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Hoping to undo partial recovery operation (recovery console)


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#1 painterh52

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:06 AM

Hello;
My first post here, except for introducing myself. My problem is with my son's HP Pavilion a1130n. It is running Windows XP Media Center Edition. Awhile back, he was notified of some important Windows updates and started to install them. During the process, he lost his internet connection and was not able to complete the update. Consequently, when he tried to boot up the next time, the system would not boot. I don't know if there were any error messages displayed at this point, but what happened next is where the problem started. He, (not knowing enough about Windows recovery console), panicked, and after not being able to even boot into 'SafeMode', jumped right into a recovery operation. When he saw that the operation was going to restore to the same state as when he bought it, he panicked again about losing all his family photos and music, and unplugged the machine. Needless to say, the system is now completely unusable. I pulled his hard drive and connected it to mine, and with the help of a free recovery program (Piriform's 'Recuva'), i am able to see and recover all of his data. However, it is a tedious and time consuming process and I am wondering if there is any way to undo the damage he did and get it back to a bootable condition keeping all his data in place. Any help would be greatly appreciatd because he may not have his original restore disks. Thanks, in advance for your consideration.

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#2 dc3

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Posted 17 September 2010 - 11:17 AM

If you have the installation CD you can do a repair installation. This will not affect any of the data or applications.

Boot the computer from the XP CD. You may need to change boot order in the BIOS so that the CD-ROM is the first device in the boot order.

When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see the options below

This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft
Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.
You do not want to choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R.

Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair. If Repair isn't one of the option end the installation, this will mean that you will need to do a fresh installation of XP.

The repair will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot, the repair installation will continue after the reboot.

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#3 painterh52

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Posted 18 September 2010 - 01:35 PM

Thanks dc3 for the reply. Sorry for the delayed response, I was out of town for the day. Unfortunately, my son tells me that he did not receive an install cd when he bought his computer. He said when he first started using it he was instructed to make a set of restore disks, which he did, but is unable to locate. He said it took several disks. I'm not sure if it's the same as the set of floppies I had to make way back when I first started using windows xp pre-installed on a machine. I have done a lot of installs and repair installs over the last several years using my Win xp disks. I have 3 separate licensed copies of xp, however I do not have a copy of 'Media Center Edition, which was installed on this machine, and I doubt that any of my disks would work. Besides, they are all currently running machines and activated on those machines.

When I look at his drive using Easus Partition manager, it show the recovery partition and appears to have all the files still in place, and using the aforementioned 'Recuva' software, I can see and recover all of his data. It seems to have the folder structure intact, however, if I try to view any of the files on drive using Windows explorer, they are not visible. I have not ever attempted this kind of operation, but it seems that there should be a better way than restoring image files one at a time from a large hard drive. If there is any other way to recover without using his install cd, that would be fantastic. But, until I find any better way, I'll just keep pecking away at these picture files. Awaiting responses; thanks again.

#4 painterh52

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Posted 23 September 2010 - 01:42 PM

:thumbsup: Solved!
Well, I was unable to salvage the installed OS but, I was able to use the aforementioned recovery software to save all his photos, music, emails, and data. I had to use a large external drive, and then sort through the image files to weed out all of the images that were bits and pieces of OS files and other software related images (very tedious). Then I was able to restore a working OS from the recovery partition. Not the outcome I was hoping for, but a workable solution. He will now have to sort his images and other files in order to have some kind of organized 'My Pictures' and 'My Music folders'. At least there wasn't the total data loss he was fearing. All's well that ends well.
Cheers




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