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Rescuing data on a Toshiba Satellite Pro L40 with corrupted startup files

Posted on 2009-02-13
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A clients Toshiba laptop running Vista Home Basic refuses to boot into Windows saying:

"Windows has encountered a problem communicating with a device connected to your computer."

This error can be caused by unplugging.....

Status: 0x00000e9

Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred."

If I press Enter to continue I get the option to repair or go in normally. The repair requires a copy of Vista Home Basic and as the opsys came preinstalled and I only have the Toshiba Product Recovery CD, this is not an option.

Toshiba support tell me running this CD will reformat the drive and my client's daughter has three months of unbacked-up course work which I need to try and rescue.

I would normally just move the drive to another machine and copy the data, but removing the drive will invalidate the Toshiba warranty on a newish notebook.

What options can anyone suggest for recovering the data? I've not used Linux since a short dalliance with Red Hat 9, but if this is the only solution can someone point me to an idiot-proof article on mounting the drive using this, and which Linux (free please) whould I download?

Thanks in advance for any ideas.

Mike
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Question by:mikeabc27
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ksmith247 earned 2000 total points
ID: 23631747
Puppy Linux live CD. www.puppylinux.org. Therer is a mount tool right on the desktop for mounting an external USB storage device (or any other disk drive). I have used Puppy for data recovery in the past with great success even with drives that Windows PE would not mount. Puppy will mount the drive Read Only if necessary and allow you to copy data from it. Good luck.
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by:torimar
ID: 23631954
You don't even need a complete Linux Live distribution, just take Parted Magic: www.partedmagic.com
It is a very small, very fast live rescue and maintenance system with all the required system tools and accessories. It also runs completely in memory, so you may even use "xfburn" to burn rescued data to CD - in case you can't use USB drives for this.
Just fire up the file manager, it should list all partitions available on HD, and let you access them without additional mounting. Permissions shouldn't be a problem either, but if, then you can change them by right-clicking and selecting properties.

Another one among the many good things about Parted Magic: it has a very fast release cycle, so you may be sure to always have the tools in an up-to-date version.
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Expert Comment

by:LeeTutor
ID: 23631983
Too many computer manufacturers don't furnish a Vista installation DVD with their pcs that are pre-installed with Vista.  Often they only have a hidden recovery partition that you can access to take back your pc to its original factory installation state!  (Thus you lose your data and all installed applications, setting changes, etc.)

If you don't have an installation DVD, then you cannot reinstall Vista without using this recovery partition, and you cannot access the new Vista Recovery Environment, which is what corresponds to XP's Recovery Console.  So, if you don't have a Vista installation DVD, what do you do in order to access the Vista Recovery Environment, at least?  You go to this site and download the makings for a recovery disk:

http://neosmart.net/blog/2008/windows-vista-recovery-disc-download/
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23632104
Thanks for the fast response, I loaded ksmith's suggested Puppy Linux as soon as I saw it, but will look at other suggestions if that doesn't work.
I've mounted 3 partitions on the hard drive, but most of the data seems to be on sda2. I also mounted sr0, a 2Gb USB stick.
I've still got my Windows head on and am trying to drag (copy) folders from the sda2 windows to the sr0 one. Getting read only msg and confused how to expand/collapse folders.
 
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Expert Comment

by:rgutwein
ID: 23632128
I use Knoppix (linux boot disc),

Here are some instructions on how to use it:
http://www.shockfamily.net/cedric/knoppix/

You can download the latest Knoppix ISO image here:
http://www.knoppix.net/get.php

Good luck!


Randy


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by:ksmith247
ID: 23632160
Yea, its a bit different. Try right click/drag and I think you get the option of copying the file. If you got the read only message when you mounted the HDD partitions then there is something definitely wrong with the NTFS partition. Single clicking on a folder should open it.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23632208
Thanks ksmith, I'll play around with it. Using on battery at the moment and no indicator so just gone dead.
I'll switch over to mains power now, but before it died I tried a doc file which opened without any problem.
Single clicking on a folder should open it. Sorry I was looking in docs and settings instead of users - forgot I was using Vista.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23633035
I'm probably doing something stupid, but I can copy files over to the usb stick, view and open them in Linux, but cannot view/find them in XP???
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23633052
I meant to add I copied them to Home/my-documents/username in Linux
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by:ksmith247
ID: 23633133
How is your USB stick formatted? NTFS, FAT...?
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23633156
FAT with 1.25Gb free in XP, Linux reports disk full
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Expert Comment

by:ksmith247
ID: 23633167
Ok, If you mount then open the USB stick you can drag and drop files. When you release the button you should get the option to Copy the file. It works fine for me here using a USB stick formatted FAT.
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by:ksmith247
ID: 23633172
"FAT with 1.25Gb free in XP, Linux reports disk full"

Not sure on that one.
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23633222
Ok, If you mount then open the USB stick you can drag and drop files. When you release the button you should get the option to Copy the file. It works fine for me here using a USB stick formatted FAT.
Yes that's how I've done it. But not sure if I'm copying them to a directory that XP can read as I cannot find files, even searching by name, in XP.
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Expert Comment

by:ksmith247
ID: 23633246
Are you un-mounting the USB drive before moving it from the Linux box to the XP box?
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23633381
It won't allow me to unmount to USB or first two HDD partitions, saying "No space left on device." Not allowing me to power off the laptop either as this may clear it.
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Expert Comment

by:ksmith247
ID: 23633428
Just kill the power to the laptop. You're not writing to the HDD and the OS is running in RAM. It won't hurt anything.
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Author Closing Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 31546525
Great assistance to resolve the problem, thanks
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Author Comment

by:mikeabc27
ID: 23633722
After full reboot and system cleared everything sorted.
Many thanks
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