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Recover Windows laptop from USB/CD (Quick answer)

I need to recover a Vista laptop.  
Drive D was broken during a partition operation (Paragon), think I need to recover the partition.

On drive C I think I need to repair the MBR and/or BOOT.INI and perhaps more.
(I tried to install an OS  on an external drive, but XP installer says it cant because C is corrupt, Is there some way I can put another partition instead of C in this case?)

I think USB would be better than CD, and it must be something I can just download and use.
 I have used Knoppix in the past (But it seems I actually have to do things on an NTFS drive this time).

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Olav00007
Asked:
Olav00007
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3 Solutions
 
rindiCommented:
If there is any data on the disk that you want to recover, then you really only have one safe option. Connect the HD to another PC as a 2nd HD, boot that PC with it's normal windoze OS and scan the attached disk using getdataback. If this tool sees your data, register it, then you can copy the files you need off. After that you can reinstall Vista to the laptop PC. Another way to do this is to make a UBCD4WIN and add the getdataback ass-on to that. How to add such add-ons is explained on the ubcd4win site, and getdataback has an addon ready for this on it's site. Then boot the Laptop with that CD and scan it's HD using getdataback, then use the tool to get your data recovered. You'll have to recover the data to a network or some other 2nd or external HD as you can't and shouldn't write to the disk where the original data is on. After that you can reinstall Vista again.

http://runtime.org
http://ubcd4win.com

It is possible to build the UBCD4WIN for a USB stick, but that isn't that easy to do, making the CD is more straight-forward.

Sometimes you might get lucky by starting your PC with the Vista DVD, which has some recovery functionality, but I doubt that will work in your case since you did some partition manipualtion, and the chances are high that you'll make things worse.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Could you give more details on this "D was broken during a partition operation"? I have good experience with Paragon products and can help you to resolve the issue with the help of Paragon tool itself.
I need to know what operation exactly were you going to perform, then how the broke\interruption of operation took place and finally what error message do you get while trying to boot into Vista now?
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Olav00007Author Commented:
for noxch:

The laptop was shut own while it was moving a partition.  The main issue now is getting back the lost partition / the data on it.  (There are free tools that work at least partially).

My C-drive is probably

for rindi:
 getdataback is not free.  Any reason to think it is better than free solutions.


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rindiCommented:
Getdataback is the only tool I've used that really worked, and you can scan your disk using the trial version. If the trial version doesn't show you the files you need recovered, you don't have to buy it, as then you won't be able to recover them. Also, it isn't too expensive.
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Olav00007, boot your PC from Paragon Recovery CD, delete the Unformatted partition and then run on free unallocated space Undelete Partition Wizard.
It will find and recover partition to the state it was before the operation.
Also, if operation was interrupted unexpectedly then Paragon warns about unfinished operation and suggests continuing it. Don't you get such message "Your drives were modified by Paragon engine etc"?
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Olav00007Author Commented:
Tried to submitt points, but got:
You must provide a reason for closing the question when assigning a grade of "B"
   
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noxchoGlobal Support CoordinatorCommented:
Yes, you need to write a short text with reason of close.
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