Corrupt OS

Discussion in 'Gaming and Software' started by Proximo, Feb 18, 2008.

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  1. Folks,

    To cut a long story short, I now have a brand new - and rather spiffy - PC due to my old one deciding to go Pete Tong and develop some sort of major fault in its OS which means that it won't even boot up - I can't even recover it.

    No dramas - but Mrs Prox is going banzai due to the fact that loads of photos are now beyond her grasping grasp...unless one of you bright sparks can help. If you can't, my last option is to call a chum in SIB and hand over the HDD to them (in exchange for many beers etc) but they're really busy and we couldn't even remotely describe it as a fair use of service resources.

    Anyone got any ideas?
  2. How handy are you with computer internals?

    Do you recon you would be able to put your old hard drive in as a "slave" drive?

    If so, you might be in with a chance. Google for "Data recovery software"

  3. Thanks PTS - I'll give it a go!
  4. If the HDD is still fine and it's just the OS that is corrupt then recovering the data from there should be a doddle. Just boot from the new master HDD and then access the slave from within the OS and drag the stuff across.

    Or like i've mentioned before use a bootable linux live disc to access the files from there and put them on an external device like a USB HDD.
  5. You could also try a repair install of windows. It will completely replace the windows install but leave all your data alone. If that works then its a hell of a lot easier to copy the data over without ripping the case open.

    Repair install
  6. Cheers mate - this sounds eminently sensible, much like PTS' comment.

    Could you take 5 mins to tell me what I need to do as you suggest i.e. is there any way I can do this entirely externally, or do I need to actually fit the old HDD inside my new case?

    As an aside, I've learned my lesson and have just invested in a rather gucci PMD which docks with the main PC - 320GB of 'never in trouble with the missus again!'
  7. Thanks PJ. Does this mean that if I can lay my hands on a copy of the OS, I can change the boot order in the BIOS, reinstall then somehow recover my data? You've no idea how much I need these pics back - all our honeymoon phots from SA are on there, and for some reason she has developed an attachment to them!
  8. Don't bother trying this. It's usually a sure-fire route to hosing your entire system including any data you were trying to recover in the first place.

    Plug in an external drive, use a Linux live distro, mount the partition with the files and then copy your files to the external drive.
  9. Have a lok at something like this.

    You can mount the drive as you would an external drive. If the OS is corrupted, remove what you want and then reinstall.

    Using the dd command in Linux, I'd take an image off of it first, just in case...PM if you need to know more.
  10. I use a cable very similar to the one linked above. I actually brought it from my local Maplins shop (because of Sale prices the one I brought was actually for both IDE and SATA and only cost £15).
    It really is as easy as pluging it into your PC. MY old hard disk was exactly the same, would not boot etc. Pluging it in via the above cable, the new PC immediatly saw it as an extrernal Hard drive (no meesing about mounting etc) and I could see all the folders and recover my data.
    The added bonus is after a reformat and Disk check, I now have a 250Gb bare drive that I use for regular backup. I would not recommend leaving it plugged in all the time as it gets quite warm, but for backup purposes (and recovering your old data) it is perfect.
  11. Quickest and cheapest (free) way I've salvaged data from corrupted windows installs is with a Linux Live CD, I used BT2 last time.
    Booted off it, then just mounted the HD and an external USB drive and copied one to the other.
    No need for any extra gizmo's if you've got the knowledge, eh IT_GEEK? :wink:
  12. Has worked for me many a time without any problems. If your after data thats within a program (outlook contact list) then that will be over written. But files like pictures wont be touched. Things only go missing if you tell it to do a re-install.

    Proximo - Doing the reinstall would fix the windows allowing it to work as it used to, if it doesnt then the problem is not windows itself (possibly another program getting in the way). However since you dont have the disc to do it its just as easy to yank the drive out of the old case and temporarily put it into the new computer. Its really not that difficult to do, it looks complicated in there but if you can do lego or an ikea bookcase then you are able to do this. Its about a 15-30min job mean you could get it all done in time for tea.

    If you do that, when you turn the new computer on the old hard drive will appear in My Computer just like any other HD, just copy and paste the pics. Could easily type up a walk through for it, however if you know anybody who has done it before just phone them to take you through the steps as its more reassuring to be able to double check things your not sure about or dont understand.
  13. Nice one Johnny, it's a slick little live distro that. Here's the link for those interested.
  14. True, but the Gizmo does have the advantage of giving you the advantage of not having to open the case to mount it and also having an easy way of using the old HD afterwards as regular backup storage :D
  15. I sort of agree, having done it quiet literally hundres of time in the past for myself an others. However Having just got my new PC and had my first experience of SATA, its both a boon and a blessing. Firstly, whilst I like them for their size and easy of plugging in and out, SATA cables are also bloody awful easy to pull out when big hands get inside the case.

    Another thing to consider is that because new PC's are mainly SATA now, the manufacturers of Mobo's seem to be finding it a good idea to "hide" the IDE connector. Origininally my new PC had no IDE devices at all, but I needeed to replace a DVD drive and the replacement was IDE. On my Mobo, the IDE slot is side mounted now, flush with the edge of the Mobo. I had to remove both the Graphics card and Soundcard to get access to the dam thing!