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Repair or recover winXP install

Posted on 2010-08-18
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Last Modified: 2012-05-10
began an "imaging" process on a machine that had xp installed. I cancelled it almost immediatelly so the imaging itself didn't actually begin but it did something so that now the hard drive wont boot. Something with the MBR or the filesystem partition table, I don't know exactly.

Whats the best way to diagnose/repair this? If not possible to get it to boot, can I recover the data? I tried sysrescueCD and used fsarchiver probe and it said "No Filesystem Found." I also tried the windows recovery console and did fixmbr and fixboot and bootcfg /rebuild. The first command seemed to run but the second two commands failed. Chkdsk also fails.

Any advice??
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Question by:steiner470
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firemanf29 earned 167 total points
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You've deleted or corrupted the partition.  Try this product.  It;s works most of the time.
http://www.partition-recovery.com/

You'lll need the toolkit for Home user.  
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by:firemanf29
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Sorry. You may need the business license of the toolkit.
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by:VBDotNetCoder
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Any recovery program will recover most of the data on that partition (using raw-scan mode, since I assume partition table is damaged).

After that you can connect this hard disk as an additional hard disk to a working system and format it to see if there are any bad sectors, hardware failure etc... (I don't think there is a hardware failure since the things you did cannot cause a hardware problem.
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by:rickscherer
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By imaging, do you mean copying your hard drive to an image or deploying an image to your hard drive?

If you started deploying an image and it won't boot you are probably looking at a reinstall from DVD or complete the reimaging.  One of the first thing most imaging tools do is blow away the partitions and recreate according to a script or possibly from input from the operator.  Can you hook the drive up as a secondary drive on another computer or boot in to XP repair console and see if the file system is intact?  You may be able to copy data off the drive even if it is not bootable.
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by:russell124
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When you were imaging the machine, were you trying to take the image, or were you writing an image to the HD?  Do you have another machine you can plug your HD into?

I would recommend  using a utility called TestDisk:

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

The easiest way is if you have access to another machine where you can install Test Disk on, and plug the bad HD into.  If you don't, there are a variety of boot CDs that have the utility on it:

http://www.knoppix.net/

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

When you run test disk, the basic procedure will be for you to select the HD with the bad partition, "Analyze".  Post the results of Test Disk, and we can move on from there.
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by:firemanf29
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This may work also... Alothough it's possible his software is pirated... Use at your own risk.
http://www.hiren.info/pages/bootcd

You'll need to run Partition Saving 3.80 from his CD.


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by:Naser Gabaj
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follow this link

http://www.webtree.ca/windowsxp/repair_xp.htm

Good Luck,

Naser
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by:HelpDesk888
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Sounds like the partition may have gotten corrupted.  Partition the disk again and try imaging the disk again.  If you want to recover the old data, you may try to add the drive to a working computer as a second drive and restart the computer using a UDBC Bart disk with a data recovery tool.  Once all the data is recovered, create a new partition on the disk and then image.  Hope this helps.
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by:Ben Personick
Ben Personick earned 167 total points
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try using Acronis disk keeper or GParted to repair the partition.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 166 total points
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for recovery you can try these  :
http://www.pcinspector.de/file_recovery/UK/welcome.htm      pc Inspector -FREE -
      http://www.piriform.com/recuva/download/standard            FREE  -  Recuva
http://www.stellarinfo.com/                              Stellar
http://www.runtime.org/                              GetDataBack

partition recovery :  http://www.ptdd.com/      

or make a knoppix live cd, and boot from that to copy your files  : ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V5.0.1CD-2006-06-01-EN.iso         

you can alos test the disk with the manufacturer's diag on ubcd : http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/      
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Author Comment

by:steiner470
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Good ideas here, thanks everyone.

Just to clear up some confusion. What I had meant was I had accidentally starting an imaging process on the hard drive (image --> hard drive) which had of course as a first step screwed up the partition on the drive and possibly mbr. I had wanted to recover the data and/or fix the partition so the drive would boot again. In the end I was able to recover the data with GetDataBack which scanned the hard drive found the data, and then I just re-ran the image deployment and allowed it to complete. I'll give points for the good ideas though.
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Author Closing Comment

by:steiner470
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Good ideas here, thanks everyone.

Just to clear up some confusion. What I had meant was I had accidentally starting an imaging process on the hard drive (image --> hard drive) which had of course as a first step screwed up the partition on the drive and possibly mbr. I had wanted to recover the data and/or fix the partition so the drive would boot again. In the end I was able to recover the data with GetDataBack which scanned the hard drive found the data, and then I just re-ran the image deployment and allowed it to complete. I'll give points for the good ideas though.
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