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Windows Vista Ultimate 64 Bit Boot Up Issues


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#1 Kawika9

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 12:46 AM

I've had a re-occuring problem with my wife's PC having multiple boot up issues. The first time it happened to us (3 months or so ago)...I did the usual Google search to try to find a solution as well as following the instructions on the boot up error screen. As noted in the tutorials here...it suggested putting in the boot up disc & using the Repair system function. Since our disc was a restoration disc & not a full version of Windows Vista...when I attempted to access the Repair function...I unwitingly started a new install of Windows on to the hard drive. Long story short...I tried to see if there was a way to undo what I had done...but to no avail...so we just went ahead with a fresh install on the hard drive & tried our best to rescue what we could from the Windows.old directory.

Fast forward to this past weekend...I believe it was Saturday night...as I logged out for the evening...Windows indicated that there were some updates that needed to be installed & that it would be installed after I logged out...followed by a system shut down. I turned in for the night. When I woke up the following morning & attempted to boot the PC up...I got another one of the boot up issue error mesages that I had seen months ago. It was a missing or corrupted winload.exe file. Before resorting to yet another fresh install of Windows & yet another Windows.old directory...I tried to find a better solution online. That's when I happened upon your community. I was able to follow your tutorials to make myself a Windows Vista 64 Bit Recovery disc...and I thought that this might just save a new install. I was able to get to the Repair function using the new disc...however...the tool was unable to fix the problem.

After more research & about an hour later...I just figured it would be best to just do a fresh install. After spending the majority of the day today reinstalling Windows, all of our drivers, programs, etc. I was able to finish everything up. While taking a break...I decided to do a Windows Update to get all of the required Windows & security updates. After starting the install...I sat down to watch some TV...about 20 minutes later...my wife looked over at the screen to let me know that there was another error message on the screen. It was something along the lines of Boot System missing in white text on a black screen. I attempted to use the Windows Recovery disc I created earlier to repair the problem...but when I got to the Repair screen...there was no Windows operating system to choose from. The only option I had was to Load drivers or click Next & continue to the System Recovery Options screen. I tried the system restore option...but there was no operating system to restore from...let alone a system restore point.

Since the operating system is not even viewable from the Repair screen...I didn't want to take the risk of installing yet another copy of Windows onto the drive & potentially losing all of the personal file we have on the drive...many of which was irreplaceable. After our last Windows crash...we had just decided to back up our personal files online using either Mozy or Carbonite...but after being out of work for almost a year now...we're down to our last credit card...which happened to be stolen last week...so we've been without a credit card for the last week or so while our new card is being sent to us. With all that being said...we weren't able to get that done before the most recent crash happened.

I attempted to see if I could at least view the data on our hard drive using a hard drive docking station on our last working PC in our home. When I attempted to view the drive...I was given the message that the drive was not formatted & it gave me the option to format it. I hit cancel & removed the hard drive from the system. This PC has Windows XP Pro installed on it...so I'm not sure if this might have caused an issue. I'm pretty sure it shouldn't as I have accessed similar drives using this method in the past.

I am able to get to the Command Prompt from the Repair screen...but when I attempt to access the C: drive...it indicates that it does not have a recognized file system on it. I'm not sure what might have gone wrong during this entire process...and I'm not sure if this is a problem that I am having with Windows Vista Ultimate 64 bit...a hardware issue or what...but I would like to get it solved...and if at all possible...and at this point...probably no matter that cost...I need to do whatever it takes to get our personal files saved off of that drive. We have years of baby photos, all of our finances & countless other irreplaceable files on this drive. To say that I am at my wits end...and almost ready to cry about it is really an understatement at this point.

If I've left out any information...or if you need any additional information from me...please let me know. I'm going to head to bed to see if I can get some sleep...but I'm pretty sure that I'm going to have a sleepless night ahead.

Hopefully someone out that can help or point me in the right direction. Thank you for your time!

Kawika

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#2 Kawika9

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 01:51 AM

Is there any type of reliable data recovery programs that I could potentially use to recover the data on the drive? I've been doing a search over Google...but the options out there appear to be endless. Would it be better to use a professional service? Based on our financial situation...I'm just afraid of the potential cost involved. I know that the last time I looked into professional data recovery from a failed hard drive...the cost was close to $1000...granted that was over 10 years ago. I just don't want to potentially make the mistake of trying a program I found online & end up losing the data by trying to cut corners.

#3 tommy28

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 09:50 AM

Are you able to boot to safe mode? Try tapping f8 while your computer is starting up and if you are able to you could try to do a system restore back to before you did the update. Hope this helps. If you need more info let me know. I'll check back.

#4 Kawika9

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 10:05 AM

The drive is completely unbootable. Somehow...there is no operating/boot system installed on the drive at all. I'm not sure how running Windows Upate resulted in this current mess. In addition...I am unable to access the drive or any files on it when I use the Command Prompt feature via the Windows Recovery disc. I've tried to access it as a slave drive on another computer (running Windows XP Pro)...but when I attempt to access the drive through Windows...it says that the drive is unformatted & the only option I have is to format it (which I didn't do).

#5 hamluis

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 03:19 PM

You can try the download of GetDataBack, http://www.runtime.org/.

This won't recover anything but it will allow you determine what is recoverable by this program.

Note: There are two versions of this program, one for NTFS, one for FAT file systems. You need to use the appropriate version.

Louis

#6 Kawika9

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Posted 13 September 2010 - 11:56 PM

Just to update...a friend of mine suggested I use:

http://www.easeus.com/datarecoverywizard/f...ry-software.htm

He used the software a couple of times in the past when he ran into similar situations as the one that I have & had success. It is free to use for the analysis portion...so I'll at least get an idea of what files I may be able to recover prior to paying for the full version. Judging from the process so far...it looks like there was some kind of partition damage on the drive which resulted in my current situation. I am still in the disc scan portion of the program...and due to the size of the drive...it appears that it will take another day for it to complete. On the good side...it appears to be able to see a good deal of the files thus far...whether they will be recoverable or not...I probably won't know until the scan has been completed. I'll post again once we get further along in the process.

#7 hamluis

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 07:39 AM

Nice work. I've seen others recommend that program...I've never used it, but I do use the Easeus Partition Master program.

Keep us posted.

Louis

#8 Kawika9

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 12:05 PM

I posted a follow up topic here:

http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/topic347203.html

I was able to pick up a new hard drive to get the PC up & running again while I try to recover the files on the old drive. Is it advisable to partition the new hard drive to keep Vista separate from my personal data files?

#9 hamluis

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 01:31 PM

The primary advantages of partitioning, as I see it...

a. Eliminates having a very large system partition. The larger the system partition (where Windows and programs should be), the longer it takes to do routine maintance (chkdsk /r and defrag) that partition.

b. I don't use Vista so I can't tell you how large the partition for Windows and programs should be. But I use a 50GB partition for such on my Win 7 installs.

c. Theoretically...partitioning a drive lessens the risk of losing everything...if there is trouble with either the partition structure or the hard drive.

d. If a user has a lot of one type of file (e.g., graphics, video files, music, documents, etc.), I find it a lot neater to just create a partition for those things, rather than use My Music, My Videos, etc. and take up system partition space with data files.

Louis

#10 Kawika9

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Posted 14 September 2010 - 02:15 PM

Thanks Louis...

After discussing things with a friend of mine...the game plan at this point is to create two partitions...one of 100 GB & the second with the remaining space. The first partition will be for Vista & any installed programs while the second partition will be for any personal data files.

Kawika




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