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Hardware Thread, Corrupted HDD, or maybe not? in Technical; Very strange set of circumstances this one. I have a laptop that belongs to a friend which is blue screening ...
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    maniac's Avatar
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    Corrupted HDD, or maybe not?

    Very strange set of circumstances this one.

    I have a laptop that belongs to a friend which is blue screening during windows boot up. No problem I thought, I'll pop an XP disc in and run a repair installation, as that normally solves the problem 90% of the time, or at least enough so that you can copy the data off and re-format.

    Problem was, there was no repair option available as XP setup knew the partition was there, but said it was in an unrecognised format. Oh dear, looks like the worst has happened and your Hard drives had it. Before I called it a day, I ran the Dell diagnostics tool and got it to scan the drive, expecting it to find errors of some description, it found none absolutely none. I then ran several drive scanning tools from the Ultimate boot CD, and every single one of them says there's nothing wrong with the drive.

    Question is, what's happened then? Windows attempts to boot, but blue screens after about 5 seconds of loading, so there's obviously still life in it, but XP setup doesn't recognise the drive to run a repair. I also can't read the drive in other computers, it just says the drive isn't formatted.

    All the drive diagnostics come back saying there's nothing wrong, even an in depth scan came back 100% OK. It's a weird one, as normally I find when HDD's go wrong in this way the diagnostic tools pick up bad sectors on the drive or similar, but this drive appears to be functioning all OK according all all the diagnostic tools.

    Anyone got any idea how I may be able to recover the data on this drive?

    Cheers

    Mike.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Have you done a FULL format instead of a Quick one? i have seen that stop this from happening before..

    Recovering Data, Any Data Recovery Tools will do that their are a few threads about this on here..

    Recover Deleted Files From USB Stick

    James.

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    Have you done a FULL format instead of a Quick one? i have seen that stop this from happening before..
    I don't want to do a format at all if I can help it, I want to try and repair the windows installation that's on the drive, or read it in some way as to recover the files, then I'll format it and re-install. It's weird, because windows starts to boot, so the data is obviously still there somewhere, I just can't get at it!

    Those file recovery tools won't work as I can't even mount the partition in windows, and Linux mounts it, but can't get any sense out of it, yet Windows start to boot from the drive but blue screens after 5 seconds, so the data must be on the drive in some sort of readable way as if the drive was totally corrupt, surely windows wouldn't start to boot?

    Mike.
    Last edited by maniac; 11th August 2009 at 09:36 PM.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    oh ok sorry mis read your post, in that case

    Linux LIVE CD is your best bet.. boot it from the CD and it should allow you to mount that volume.

    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

    James.
    Last edited by EduTech; 11th August 2009 at 09:35 PM. Reason: added URL

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    maniac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    oh ok sorry mis read your post, in that case

    Linux LIVE CD is your best bet.. boot it from the CD and it should allow you to mount that volume.

    Download Ubuntu | Ubuntu

    James.
    Should have mentioned, I've already tried that - it doesn't get any sense out of it. It mounts the partition, but won't read anything from it.

    I'm verging on re-formatting it, but my friend would really like some of her data from it, as she has a lot of digital photos of her daughter on there that aren't backed up, so I'm really hopeful at finding something that will read the drive!

    Mike.

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    Should have mentioned, I've already tried that - it doesn't get any sense out of it. It mounts the partition, but won't read anything from it.

    I'm verging on re-formatting it, but my friend would really like some of her data from it, as she has a lot of digital photos of her daughter on there that aren't backed up, so I'm really hopeful at finding something that will read the drive!

    Mike.
    Hmm ok in that case, have you tried putting the hard drive in another machine as a slave/second hard drive and tried reading it then?

    James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by EduTech View Post
    Hmm ok in that case, have you tried putting the hard drive in another machine as a slave/second hard drive and tried reading it then?

    James.
    Yes, stuck it in my external HDD enclosure, Windows won't even mount the partition, it's in an unrecognised format

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    EduTech's Avatar
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    Hmm, ok i've ran out of ideas sorry

    Next Person


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    Yes, I ran out of ideas about 9:00 tonight, after trying since 6:00pm to get some sense out of the drive.

    I still can't understand why windows attempts to start, meaning the drive must be readable, but yet I can't actually read the drive in anything, it's most odd.

    Ah well, I'll keep trying until I fall asleep tonight, then we'll go for a re-format tomorrow if nothing turns up, unless she wants to send the drive to a data recovery firm.

