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Windows Recovery

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
I'm asking on behalf of my partner, his laptop has suddenly stopped booting up. He is running Windows 7 32 bit. It doesn't even start up anymore - it goes to a funny pink (yes pink) screen - pixelated - no cursor on the screen - he says he didn't install anything new.
He's tried a system recovery and a scan disk, but beyond that we have no clue.

Have tried starting up with the Windows 7 disc in the drive, but it doesn't even read it.

most important thing at this point is for him to recover data - especially his mail - he can get into safe mode but not much more.
can someone help.
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Question by:blue-genie
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ASP8MBM earned 100 total points
ID: 36547312
There are many approaches to your friend's laptop problem.

1) If he can get to safe, he should be able to recover his email files onto a USB disk, and then rebuild the laptop to the factory defaults.

2) Also, if you have an external USB HDD enclosure, take out the hard drive from the bad laptop, place the hard drive inside the HDD enclosure, and then connect the USB enclosure to a good working PC or laptop to recover any data including the emails.
" Just be carefull when running factory default recovery, ALL DATA will be erased "

Hope this helps
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by:blue-genie
ID: 36547321
Hi thanks for that.
I just had a go with his machine as well and he says it's been going progressively worse. I can't see anything on the screen at all. half the screen (vertically) is a blue gradient colour and the other half is black.
I can hear the CD drive trying to read the disc but not getting anything, and not being able to see anything on the screen doesn't help either.
He says he tried plugging in another screen to see but that screen doesn't get picked up.

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by:ASP8MBM
ID: 36547407
In this case, an easy solution is to take out his hard drive and plug it into an external USB case/interface.
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by:web_tracker
ID: 36547469
to get the video to show up on an external monitor you have to press the fn key plus the f4 key or depending upon the manufacturer of the laptop you may need to press another f# key, such as f5 along with the fn key. You can tell which f key you have as it will have a picture of a monitor on the key, you press this button along with the fn key. You may need to press this combination of keys a few times before it will cycle to the external monitor. If the everything looks fine using and external monitor then it is possible that the laptop screen is bad or the inverter is defective.
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by:nobus
nobus earned 100 total points
ID: 36547567
here my laptop troubleshooting guide :
-remove all external devices
- if no display - test with an external monitor
- test if it runs from battery alone, or from AC alone
- test also with a known good battery !
- remove battery and AC adaptor, hold power button for 20 sec, connect AC and reboot --> any display ? if NO -->
- disconnect all disk and cd drives, battery , and other cards and peripherals, leave only 1 ram stick
- boot -->any display ?
- if NO remove all ram and reboot --> if NO beeps, mobo or cpu bad ; if it beeps, replace ram stick
-if you can access the bios battery, remove the battery, AC, and bios battery for a minute to reset the bios
or test it, it should read 3 V
*** you can test the disk on another pc, if you like !

for troubleshooting the display (LCD) problems : http://www.lcdparts.net/howto/symptom.aspx
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by:blue-genie
ID: 36547823
hey all. thanks for the suggestions.
I'm at work right now but will give it all a good try when i get home and get back to you.
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by:praveen_16july
praveen_16july earned 100 total points
ID: 36548147
hi blue-genie,

for data recovery: remove harddisk from the laptop and make it external usb for data recovery
                             if not possible, open computer in safe mode then you can able to backup of
                             the mail. the default path of the Mails
                             C:\Users\Username\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook\Outlook.pst"

For Display: you can add another monitor with the help of VGA port which available on the
                    laptop "Key Combination Fn+external display key"

For CD Rom: you can use the "CD Cleaner" CD for remove dust on the CD Drive Lens.

if you need any help please let me know
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by:blue-genie
ID: 36548329
what i'm going to do is try and plug the hard drive into another laptop to see if i can at least start up and save the data.
i've tried adding an external monitor but i don't even get as far as booting up to detect another screen, so i think it's a hardware problem and not a windows problem after all.

will let you all know how it goes on Monday. thanks all.
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by:nobus
ID: 36548368
>>  what i'm going to do is try and plug the hard drive into another laptop to see if i can at least start up and save the data  <<    ok - but DO NOT try to boot from the drive, UNLESS it is the same model
but you can always start from a live cd then to copy your files to an external disk :
http://www.ubcd4win.com/                              ubcd  Win
ftp://ftp.kernel.org/pub/dist/knoppix/KNOPPIX_V6.4.4CD-2011-01-30-EN.iso  Knoppix

i prefer Knoppix - since it's useful for a lot of other tests
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Assisted Solution

by:web_tracker
web_tracker earned 100 total points
ID: 36550312
Running a selfboot up disk such as the ultimate boot disc as mentioned by nobus, will confirm that the laptop has a hardware issue or if the issue is caused by an operating system (OS) issue. If the lcd screen seems to be fine when booting to the cd, then you know that you have a problem with the os, and you can back up your files using the boot disc and then do either a OS repair or reinstall. If when booting to the cd the screen is still a pinkish hue you know that the problem is hardware related. You can also test your video by booting to the bios, if the screen is pinkish color then it is definitely hardware related.
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by:blue-genie
ID: 36551175
@ nobus i wish i'd read your comment before doing what i've done.
i've stuck the Packard bell hard drive into my gigabyte laptop, the machine starts up but i end up in an endless loop of windows restarting

error messages including
dcom server process launcher service terminated unexpectedly

currently running a virus scan in safe mode with networking.

no luck with the knopix link
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by:web_tracker
ID: 36551531
You can not boot up your laptop with a hard drive that comes from another computer, because they are incompatible. When the operating system is first installed on the computer it looks for the hardware components found in the computer and installs drivers for these components. Each computer will have different hardware components that require different drivers for these components. Even if both computers may have a wireless network card, a video card, sound card, etc. these components are made by different manufacturers and therefore require different drivers to operate these components. When windows boots up it loads the drivers that were installed, if it can not find the correct hardware for the drivers installed on the harddrive the system may freeze up or cause endless rebooting.

Suggestions made above were asking you to attach your harddrive via some type of usb device to connect this hard drive externally via usb port. You can use either a usb hard drive enclosure that fits laptop hard drives or you can buy a ide/sata to usb connector. Either of these items can be purchased at most computer hardware stores. By connecting your harddrive externally to your laptop you can view/backup the files on this drive.


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by:Mohammed Rahman
Mohammed Rahman earned 100 total points
ID: 36551613
Before it gets worse, get a 2.5" USB HDD Enclosure (SATA or IDE) based on the type of drive the data to be recovered. Put your drive back into the gigabyte laptop, it will boot your windows, connect the other HDD through the USB and your laptop will recognize the device as X (X could be any letter available).

Access X:\users\%username%\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Outlook and copy all the PSTs to your drive.
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by:nobus
ID: 36553300
here a knoppix link :  http://www.knoppix.org/
pick a download, and be sure to download the knoppix6.7xxxEN version
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by:blue-genie
ID: 36558558
hey guys, the machine is still in ICU but we managed to get the data off it.
What we ended up doing was putting the harddrive into a different laptop , this way we were at least able to see what was going on, it would boot up, but then go into an endless reboot cycle. He had an ubuntu backup disk, we used that to get in and retrieve all the data.
doing a clean install now of windows 7 again, so we'll see what happens.
thank you all for your patience and advice - learned a lot in the process.
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by:nobus
ID: 36558921
tx for feedback
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