Recover data from Win 7 BSOD SATA HDD Unmountable boot volume

Robert Perez-Corona
Robert Perez-Corona used Ask the Experts™

I was called in to take a look at a HP PC from 2006 which belongs to the president of a company. Sadly, the user saved all company data on this computer and possibly never backed up his pc.

The machine has a single 500gb sata hdd and it seems to be unmountable. I removed it from the PC and connected it to my laptop using a SATA to usb coverter. After 10 minutes of the drive buffering and trying to mount the volumes on my laptop, the volumes show up in disk management. However, when I click on the volumes it says I have to format the drive before I use it. I can’t do this as I am trying to extract the desktop data.

With the HDD in the original PC, when I try to put into safe mode it either crashes with a 00ed Unmountable boot volume Blue screen or if I try to boot into the recovery environment after pressing f8 I receive an I/O error 0xc00000e9 at the windows boot manager screen.
When I try to boot from my win 7 install media DVD it takes about 2 hours to extract and load the install screen where I can choose repair install and open command prompt. Actually the first time it took 2-3 hours. I haven’t been able to load this screen any more, it stays in a black screen after the windows splash screen.

Anyhow, the first time I tried run the bootrec /fixmbr commands, from the X: it could not find the commands..if I executed a wmic logicaldisk get name command I don’t see the Windows C: volume there either.

The big question:
If possible, how can I recover the desktop data from this drive?
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Hi coud you try some tools like Get data back?

try to test it with free version IT can read from damagdet disks. Just select damaged disk profile.
Most Valuable Expert 2015
If the data is that important, I wouldn't risk anything and rather send the disk to a professional recovery agency like Gillware. Trying things yourself can cause more damage.

If you do want to risk doing it yourself, then first don't use anything USB, but rather connect the disk to an internal SATA connector of a desktop, then scan it using GetDataBack. If the tool ssees any data you want to recover, register it so you can copy it off.

Another free tool for recovery is Photorec, which is included on the PCRepix LiveDVD:
Top Expert 2010

Don't waste ANY time running above software.  Disk is 10 years old, and well beyond useful life.  As such, every moment the HDD is powered up risks further data loss.   Get on the phone and look for a local data recovery firm.  If you are in a major city likely there are 24x7x365 companies you can drop the device off, and they'll give you a free estimate.

Then let your boss decide if recovery is worth the money.
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Danny ChildIT Manager

Warn the guy that he's looking at a 4 figure repair bill, most likely.  If he doesn't like the actual estimates, by all means try GetDataBack - it's got data off at least 4 dead disks that I've ever worked with, but takes normally overnight to scan them.  
Make SURE he knows that there are no guarantees here, and that it's *his* choice to get you to run the cheaper, riskier recovery option.

Yeah, we just sent several of these drives into Ontrack Data services.  We got 30% of the data back for $1300.  The other drive we sent in was less than 1% recoverable, so we will likely pass on that $1300 bill.

By the sounds of it, the drive is toast and as stated above, you have to send it out to a professional data recovery center if you want any data back from it.
Top Expert 2013
the only thing to try (not sure it will work, depending on the failure) is HDDReg :            

it repaired many drives for me

other than that, - look for a data recovery Company in your neighbourhood, and pay the bill
Gillware  (suggested above) has a good name
noxchoIT Product Manager
Top Expert 2009

The drive has file system driver corruption. You can offer to your user a choice. Either he decides to pay 0000 sum of money for data recovery at special service or tries first to scan the drive with GetDataBackup and sees what you can restore. If GDB fails then there is only way is using recovery service.
But imho, your case does not look so bad. The drive detects and shows the volumes at least. Due to corrupt NTFS driver it fails to mount as NTFS volume.
So scan it - copy out data if possible then perform CHKDSK f:/r on this drives' partitions.
First off, since the drive sounds critical to the company, I would recommend looking at a professional recovery service.

That said, I've recovered from failing drives by making an image using ddrescue from a Linux Live CD. It's available on SystemRescueCD:

Some instructions on how to use ddrescue:

With the drive in the PC, and an external drive attached, I'll boot up the Live CD and run ddrescue to create an image and log to the external drive, going through multiple commands until it's rescued as much as it can. Make sure the external drive is bigger capacity than the drive you're imaging.

Depending on how much ddrescue was able to recover, I'll either mount the image and grab files, or I'll make a copy of the image and run something like TestDisk or PhotoRec on it.
David AndersTechnician

Sometimes, accessing the problem drive from a Linux or Macintosh OS will allow simple copying from a drive that causes Windows to choke. I have done this successfully more than twenty times. It depends on the damage on the drive, of course.
Using a routine or utility that ignores read errors is recommended.
The reverse is sometimes true, a problem Mac drive recovery done on Windows.
Robert Perez-CoronaSystems Administrator


Thanks for the solid feedback.
Anuj BhatiaIT Infra Manager
Hi Buddy,

If you have access to a MAC or any system which is running Ubuntu, Red Hat.. sometimes drives gets detected there and you can save money and time by just copying the files over ..

For Windows use GetDataBack it has saved me a lot money as i know for sure it has recovered my data from at least 3 Dead Drives.

Best Of luck .. keep us posted.


Anuj Bhatia
Top Expert 2013

did you run HDDReg yet?  you can try the free trial, and see if it fixes the first sector
Robert Perez-CoronaSystems Administrator


i ended up been able to recover a windows backup from a partition. I installed a new drive and then restored the windows backup.

For some reason the windows backup was the only data I was able to see on the drive.
Top Expert 2013

tx for posting the outcome
Robert Perez-CoronaSystems Administrator



also forgot to mention: How i was only able to see this partition data available when plugged via usb. I had issues mounting the drive using sata on my mobo.

But basically drive d: had these windows backups files. c: was empty


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