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Computer Help Sought!

MrLuckey

Fire Marshall Ed
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#1
Here is the situation. I have a laptop with a messed up HD. Running WinXP Home. Won't boot, no safe mode etc. blue screens then restarts. Can't see the blue screen long enough to get much more than "directory enumeration error". The drive is NTFS. So far all attempts at even seeing the drive have failed except one. I have a DOS boot disk with a program called ActiveNTFS that will let me actually see the contents of the drive. It includes utilities to copy files but I need either some DOS CD writing software (doubtful) or some DOS networking capability to get data off this machine. The tricky part is that I can't use the hard drive to install anything, it's all going to have to be on a ramdrive, floppy or possibly a bootable CD.

One other problem I have is that I don't know exactly what NIC is in the machine. Any ideas?

Oh yeah, I've already tried the recovery console, fixboot, fixmbr etc. to no avail :( Also tried the 6 disk XP boot set... ActiveNTFSReader seems to be the only thing that can see any data on this drive.
 
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#3
Originally posted by Smit-Dog
If the data is really important, I'd send the HD off to a data recovery specialist.
Hell ya it's important!! We're talking about over 1,000 of my favorite music files here!! He loses that info he's a dead man. :p
 

Smit-Dog

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#4
... Then it's definitely time for the professionals to take over!

... Well, that is as long as you're comfortable that some of your, ahh... "personal" videos and scanned Polaroids will end up on some rouge web site... :debil:
 

Papakeith

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#5
how many times did you try the recovery console?
I had a 2000 laptop today with a similar problem
1st run through with the recovery console didn't do much besides going through the gyrations. Second time through found about 10 files that were FUBAR. Whaddyaknow, it booted, and I was able to recover the data.
I take it the link I sent you didn't work :(
Is the whole drive one partition? If not maybe you could sacrifice one partition and do a fresh install on that partition.
 

MrLuckey

Fire Marshall Ed
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#6
Tried the recovery console 3-4 times. Today I managed to find a couple different boot disk images that will supposedly boot my machine to DOS, creat a ramdrive, detect the NIC and configure it. If any of those work I should be able to use the previously talked about ActiveNTFS reader to copy files to another machine in the house. We'll see :fingers crossed:

Smitdog, I'll take a look at the dos cd writing but two things may prevent that. I have to have NTFS support and remember the drive is inaccessible to install any drivers etc - everything would have to be loaded into a ramdrive.

PK _ Didn't get a link from you?
 

Smit-Dog

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#7
You could create a bootable CD with everything you needed, and configure your machine to boot from the CD drive.

Good luck!
 
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#8
Another option if you're feeling adventurous is to whip the drive out of the laptop, buy a mini-IDE to full-IDE converter (don’t know the actual name but basically you plug one end into the laptop drive and the other end has a std. IDE plug on it to fit a PC) and just plug the drive into one of your other home PCs. You can get the converter here - http://www.cablesnmor.com/hard-drive-converter.html for only $12, well worth having for the future anyway...
Try the HArd Drive Mechanic software from http://www.highergroundsoftware.com/ to recover the data if the drive turns out to be too corrupt to just copy the data directly. It's well worth the money!
 

MrLuckey

Fire Marshall Ed
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#9
I've tried the bootable CD a couple times already, the biggest problem so far has been getting all the correct files needed for NTFS access, Networking support etc. I actually burned another (supposedly bootable) CD last night that has a small version of Linux on it and (again supposedly) all the drivers etc needed for NTFS and network support. I'll let you know how that goes after tonight. One of the guys here at work has the ide adaptor and is bringing it in next Monday so that will be next weeks attempt if neither of the DOS bootable, network support disks I created today work.

I'm actually gathering some very slick utilities and tools and plan to create a bootable CD with all of it put together when I'm done if anyone is interested in having a copy.

Thx for the help and suggestions so far guys :thumb:
 

MrLuckey

Fire Marshall Ed
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#10
Update for those interested:

Booted a DOS disk last night with utilities to detect the NIC and set up networking, had to manually edit a few files to get this to work but it was fairly simple if you have networking knowledge. I had it get an address from my router using DHCP. This boot disk creates a nice sized ramdrive and loads all the floppy stuff there. I tried unsuccessfully to share my laptop drive (not sure exactly why, maybe because its NTFS and DOS cant see it). Ended up mapping to a drive on my home computer (ME :( ) and then used the activeNTFSreader utility to start copying files from the laptop to my mapped drive. This setup is really cool and useful if any of you want links to where I got the tools or want me to create a disk for you but there are a couple issues.

For what I am doing (trying to save all aimee's pictures and MP3's the big drawback is that since the NTFS reader is DOS based, I lose filenames......they all get truncated - it would be a huge undertaking to start renaming a couple thousand music files lol

The second drawback is speed. The reader starts you at the root of C: and you have to navigate 1 directory at a time (remember that all directory names are also truncated so it becomes a guessing game at times). It takes about 10 minutes to make each directory step. I started copying files around 8:00 last night and it was still chugging this morning :)

If you had really important data these would be very minor inconveniences.

I have a few other options I am going to look at but at the very least I can get the data.