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Backing up data before reinstall


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#1 decco

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 09:19 AM

Hi,

I'm about to do a reinstall on a friends pc, but have no way of backing up his data due to his pc being basically beyond help.
Would i be right in thinking i can just take out the hard drive, install it in another pc (assuming its compatible etc.) back up from there and then put it back in the original pc to carry out the reinstall?

I'm a bit of a novice so laymans terms would be appreciated thanks.

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:19 AM

It honestly depends on what is wrong with the system, IMO.

If the hard drive or file system has problems...the data on the drive may not be easily accessible.

If the there are no problems with either...then you probably can move the data files to another partition/drive, once drive is connected as a secondary drive to another system.

When using the term "backup", that usually refers to the process of compressing the O/S, programs installed, and data files. If the system is infected, that is not what a user would want to do.

Soooo...can you provide some background info on what is deemed to mandate this decision to wipe the drive clean?

In addition to data files...you will also want to save/copy the .wab and email storage folders that exist...along with favorites and cookies (if no infection).

Louis

#3 decco

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 10:47 AM

Thanks for getting back to me...

The reason for doing a reinstall is because its a very old pc that had lots of problems, he'd not done any maintenance on it for years and it had virtually ground to a halt.
I performed the usual checks, i.e. Spy-bot, Adaware etc and also installed SP3 but then it wouldnt reboot, not even in safe mode, it just kept going round in circles.
So i thought i'd try repairing but it hung at 24% for hours.. so now i'm thinking the only solution (or for me the easiest) would be a complete reinstall.

All he wants saved is his photos.

Hope that helps..

#4 hamluis

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 11:35 AM

Thanks :thumbsup:.

In that case...just remove the hard drive and attach it as secondary drive to a known good system...move the graphics temporarily to either a partition/drive/removeable media...and attempt the clean install.

Not sure what your method of doing the clean install is...but I would verify that there are no necessary recovery/restore partitions on the subject drive...which deleting would thereby produce unwanted results. I would also ensure that I have convenient access to networking drivers and the appropriate license key (in anticipation of Product Activation).

FWIW: Differences between a Quick format and a regular format during a clean installation of Windows XP - http://support.microsoft.com/kb/302686 AND XP Clean Install, Stevens - http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/cleanxpinstall.html.

Before attempting install, I might also do a run of the appropriate hard drive diagnostic, just to make sure that all will not be in vain due to hard drive problems.

Louis

#5 decco

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 01:18 PM

Great, thanks for the info...

So.. i opened up my own system and removed my second hard drive and replaced it with the one from the sick pc..
now my own pc wont boot properly.
i get a black screen that says p;ress F1 or F2
F1 doesnt work
F2 brings up the set up screen which says there's no hard drive installed.

I definitely removed and replaced the slave drive and not the master, it was printed on the cable, so i think i did it right.

And there was me thinking this would be a quick fix solution ;(


Help???

#6 hamluis

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Posted 31 March 2010 - 03:24 PM

If these are PATA drives...check your jumper settings (if your second drive has something else on the same cable). The replacement drive should be set to reflect the same jumper settings as your normal second drive.

Also...some systems will have trouble booting with a dead drive attached.

Also...on older systems, the BIOS may not be set to autodetect a change of drives. The cure for that is to enter the BIOS...see what drives are reflected, make adjustments, if necessary. It's a good idea to look in the BIOS to see if it recognizes the newly attached drive.

Louis




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