I accidentally dropped my laptop from about 2.5 feet in the air into the carpet/ac adapter and everything was fine. Panicked, I turned off the laptop by holding down the power button.
now, when I boot, the windows logo appears and i get a BSOD with the message "UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME".
After some googling, I found out it can be solved by using a bootable XP cd, and using the command fixboot from the recovery console. But when I try to go to recovery console through the repair menu, I get a message saying no hard drive is present.
I ran a ubuntu live cd, and it detected my hard drive perfectly (displaying volume number for main partition, and "hard drive" as my second partition). I could access all the data and backup is a possiblity.
Now, how do I fix this without losing any data? Any ideas?
If Linux detects your drive, but the text based portion of a Windows boot CD doesn't detect it, it's almost certainly a driver issue. Either go into your BIOS and disable ACPI support OR dig up the drivers that came with your motherboard and press F6 when Windows gives you that option to install the custom drivers. I experienced this same problem attempting to install XP on what was a new Vista laptop. I just disabled ACPI and the Windows installer was able to detect my drive/controller just fine.
If your file system crashed you, you can either boot of a linux live cd and transfer your files over to a thumb drive that you want to save. Or you can take the drive out and plug in into a desktop using an IDE adapter cable and use software recovery to recover the crashed os. It is possible that you damaged/destroyed the drive if the arms were out of the spinning platters. They normally park if they aren't reading or writing but you can't count on it.
I was given a Eurocomm laptop that had been dropped, it was booting unreliably, generating BSOD's after booting from CD then listing C: drive.. etc. It turned out that the impact had broken a bracket inside and the hard drive socket (mounted on the motherboard) had shifted so that the drive was not properly connected on all pins. I bent the bracket back, used glue on the ribbon to repair a crack, and the computer has worked flawlessly for the last three years. This was a fault equivalent to a desktop system having a bad IDE cable.