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Tried Repairing Win 7 Home with Dell DataSafe Which Locked Up

I'm hoping someone can tell me how I can re-install Win 7 (Home or Pro) without losing my data.

Ever since getting my iPad, I’ve neglected my desktop PC.

Lately I've been playing catchup, and I seem to be losing.

Most recent problem was yesterday when I tried running System Mechanic, and it prompted "did I want to download the new version", which is not that unusual, though it’s usually just an update. Anyway the software installed and I was prompted to restart, but then when I again tried running System Mechanic, I got a msg that I needed to first restart my computer. I did this a couple times, then stopped.

So I thought about trying something in SafeMode. When the boot options screen appeared, I noticed "repair” at the top of the list and thought maybe the computer knows it’s sick and wants to fix itself. So I selected that option. It took me to the Dell DataSafe screen. I have a Seagate external drive for backups, but haven't updated it for a while, and I think the most recent backup is 2014.
   
So I'm figuring maybe Dell’s been doing its own backups. Everything went along fine until the re-image process got stuck at 1% for about ten hours.

 I rebooted.

Now on startup, I get “Startup Repair” and “Windows cannot repair this computer automatically.”

“Diagnosis and repair details:
 Startup Repair diagnosis and repair log
__________________________
Number of repair attempts: 1

Session details
______________________
System Disk = \Device\Harddisk0
Windows directory = D:\Windows
AutoChk Run = 0
Number of root causes = 1

Test Performed:
_____________________
Name: Check for updates
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms

Test Performed:
_____________________
Name: System disk test
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms

Test Performed:
______________________
Name: Disk failure diagnosis
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 62 ms

Test Performed:
______________________
Name: Disk metadata test
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 32 ms

Test Performed:
______________________
Name: Target OS test
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 124 ms

Test Performed:
_______________________
Name: Volume content check
Result: Completed successfully. Error code = 0x0
Time taken = 0 ms

Root cause found:
_______________________
No OS files found on disc.
Repair action: Partition table repair
Result: Failed. Error code = 0x490
Time taken = 405 ms

Should I go buy Win 7 Pro as one person advised me elsewhere? I’m running the Home version at present.

Sincere thanks to anyone who’s willing and able to share their knowledge :)
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pilk123
Asked:
pilk123
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3 Solutions
 
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
Sounds like System Mechanic originally blew up the system, and then the Dell restore finished the process.

I take it you do not have any full backups on external media using a reputable backup product such as Macrium Reflect?
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pilk123Author Commented:
Unfortunately I do not.
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flubbsterCommented:
One thing I noticed is that it showed windows installed on "D" drive. Is this correct as far as you know?
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CompProbSolvCommented:
It would be very useful to boot a Windows 7 installation CD and use the option to get to a Command Prompt.  From there you can browse your hard drive and see if the data is intact.  If you were to attach another drive (USB, internal or external HDD, etc.) you could copy your data over.
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pilk123Author Commented:
Thanks for the helpful (and hopeful) responses!

flubbster: everything was on my C: drive actually. I must have had a disk in the D: drive when the diagnostic (that I copied) was run.

CompProbSolv: I have a Dell disc called "Drivers & Utilities" and a set of 2 disks I created when I got the computer in March 2012 labeled "Recovery".  Would any of these be a "Win 7 installation CD"?  If not, and I don't have one, I can go out and purchase the Pro version if that would help.

Thanks again to you both!
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
If you have another computer make a boot disk called the ultimate boot disc. Boot off that disc and then you should be able to access the data off your hard drive, then if you have external media such as a usb stick or external drive back up your important data, then you can run the dell recovery media. https://www.ultimatebootcd.com/ Note you can either create a bootable cd or a bootable usb stick with the ultimate boot media.
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pilk123Author Commented:
I was able to get to a command promp that read "X:\windows\systems32>"

I typed C: and then dir.

The image shows the result.  This seems to say my C: drive has been wiped and all my data is gone.  I'd like to be wrong :)

From a command prompt, I typed in C: and then dir
Thanks to all!
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CompProbSolvCommented:
Take a look at D:.  Drive letters are often different when booting this way.
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pilk123Author Commented:
Ok, will try in the morning :)
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nobusCommented:
download the paragon rescue kit, and see if you find your files :http://www.paragon-software.com/home/rk-express/      

best make the cd - or usb stick on a working PC!

if this does not help - use GetDataBack to recover your files; it is free to try - only pay when it shows your files !
http://www.runtime.org/
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flubbsterCommented:
A couple of things....

Remove the drive and either connect it with a sata to usb adapter to another computer and see what files are there. If you can see them, then copy what you want. If you can't, then you can try a data recovery program as suggested above.

