Recovery without losing files

Help! I've got a Toshiba Satellite Pro 2000 that won't boot.& boot info message alert says "system error occurred". Could it be a damaged boot sector?How do I recover from this w/o losing my files from this system failure?

Thanks in advance,
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More about recovery losing files
  1. Hello ericgozar;

    You failed to mention what version of Windows you're using.
    Did you make a 'Rescue CD' at any point in the past?
    Do you have a Windows installation disk?
  2. I find that if your HDD won't boot and it isn't because of a software change that recovering the HDD isn't worth it because it is likely that another sector of the HDD will fail or Windows just won't install properly.

    I've found that the easiest way to save your data is to boot with a linux Live CD (Knoppix would work) and copy everything to an external HDD. Once done, install a new HDD, install windows, and copy everything back to your new drive.

    Having luckily survived situations like this a few times myself I developed a backup plan that wasn't too expensive and is easy enough for me to follow (since it is mostly automatic with the exception of imaging my OS).
  3. You can typically hear bad hard drive noises, such as grinding maybe mis-hitting. If it's Windows there is the ERD Disk that you can use that will actually fix startup problems.

    If you find it is grinding, your best bet would be to send it off to retrieve data (prepare to spend a few grand) or sticking it in the freezer for a few minutes and pray.
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