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Thread: LOML's computer died in the storms last night.

  1. #1
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    LOML's computer died in the storms last night.

    My wife's computer crashed after/because of, the storm. It is on an APC battery back up, and was turned off before the storm hit. It would not boot up this morning. It is an Intel mother board, with an Intel dual core chip. Running XP home. We tried the Restore software, but that didn't help. I got the unit to show something by installing the system disc. It allowed us to reinstall the operating system on drive C (hard drive is divided into 3 "drives"), or at least it went through the motions. At one point there was a screen that said something like "There is no disc in drive" Then listed the 3 partitions, with C highlighted. We went past that. At the end, it said drive C was corrupted.
    How can I access the computer and read the other partitions? Can I go back through the set up and load XP on one of the other partitions? Or do I need to start with a new drive, and hope I can recover the information on the other partitions? Sure glad I haven't been in her computer in a while!!! But not being the blame for this may not help if I can't help recover her information. And no, she has not been good about backing up her information. I bet she will be better at that now. Thanks for any insights you can give!!
    By the way, I can get model numbers if that will help. The Hard Drive is a Western Digital 80 gig. Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


  2. #2
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    Jim,

    Do you have another working computer? If you do, the best bet is a usb drive enclosure. You pull the hard drive on the "dead" machine, plug it into the enclosure, and plug the enclosure into your "live" computer's USB port. That way, you can read the data, if the drive's not dead and there's anything left on it.

    http://www.microcenter.com/search/se...ase_enclosures

    I hate to ask this, but what do you mean by "system disk"? I hope it's not the "system restore" disk...

    Thanks,

    Bill

  3. #3
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    You can plug the hard drive into a working computer as a second drive and try to access the data. I run two drives in all my computers. Assuming the drive is OK, you should be able to access the data on the drive.

    If the drive failed your out of luck. If the data is important enough you can send it off to a recovery company. But that is not a cheap option.

    If you install an Operating System on another partition it will wipe out the data on that partition. So I don't think you want to do that.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
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  4. #4
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    Bill, the system disc I'm talking about is the XP install disc. It was the only thing that would power the computer up at all. Tried to reload on drive C, but it came back saying it was corrupted and couldn't load. I hope that didn't wipe out the other partitions.
    Jeff, unfortuanately this is a SATA drive, and none of the other 3 computers in the house will accept it. Plus none of the others are on Windows XP. I'll try a new drive, have to have one anyway!! Hopefully I'll be able to retrieve the information on the "E" drive and put it directly on the new drive. Then I'll see what WD will do since it's still under warranty.
    You know, it just dawned on me. LOML has been complaining lately about being out of memory on the C drive. The amount of memory free has been changing, even without saving anything to the C drive. It's been fluctuating up and down. To the point that she couldn't defrag the drive because there wasn't enough memory to do it with. I bet that was telling us the drive was having problems and we didn't recognize it.
    Thanks for the help! Jim.
    Last edited by Jim O'Dell; 04-12-2008 at 02:07 AM. Reason: spelling
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


  5. #5
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    Jim, based on your last post, I'm guessing the disk is full (thus no defrag). Even without specifically saving files, your C drive will eventually full up with temporary Internet files and other things the operating system wants to save there.

    Since the restore CD installation failed because of corruption, I suspect something did go south on the disk, and replacement is likely the only fix. You may still be able to get the data off the other partitions on the drive once you get the system back up and running with a new disk.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
    When the weird get going, they start their own forum. - Vaughn McMillan

    workingwoods.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim O'Dell View Post
    Jeff, unfortuanately this is a SATA drive, and none of the other 3 computers in the house will accept it. Plus none of the others are on Windows XP.
    Didn't think about it being a SATA. That will mess your up for sure.

    As for XP it wouldn't (well shouldn't) matter what OS you had. You should be able to install it as a second drive and still read the data. If the drive has not failed that is. And it sounds like it may have.

    This is closing the gate after the cows are out, but once your up and going. Look at some software called SyncBack. It a freeware backup program. You can back up between computer across the network. It has tons of options! I have a second drive in all my computers and I back up the critical stuff across the network to one of my other computers as well as a spare drive. That way I should never loose my data.
    God grant me the senility to forget the people I never liked anyway,
    the good fortune to run into the ones I do,
    and the eyesight to tell the difference.


    Kudzu Craft Lightweight Skin on frame Kayaks.
    Custom built boats and Kits

  7. #7
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    Jim, this may be long winded but bare with me.

    As you start your computer just before you get the Windows loading screen hit F8 repeatedly until you get a multiple choice menu.

    At the top of the list there should be one that says "Start in safe mode" choose that one and hit enter. Windows should now load with minimal drivers allowing you to do some work.

    If it asks you for a login, do so. Administrative account preferably.

    If it asks you if you want to continue using safe mode or use the recovery console choose yes to continue loading safe mode.

    Now you should be able to go to the start menu and choose "Run". Type "cmd" and hit enter.

    When you get the prompt type "chkdsk /r" and hit enter. If it says that the drive is busy and asks you if you run chkdsk at the next startup type "Y".

    Now reboot the computer. Let chkdsk run and go from there.

    If you can't even get into safe mode or chkdsk does not fix the problem let me know, there are other options to try.
    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so keep your hands away and watch out!

  8. #8
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    Yann, it never got to the windows loading screen. It would go to a screen that said something like "Insufficient resources to initilaize (or complete) api". Then it would shut down. With the XP install disc in, I could get to the Restore It screen, but never loaded XP. It did allow us to try to reinstall XP on drive C, but that's when it came back and said it was corrupted. I tried going to set up to try to run off of the install disc, but it wouldn't go to set up at all. Any other ideas? Thanks! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


  9. #9
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    Ideas? Plenty. It's finding one that'll work for you that's the trick.

    Okay your primary partition is obviously foobar and will not load Windows, you'Ve tried a reinstall and that didn't work.

    There are 3 ways out of this as I see it. You could take an old IDE drive put it in your computer tweak the BIOS setting so that the IDE drive starts first install windows on it and go from there.

    You could also buy a new SATA drive and do it that way too.

    Or you could go to this website http://www.ubcd4win.com and follow the instructions and make yourself an Ultimate Boot CD load that up and transfer your files over the network.

    Making the UBCD might be the most difficult, technically speaking, installing an IDE drive less difficult and a SATA drive being a little less hard. It all depends on what your willing to spend (time and/or money) but all three options will allow you to recover your files on the hard drive.
    Anything that can go wrong will go wrong, so keep your hands away and watch out!

  10. #10
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    Thanks Yann. I bought a new SATA drive last night. I'll proceed that way. I may get a USB enclosure later after I retrieve the info off the drive, if WD will warranty the bad one, and use that as a back up system. I really appreciate everyone's help! Jim.
    Coolmeadow Setters...
    Exclusively Irish!
    Home of Irish Setter Rescue of North Texas
    When Irish Eyes are smiling, they're usually up to something!!
    At a minimum, I'm Pentatoxic...but most likely, I'm a Pentaholic. There seems to be no known cure. Pentatonix, winners of The Sing Off, season 3


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