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Recovering files from a dying hard drive

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April 7, 2008 2:16:33 AM

Last night windows died on me. Every time I try and start it I get an error message saying windows\system32\ntfs.sys is corrupt or missing, I have tried to repair it by replacing it with the copy from the windows xp cd but I get an error saying permission denied. I have tried using bartpe to boot into the pe but it can’t access c drive so I cannot copy my files onto my f drive.

I put in a live copy of xubuntu and it can open c drive and see all the file etc inside (all though it is really slow at doing this compared to accessing files on my f drive). I tried to cp my folder from my c drive to my ipod (the only thing I have laying around that would have enough space) but it failed for some reason.

My question is what can I do to recover my files. I have thought of installing windows on the free space on my f drive and praying like all hell that I can copy the files from my c drive on to my f drive. Are there any other options such as a data recovery program that works?

Thanks
a b G Storage
April 7, 2008 3:26:58 AM

Run XP recovery/repair via the XP installation CD.
April 7, 2008 3:38:48 AM

Do a search for posts by 'somejoe7777'. You'll find what you need.
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April 7, 2008 4:30:22 AM

You could do as shadow suggested and try and repair/reinstall on the same drive (dont format it) , however, it sounds like the drive is further gone than that, from what you have said id say that thing is going dead and fast.

You could try and external enclosure for it sometimes ive had more luck with those than other ideas. You could also try booting into a imaging software (Ghost) and image the drive onto another, i know that Ghost will try and read the drive if it cannot read that section it will continue to the next.
April 7, 2008 5:52:31 AM

I have just tried to do a repair install and no dice. When I go to the install screen it doesn't give me the option to do a repair install and the c drive is showing as an unknown file system. Ill give ghost a try.

If I was to put the hard drive into another computer and boot it as a storage drive would windows ME be able to read the drive in the 1st place? The windows ME computer is the only other functioning desktop I have at the moment the other computers are all laptops and I don't have an external caddy.
April 7, 2008 6:13:00 AM

Shadow703793 said:
Run XP recovery/repair via the XP installation CD.

Also run SpinRite 6.0 to recover all data and even free up "bad sectors".
www.grc.com

I have used it to make good two unbootable HD's after an electric storm.

For XP repair see:
Quote:
Win XP repair...the right way!

http://tkc-community.net/forum/index.php?topic=3762.0
a b G Storage
April 7, 2008 8:41:03 AM

BWMerlin said:
Last night windows died on me. Every time I try and start it I get an error message saying windows\system32\ntfs.sys is corrupt or missing, I have tried to repair it by replacing it with the copy from the windows xp cd but I get an error saying permission denied. I have tried using bartpe to boot into the pe but it can’t access c drive so I cannot copy my files onto my f drive.

I put in a live copy of xubuntu and it can open c drive and see all the file etc inside (all though it is really slow at doing this compared to accessing files on my f drive). I tried to cp my folder from my c drive to my ipod (the only thing I have laying around that would have enough space) but it failed for some reason.

My question is what can I do to recover my files. I have thought of installing windows on the free space on my f drive and praying like all hell that I can copy the files from my c drive on to my f drive. Are there any other options such as a data recovery program that works?

Thanks


First make sure its your HDD that is faulty and not just a freak windows issue, faulty memory or in less common cases failing PSU's.

Test all your hardware with Herin Boot CD (download the burn off, boot off it) - Memtest, Seagate Seatools etc, and post back here with results.

If your hdd has bad sectors a program on the Herin boot cd calles HDD regenerator will take care of the hdd and restore it (75% chance), if its memory then replace it (or remove the faulty stick).

After that and its still not booting boot off your windows xp cd, select the first option to repair with "R", and when you get to the console do a "fixboot c:" and allow it, then do "chkdsk c: /r /p" and let it go for a few hours and see where that takes you.

Dont just try to repair windows before testing - you dont want to risk your data, or have this happen again.

Post back here for more questions or with results :)  best of luck mate.
April 7, 2008 9:30:21 AM

I am trying to run the HDD regenerator but it keeps stalling about 2 sectors after the last stall and I have to reboot. I think this drive is on its last gasps of breath. I tried running chkdsk /p earlier and that got to 25% then it said it couldn't go on any more.
April 7, 2008 10:04:40 AM

I would just pull it out and use an external encloser to transfer your important data off, then you have free reign to troubleshoot however you want without fear of losing your data.
April 7, 2008 10:25:08 AM

Just a thought?.....Try your Ubuntu live cd to pull files off HDD and burn to cd?.....................if all else fails it might be worth a try.........good luck!
April 7, 2008 12:27:12 PM

I had a harddrive die on me last year and I believe it's hardware related so software recovery cannot be done.

There are services out there that will rebuild the harddrive and (hopefully) recover all of the data on the disks for, some cases, $500. I've yet to do this but have tried software recovery and haven't fixed or recovered anything. It is best tho, if it's hardware failure to not run the drive in any excess as this may cause more damage to the point where the data cannot be recovered.
a b G Storage
April 8, 2008 9:21:06 PM

BWMerlin said:
I am trying to run the HDD regenerator but it keeps stalling about 2 sectors after the last stall and I have to reboot. I think this drive is on its last gasps of breath. I tried running chkdsk /p earlier and that got to 25% then it said it couldn't go on any more.


Let it run overnight and make sure you have it running cool - it will get warm.

Total failure if it wont get past a few blocks - as another poster said, use an external caddy and get what you can off it while you can.

Chkdsk wont be any use when theres bad sectors - same issues will occur, gotta be done in the right order.

If total failure, and that data is worth alot to you, ring a few data recovery specialists and get a few quotes.

April 8, 2008 9:40:57 PM

Quote:
Also run SpinRite 6.0 to recover all data and even free up "bad sectors".
www.grc.com

I have used it to make good two unbootable HD's after an electric storm.

2 drives...2 storms...2years apart (not 2 drives in the same storm).
It's should take 10-12 hours for a 300GB HD for the program to compleat and will keep trying untill it recovers the data -or- the HD overheats in such a case it will stop and pop up an overheat message.
It will also note a stop point that you can write down and run the program from that place on the drive after it cools down.
!