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HELP!! Hard Drive Issues

Posted on 2014-02-20
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Last Modified: 2014-02-21
I have a laptop that had a virus on it & I removed the virus but it was still so messed up & slow it just needed reloaded. It had 2 partitions on it, the main one & a recovery partition. I took the HD out & put it in my external drive to copy some photos off of it & was successful. I then put the HD back into the laptop & it will not boot up. The BIOS see's it but it will not boot. I rememebr when I hooked it to my external HD then hook that to my computer to get the data off of it, it ask me to make it active or initialize it or something & I did so I could see the files. What have I done? I just need access to the recovery partition so I can reload to OS back to the factory state. HELP
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Question by:wantabe2
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by:Kwoof
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Make sure the USB drive is NOT connected when you try to boot.  Some computers are set to look at the USB drive first, and try to boot from that...even though it is not bootable.
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by:Dirk Mare
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I'm sorry to be the one to tell you. By initializing the disk you basically formatted one of the partition.
http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows_vista-hardware/what-does-initialization-do-to-a-hard-disk/4c01e30c-37fb-4884-b124-ac2d59078008

Your System partion (MBR) is probably gone..

Have you tried pressing F11 or F10 during startup?
See if you get an option to repair your Computer

Options..
1. Get the restore media for your computer or the Operating System disc and use it to reload your OS
2. If you have Windows 7 Pro, try to get a Windows 7 Pro disc and try running the repair.

DirkMare
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by:dbrunton
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Hook it up back to your computer and use Explorer on that computer to see if it can see your drive and the partitions on it.

That should be your first step, to see what partitions are viewable on the disk.
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by:Kwoof
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Maybe I misunderstood...I thought you initialized your external drive.  Did you take out your system drive and hook it up as an external to another computer?  Have you checked the SMART status to see if the drive is failing?

If you initialized you system disk...you probably will need a fresh load from a disk.  If you have the Win 7 Pro license number, many computer techs will have a disk to load from.
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by:dbrunton
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This is what I believe he did.

Laptop drive --> external drive case
Boot up computer --> attach external drive case
Initialization or activate message appears (we don't know what) and wantabe2 does something
Copies file across (so we know one partition at least was accessible)
Removes drive from external drive case --> places back in laptop
Now can't access drive or partition

----------------------------------------------------

We need him to put the laptop drive back in the external hard case and see if the computer can recognize the drive or partitions.

At this stage we don't presume the drive or partition has been intialized.
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by:Kwoof
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That sounds very likely.  We will see what he says next!
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by:nobus
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>>  it ask me to make it active  <<  so you did; and the reason you can't boot now is it is trying to boot from the wrong one.
the solution is simple : make it active again
personally, i use the Bootit-BM for this (free for this) :    www.terabyteunlimited.com/       
download it, make the cd, and boot from it.
Do NOT install it on the disk - hit cancel
select partition work, and your disk drive
you'll see the partitions now, select view MBR and change the active flag to the other partition

that's it..reboot to test
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by:noxcho
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If you initialized it then how did you manage to get data off it?
I assume the wrong partition is set active. Connect the drive again via USB enclosure to another machine and go there to Windows Disk Management (right click on My Computer - Manage - Disk Management). Take a picture of its window and upload it here.
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by:NARANTHIRAN
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Try installing partition-recovery
Where u will be able to restore the partition and recover the files..

http://www.partition-recovery.com/
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by:wantabe2
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Hey, sorry for the delay in replying. Just to recap, this is what I did:

1. Laptop was very slow & not usable because of slowness
2. I took th elaptop HD out & put it in an external drive enclosure & hooked it to another computer. The laptop OS is Vista. The Computer I hooked the external (laptop) drive to is Win 7. Win 7 would not recognize the drive so I marked it active in computer mgt.
3. I was then able to see the 2 partitions (main & recovery partitions) & I was able to copy the pictures from the laptop HD to another computer.
4. At this point I just want to reload Windows Vista back on the laptop that wa slow so I put the HD back into the laptop & turned it on. Now when it it comes on, it will not boot to the OS or let me hit F11 to start the recovery of the OS back to factory state.

I took the drive back out & put it back in the HD enclosure, hooked it to another computer & yes, I can see both partitions & all the data so it has not been formatted.....
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by:noxcho
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Then which of the two partitions on it are Active? Any chance to show me the screen shot?
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by:wantabe2
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It will be later this evening before I can post a screen shot...so you are thinking I just need to somehow check to make sure the main partition on the laptop HD is active?
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by:noxcho
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Yes, because it contains the boot options for the system and recovery software installed by Laptop vendor there.
We need to find out which of these partitions contain BootMgr file and Boot folder. They are normally hidden. So unhide the files and folders in folder options and see if you have them on laptop system partition or recovery partition. I guess they are on Recovery Partition.
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by:wantabe2
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Ok, when I go home at lunch I'll get a screen shot & post it back here...thanks again for your help on this. I have a Windows 98 installation disk. To make it active again, could I just boot to that & run fdisk & make the main partition active again? Would that work? Regardless, I'll post a screenshot after lunch today.
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by:noxcho
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I don't think Windows 98 disk would work with NTFS partitions which are main FS for Vista. Especially with Recovery partition.
Do not set active anything yet. Simply let me look on what you have there.
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by:wantabe2
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ok, will post pic of the computer mgt windows showing the disk mgt screen in a few hours
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by:wantabe2
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Here are the pics. One if the screenshot of what is shown in "My Computer" & the other pic is what is shown in "Computer Mgt". Thanks
Computer-Mgt.JPG
My-Computer-Window.JPG
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by:noxcho
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Right click on Recovery partition and select set active. This eill aitomatically remove the active flag from F: partition. This is done via Windows Disk Management. Then insert the drive back to your laptop and see if it boots.
Have you had a chance to see what files and folders are on Recovery partition? Is there a folder called Boot?
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by:wantabe2
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I looked & to the best of my memory, there was. It actually looked like OS files on an installation disk. I'll give that a try this evening & see if it works. If that don't work are there any other options? When the laptop HD was attached to my laptop a few minutes ago I could browse the files on it.
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by:nobus
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why did you not use the method i posted?
it's fairly easy, and quick...
no need to reload windows..
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noxcho earned 500 total points
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Change the activity flag and that should work.
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