Trying to connect Laptop HD to Desktop, Windows fails to start up

Alright, here's my story:

I'm on a flight, i've used my laptop (HP Pavilion DV5102tx) for a while and i put it into hibernate mode. I get off the flight, come back home, try to start up my laptop and it doesn't work. I get the "WINDOWS COULD NOT START BECAUSE THE FOLLOWING FILE IS MISSING OR CORRUPT: windows\system32\config\system" error.

So I pull out my XP CD. I find that:

1. I can't repair using the recovery console because apparently C drive doesn't seem to exist
2. I can't install or repair my XP install using the install program, because as soon as I try to do so, i get:
"An error occurred while setup was updating partition information on 95341 MB Disk 0 at Id 0 on bus 0 on atapi [MBR]. Setup cannot continue."

Now, I'm not the greatest computer expert but what I think happened is that my Hard Disk somehow got corrupted and I have to reformat it before installing XP again. However, I've got a great number of important files that I need to back up before doing so.

My laptop HD is a Fujitsu MHV2100BH model with a SATA Connector. So I try to connect it to my desktop as a slave device to my primary Hard Disk so I can get the files off it. It all works well in the beginning, the POST and BIOS screens register my second HD, and I get to the windows loading screen, but immediately past that the system halts and I'm confronted with a black screen of nothingness. I've tried to do so with my second desktop (Which has a IDE master HD) but I'm getting the exact same results. What's wrong? is it because of some kind of conflict?

So if anyone has any idea whats wrong with my HD when I try to connect it to my desktop (or heck, whats wrong with my HD in the first place to begin with) I would be very appreciative. I know that I can buy a SATA--> USB converter (like those mobile cases) but I'd like to explore alternate (free) alternatives first.

Thanks in advance
10 answers Last reply
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  1. Hard drive is going bad. If you wait long enough at the black screen, it probably will go ahead and load Windows (you might need to wait 20-30 minutes). But even if Windows starts up I doubt you'll be able to get anything off the drive through Windows Explorer.

    You might try GetDataBack for NTFS (, it may be able to pull files off the drive. Otherwise, it's probably going to have to be sent off for data recovery.
  2. Thanks. I followed your advice and Windows managed to start up, and my new drive shows up, but I can't access it (My Computer freezes up whenever i double or right-click it) I'd like to go to a data recovery guy as my last resort, so is there anything at all I can do at this point?
  3. DigitalDragon said:
    Thanks. I followed your advice and Windows managed to start up, and my new drive shows up, but I can't access it (My Computer freezes up whenever i double or right-click it) I'd like to go to a data recovery guy as my last resort, so is there anything at all I can do at this point?

    Depends on how valuable your data is, if its only personally important and you don't feel like spending the money sending it off to a company.

    One last ditch method is to put the drive in a sealed ziplock bag and place the drive in the a freezer for about 24 hours (the theory is that this shrinks the bearings and other things that may have become distorted from heat) connect the drive to your PC right from the freezer (but leave the bag on it as tight as you can manage as condensation is a real issue and water+electronics=bad) boot your PC ASAP and try to copy your files over to the PC right away. If everything works ok the dead drive should work long enough to get all your data.

    I know this sounds crazy but I have done this myself, and other people I know have tried it with some success (one person had to freeze a drive like 3 times to get all the data)
    No guarantee but its a shot :)
  4. You might need to run recovery software. I think it was found here The HD is failing and if the freezer thing doesn't work recovery software might help. I think the software will scan and show what files it sees for free. If you want to recover it--- it costs $80 bucks but it stays in house
  5. Thanks for the replies

    I live in Hong Kong, so Data Recovery is pretty easy and cheap. (I just need to go to the local computer center and pay about 50 USD) The reason why I need my data is because I'm a college student and I need most of my class notes back. I'll try the freezing solution, but will it further harm the drive? (as in if it fails, would it lower my chances of getting the data back from a data recovery specialist?)

    So in conclusion, my drive is basically completely screwed? If I ever want to use my laptop again I'll have to buy a new HD drive instead of reformatting my current one?
  6. yes. I'd bet your drive is completely screwed. If the guy/gal who recovers the data says the drive is not bad afterward --- I'd run check disk 5 times... anything is possible but I'd say get a new one :ouch:
  7. If your drive is failing DON'T USE IT ANY MORE AT ALL. YOU WILL FURTHER CORRUPT THE DATA AND LOSE IT ALL. Take it to the data recovery place and let them try before any more damage occurs.
  8. With win 2000 & Win XP you cannot have 2 hard drives that contain windows boot files on the same computer. When your computer starts to boot & sees the slave drive with windows files on it, the master drive will move the pagefile to the slave drive. You can connect your "corrupt" hard drive to your computer via a usb hard drive enclosure. Your computer will see the "corrupt" drive & assign it a drive letter. You can then copy your files to your hard drive. Then reinstall XP on your "corrupt" hard drive.
  9. Actually, you can have two HDD's with Windows on it and boot with no problems. You just have to make sure the boot drive is the one with the Windows installation for the system being booted. I've done it 100 times with both 2KPro and XP.

    To the OP,

    I agree with Zorg. Take it somewhere and let them recover the data.
  10. A question re:the hardware needed to actually hook this model HD to another computer.
    The back/bottom of the drive is a funky connector for both data & power (sort of like half of a zipper. sorta) that doesn't fit w/the SATA to USB adapter I bought from newegg. Anything you guy can recommend re:hooking this bad boy up? Either a go-between from the HD to the adapter, or a particular model adapter proven to be compatible w/this model HD.
    Please & thank you.
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