it tells me that it sees a partion but it is not useable and in order to load the OS I would need to delete and recreate it. I also tried to get the contents off by adding it as a secondary HD on a desktop but it also sees a partion but says that it is invalid. Since it will boot to windows and then stop I feel that their should be a way to get the data off but I don't know how to get to it. The client also loaded Norton Go Back a few months ago but never used it but I was thinking that may have something to do with it. My thinking is that the drive boots with a certain translation but when I use a boot disk or another PC that drive translation is lost. Any ideas?
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ntobin
Asked:
ntobin
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2 Solutions
 
cashcompCommented:
i believe that norton goback loads it's own proprietary instructions in the MBR before handing the drive over to windows.  as a long shot you could try loading norton goback onto another system and then try to access the drive as a slave then remove the goback when you are finished.

like i said, it's a long shot.

cashcomp
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David523Commented:
Rather doubt this will really help but shouldn't hurt.  Try a DOS boot disk with FDISK on it and run the command:    Fdisk /mbr
Actually sound more like the partition table or probably something more is corrupt.  

Hope this Helps!!!
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garycaseCommented:
NO !!!!  Do NOT do a Fdisk /mbr on it.   ... if there's a GoBack MBR on that disk you will destroy the information that GoBack needs to undo the changes it made to the drive.

If running "gb_prog.exe /u " from a boot disk (at the A: prompt) doesn't resolve this;  then the best way to be sure there are no residual GoBack modifications is as follows:

(a)  With the drive NOT installed, install GoBack on a desktop system.

(b)  Now add the drive to the system.   When you boot, GoBack should recognize the "unattached" volume and attach it to it's protected area.

(c)  Now simply uninstall GoBack.

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David523Commented:
I agree with garycase and Forgot to say that the Fdisk should be the last thing to try if nothing else works. The final step.

Hopethis Helps!!!
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ntobinAuthor Commented:
My client installed go back from a download that is on the problem HD so I don't have the files needed. I used an old HD recovery utility that scans the sectors and it found the files and says it can restore the files but the utility has expired and to renew it is $300. I am looking for another utility online that is cheaper but if anyone has experience using one please let me know the name. I think using a utility to get the data back will be a shorter process than trying to get Go Back files and hoping it works or does not make things worse.
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cashcompCommented:
why don't you just download the gb_prog.exe utility from symantec's website here:

http://service1.symantec.com/SUPPORT/goback.nsf/docid/2001100515235607?Open&src=hot&docid=2001092611363307&nsf=goback.nsf&view=docid&dtype=&prod=Norton%20GoBack&ver=4.0&osv=&osv_lvl=&seg=hho

and follow the directions provided by garycase?

the download is free and the instructions so far have been as well.

good luck,

cashcomp
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garycaseCommented:
Several thoughts:

First, in re-reading your question, it seems GoBack is NOT likely the issue here.   You said "... boots to the "Starting Windows" screen and then flashes a blue screen and reboots ..." ==> Do you FIRST see the "GoBack" bar with a "Press any key ..." message?   IF GoBack is active in the MBR that's the first thing you'll see when it starts to boot.   If, at that point, you press the spacebar and select "Disable GoBack" you will completely undo the MBR changes GoBack made.   If you DO NOT see that initial screen, then GoBack is NOT active -- and that's not your problem.

GetDataBack (http://www.runtime.org/products.htm) is an excellent data recovery program.    The demo download is free -- download it, install it, and then run it against the problem disk and it will SHOW you the files it can "see."   You then have to buy a license to actually recover them ($69 or $79 depending on the file system).

IF the problem IS GoBack and for some reason it won't "disable" when booted on the laptop, then installing GoBack on the desktop, adding the drive, then uninstalling GoBack won't "make things worse" ==> it's VERY likely to make them a lot better !!   However, to do that, you DO need a copy of GoBack; and if you don't have that then it's not an option.

The simplest way to eliminate the GoBack modifications is to boot to a Startup floppy with a copy of gb_prog.exe on it; and then run the command I noted above.   But that also requires a copy of GoBack -- to extract the gb_prog.exe file from.   Since GoBack v3.0 is no longer available, finding that could be a problem.   Send me a private note (e-mail on profile) if you need help finding it -- there are a couple of sites with the download (not GoBack, but gb_prog.exe), but even though v3.0 is an obsolete program, I'm reluctant to post the download sites on a public forum.
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ntobinAuthor Commented:
Sorry for the delay in getting back with the outcome. I downloaded to GoBack file and ran it from a boot disk and the process would start and then freez the PC, after several time of doing that I decided to use a data recovery program. I tried "File Scavanger" and it worked like a champ. It recovered all my data from a drive that windows XP said needed to be formated before using. Thankls for all your help, I have decided to split the pionts for all you effort. Thanks again!

Nick
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