If you have disks labeled recovery, they should be exactly what they say. You should be able to use them to restore your system to the condition it was in when you made them. If you use the existing drive you will lose everything that is on the drive. You may want to invest in a new hard drive and run the recovery on that and keep the original to try to recover the data.
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nobusCommented:
try GDB  -it recovered many formatted drives for me
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pilk123Author Commented:
Thanks for the suggestions!

CompProbSolv suggested yesterday that I use command prompt to see what's on the D drive,

Here's what I got:
image.jpg

I do have a Sata to USB adapter, but I don't have an extra computer - just an iPad and an iPhone.  So I'm willing to spend about $100 to rent a laptop for a week from Rent-a-Center, and follow the suggestions to use an adapter to check my drive, and if that doesn't work, try GDB.


Just want to make sure it still looks possible I may be able to recover my data.

Does the D drive info help?

Thanks to all!
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web_trackerComputer Service TechnicianCommented:
You don't need to pay a $100 to rent a laptop, you can probably buy a good used one for that price, Then sell it when you are done. You need a friend (or enemy )  to burn a recovery disc for you. There are several recovery disc options that are already mentioned.
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pilk123Author Commented:
Thanks web tracker :)
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CompProbSolvCommented:
The listing on D: does not look good.  That is where I'd have expected to find your data.

The suggestions for GDB are good; I've had excellent success with it.

Instead of renting a laptop, purchase a new hard drive and install Windows on it.  The "Recovery" CD should be the one to reinstall Windows.

Better to spend your money on a drive that you will keep rather than a laptop that you rent.

Once you get Windows installed and updated on the new drive, then you can look at GDB (or free programs, none of which I've used but are recommended here) to see if your data can be retrieved.  I would expect a good chance of success.
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pilk123Author Commented:
Thanks! That makes a lot of sense :)

I'm going to do that.
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nobusCommented:
another option is to look for a friend or relative, where you can attach your disk for recovery
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pilk123Author Commented:
Thanks, nobus :)
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pilk123Author Commented:
Thank you so much for leading me by the hand through this process :)  

I installed a new hard drive and connected the old drive via SATA to USB connector.

Then I used GDB to find data on the original disk.  Unfortunately, everything was in dsb. format.  So, after Googling dsb. files, I called Dell and finally got the tech to understand my situation.  Ultimately he said I could use the local Dell DataSafe to restore my data.

So I copied the data from the original drive to my new drive using GDB and then, after purchasing the premium version of DataSafe, was able to restore my data!

Normally (as has happened in the past) I have just said "Oh well" to this sort of situation.  But this time was different.  My wife died in March, and I didn't want to lose all my photos of her and well as other mementos.  It's taught me a valuable lesson: daily backups!

Thanks again for your patience and expert advice!
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nobusCommented:
maybe best to use abetter "recoverable" backup, instead of data safe?
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pilk123Author Commented:
Any recommendations?

Also, I've done fairly well with System Mechanic and Webroot.  Is there a general consensus about better software along these lines?

Thanks!
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nobusCommented:
i have been looking at Syncback  - there is a free version for personal use  http://www.2brightsparks.com/freeware/freeware-hub.html

also Geniebackup does that  (in zip format) http://www.genie9.com/

also -  i found  System Mechanic  more a hindrance than a help and have not used it for years now
what do you use it for??
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CompProbSolvCommented:
I've used SyncBack many times with great success.  The free version works well (though you can likely do most of  it with Robocopy) but I often recommend the SE version for $40 because it supports versioning.  That is likely not important if you are mostly concerned about pictures.

Depending on how much space you need, consider free web storage.

I very much agree w/Nobus that you would be better off with a backup solution that doesn't use a proprietary format.
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pilk123Author Commented:
Nobus, I'll check out Synchback.  Thanks.

I used System Mechanic for years as a sort of systems optimization utility.  Along with Webroot, it seemed to keep my system running fairly smoothly.

I let my "insurance" run out on the Dell in early March, and soon after, more and more problems occurred.  All started with being unable to install the latest version of iTunes.

I'll start checking around for something better than System Mechanic.  Problem is it seems different people swear by different programs.  Like Ford vs Chevy :)  But as on this thread, there was agreement about GDB, and I can see why!  So research does pay.

Thanks for your input!
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nobusCommented:
i neve saw anything positive coming from system mechanic - my suggestion is : uninstall it
there is NO optimisation needed with Win 7 and later
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pilk123Author Commented:
Nobus, thanks!  Haven't re-installed System Mechanic yet, so I'll just leave it at that.

Nobus and CompProbSolv:  I downloaded the free version of SynchBack.  I also cleared old backups off of my external, portable Seagate drive, so I can use that also. It actually works well. The drive just filled up with backups, and I neglected to delete the oldest ones, so it stopped working.
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nobusCommented:
tx for feedback
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