A few days ago, I left my computer running while I went out (Windows 7 64-bit Home Premium). When I returned a few hours later, the following message was on the screen from the Windows Boot Manager:
"Windows has encountered a problem communicating with a device connected to your computer.
This error can be caused by unplugging a removable storage device such as an external USB drive while the device is in use, or by faulty hardware such as a hard drive or CD-ROM drive that is failing. Make sure any removable storage is properly connected and then restart your computer.
If you continue to receive this error message, contact the hardware manufacturer.
Info: An unexpected I/O error has occurred."
Whenever I attempted to boot up, even trying to boot into safe mode, I'd receive that message right after I get the initial Windows logo startup screen. I then ran the Win7 Startup Repair tool using the Win7 installation disc. Startup Repair apparently found some disc errors and returned a message to me saying that it was "attempting to fix errors" on the disc (WD 750 GB Caviar Green SATA). Things seemed to be on there way to being fixed as I could see the HD light on and the HD making noises. However, after running that program for over 24 hours I gave up.
I then used the "Ultimate Boot CD 4 Windows" to run some diagnostics. The Western Digital Data LifeGuard Diagnostics said the disc was fine, but other tools such as Bart's StuffTest v5.1.4 gave me the message, "The volume does not contain a recognized file system." Emsa DiskCheck gave me the message, "Prescan complete: 0 files, 0 folders, 0 bytes in disk files."
Before I try to restore a 2 month old system image or do a clean install, is there anything I can do to recover from this problem on my system volume? (I'm fortunate that most of my files and data are stored on separate HD's.)