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    Yeah, Formatting i think will be your only option.. to be honest you can run data recovery programs yourself that always seem to get back most of the DATA

    James.

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    Get sata drivers downloaded and extracted into a folder and use nlite ( nLite - Deployment Tool for the bootable Unattended Windows installation ) to slipstream the sata drivers with the xp disc ( would be an idea to at least slipstream the xp disc to an SP ( service pack ) 2 disc

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase...slipstream.asp

    Slipstreamed Windows XP CD Using SP2

    Plenty of tutorials on how to do that as per a google search

    Once done try and reboot and go into recovery console and run chkdsk /r

    [edited] chkdsk /r should repair any file system issues afaik - any corrections / advise on that would be great. /edit


    You could try and do a repair install if it finds the hard drive - short of that you could try a bart pe disc

    Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD

    Go to the plugins page here

    Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD

    And download and add all the relevant plugins you want / require

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0reKK2ASEaU"]YouTube - Bart PE Builder Tutorial[/ame]

    PE Builder,BartPE Plugins, 911 Rescue CD,ERD Commander 2003 Multi bootable CDs

    If none of that helps easiest option if its a sata laptop drive would be to attach to a desktop sata connector and copy over the data short of that you could order a laptop to desktop external kit something like so

    Amazon.co.uk: usb to ide/sata

    Copy over the data and put the laptop hard drive back into the laptop and re install.

    If its a desktop drive then it will obviously be a lot easier to attach to another computer and extract the data and then re install windows afterwards.
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 12th August 2009 at 01:17 PM.

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    Brain Wave!

    Suppose you could just create another partition on that harddrive, install XP and see what that does. that way you wont loose any data.. and hopefully windows will then boot.

    James.

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    Quote Originally Posted by maniac View Post
    All the drive diagnostics come back saying there's nothing wrong, even an in depth scan came back 100% OK. It's a weird one, as normally I find when HDD's go wrong in this way the diagnostic tools pick up bad sectors on the drive or similar, but this drive appears to be functioning all OK according all all the diagnostic tools.

    Mike.

    The filesystem could be corrupt so while you can read the partition information volume information could still be broken. I assume you are also trying non destructive disk tests? It could be a write failure but you wont find that out until you try something that wipes the contents.

  14. Thanks to DMcCoy from:

    mac_shinobi (12th August 2009)

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    i see you have tried ubuntu live cd or something in the laptop. Have you tried knoppix [knoppix.net] in another computer and then attached the laptops hdd to the other computer? sounds odd but it worked for me a while back.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Get sata drivers downloaded and extracted into a folder and use nlite ( nLite - Deployment Tool for the bootable Unattended Windows installation ) to slipstream the sata drivers with the xp disc ( would be an idea to at least slipstream the xp disc to an SP ( service pack ) 2 disc

    http://www.winsupersite.com/showcase...slipstream.asp

    Slipstreamed Windows XP CD Using SP2

    Plenty of tutorials on how to do that as per a google search

    Once done try and reboot and go into recovery console and run chkdsk /r

    You could try and do a repair install if it finds the hard drive - short of that you could try a bart pe disc

    Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD

    Go to the plugins page here

    Bart's Preinstalled Environment (BartPE) bootable live windows CD/DVD

    And download and add all the relevant plugins you want / require

    PE Builder,BartPE Plugins, 911 Rescue CD,ERD Commander 2003 Multi bootable CDs

    If none of that helps easiest option if its a sata laptop drive would be to attach to a desktop sata connector and copy over the data short of that you could order a laptop to desktop external kit something like so

    Amazon.co.uk: usb to ide/sata

    Copy over the data and put the laptop hard drive back into the laptop and re install.

    If its a desktop drive then it will obviously be a lot easier to attach to another computer and extract the data and then re install windows afterwards.
    That's a brillient set of instructions there thanks for that.

    However it's not an SATA drive, it's an old Dell Inspiron laptop with an IDE drive. The recovery console does not read the drive, it doesn't think there's a C:\ there, it gets listed as an 'unrecognised format' in windows setup, although it knows the partition size etc. It also does not read in any other computers, I've tried it in my external Hard drive enclosure, and windows does not recognise the drive.

    Yet windows starts to boot from the drive, so it is being read by something at bootup, that's what I can't get my head round.

    (By the way, the smiley list for this site has got silly now, I can never find the ones I want! )

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