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unbootable hard drive


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#1 bgairborne

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 12:55 AM

A virus got hold of my hardrive and rendered the thing unreadable. The computer states that the drive is empty and does not even have a file system onboard. I am guessing the MBR is damaged. I ran the shareware version of Active Partition Recovery and it found the names of the files I so desperately need.
I plan to try Testdisk to repair the partitions and restore the MBR. Here is my problem:
The computer is an older Dell. With the hard drive installed in the original computer it was formatted on, I cannot boot from the floppy drive. If I pull out the hard drive and put it in a similar Dell, it still won't boot from the floppy drive. All I get on both computers is "Press F1 to reboot, Press F2 to Setup". If I try to run Active Partition Recovery on either machine's floppy drive, it says, "Error loading Free Dos Kernel." I would assume it is a faulty floppy diskette,
But... If I put the hard drive in a completely different computer with a different floppy drive and the same Active Partition Recovery diskette, I can load Active Partition Recovery. Any ideas? Do you think the diskette is still the problem? What could possibly be keeping both Dells from loading the program when the third machine had no problem?
I could try running Testdisk with the damaged hard drive installed in the third computer, but I am afraid to rewrite or restore the MBR on the drive using a computer that is different from the one which the drive came from. I have read warnings that using a different machine which might have a different BIOS could possibly make it even harder to access lost data.

Any thoughts on how I could make those Dells read software from the floppy drive again? (so as not to run the risk of incorrectly rewriting the MBR using a different computer)- Is this really that big of a risk?

Thanks a million, I can't believe what a resource you have been thus far!
Brian

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#2 stidyup

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 02:47 AM

Have you tried putting the floppy drive you know that works with Active Partition Recovery in the Dell?

#3 bgairborne

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 03:49 AM

I thought of the same thing, but I'm not quite sure how to do this. The wires off the back of the good floppy drive are completely different than those in the Dell. The good drive has a much smaller connecter than the standard 2 inch one that plugs into most drives. I don't have an adaptor of any sort. Am I missing something?

Brian

#4 johnwaddy

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 04:21 AM

Try a DOS boot disk from bootdisk.com, that might get you a little bit further. If you have WinXP microsoft has some instructions

Edited by johnwaddy, 28 September 2005 - 04:23 AM.


#5 stidyup

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 07:21 AM

BootDisk

Try this floppy boot disk and see if you can boot of your CD-Rom.

#6 bgairborne

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 10:02 AM

I tried the DOS bootdisk from bootdisk.com, and it did not work. However, the computer does boot the Windows 2000 setup CD from the CD Rom. Can I put the program TestDisk on a CD? How do I do this and make the CD bootable?

Thank you,
Brian

#7 stidyup

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 10:06 AM

See my pages here, there's all the bits you need to make a dos bootable cd-rom.

However if you want more advanced tools check out UBCD4Win which has the win32 version of testdisk included.

#8 bgairborne

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Posted 28 September 2005 - 10:27 AM

Thanks! I'll give it a shot. Should I create just a simple Dos Boot CD, starting halfway down your page, or should I start at the top and do RescueMe and add TestDisk to the CD afterwards?

Thanks again,
Brian

#9 stidyup

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Posted 29 September 2005 - 02:44 AM

Just put testdisk on the dos cd, unless of course you want to do a virus scan as well.

These are just my instructions on how to create a bootable CD, the focus for me is for AV tools but they can be adapted for any purpose.




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