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Recover files from (corrupted?) hard drive


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#1 Quevvy

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:03 AM

On my family's oldest computer (a Dell Dimension 8200, running Windows XP), we have recently gotten an error message that reads as follows.

"WARNING: Dell’s Disk Monitoring System has detected that drive 0 on the primary EIDE controller is operating outside of normal specifications. It is advisable to immediately back up your data and replace your hard-disk drive by calling your support desk or Dell Computer Corporation.

Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility."

Now, it says to back up the files immediately, but when I try and start up the computer, it takes forever but can get to the User Accounts screen (where you choose as whom you want to log in). When you select someone, it crashes and reboots. In my opinion, this computer is so out of date that we should just get rid of it, but my dad still thinks there are documents that he wants to save. I'm trying to just get the files off this machine and stored somewhere (on a different network computer or external hard drive on the network), but I can't access the files from anywhere.

I have the recovery console option or safe mode, but I have never used either of these, so I don't want to mess things up further. Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks!

(PS - If it really is a dud, just let me know…)

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#2 Quevvy

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 12:18 AM

Now I get a blue screen (Can't even get to login page!) that reads
"UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_VOLUME

*** STOP: 0x000000ED (0x822E5590,0xC000014F, 0x00000000, 0x00000000)"

I have no idea what any of this means!

#3 AustrAlien

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:01 AM

How to retrieve the files from the hard drive, when Windows will not start ....

If your computer is not able to boot into Windows or simply not able to access the internet, you can use a LIVE Linux operating system run from a bootable CD or flashdrive instead of Windows, to access the internet, to access files on the HDD(s) and do other tasks.

:step1: Using a working computer:
  • If you wish to use a LIVE CD ...
    • Download the Linux version of your choice (usually an .ISO image file).
    • There are many options to use for a LIVE CD. I suggest that you try one of the following:
    • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
    • There are two versions currently available: I suggest trying Slacko Puppy first.
  • Linux Mint 12 Lisa (versions for a CD, and larger versions that need to be burned to a DVD disk)
[*]Burn the .ISO image to CD: If you do not already have a suitable burning program for writing .ISO images to disc ...
  • Download and install ImgBurn.
  • Ensure that you UN-check the box agreeing to install the Ask toolbar during the installation.
  • Place a new (blank) CD disc in the drive tray.
  • Choose Write image file to disc.
    • Under Source, click on the Browse button: Navigate to and select the .ISO file that you wish to burn.
    • Place a check-mark in the box beside Verify.
  • Click Posted Image
[*]When the CD has been burned and verified as successful, it will be bootable.
[/list][*]OR ... if you wish to use a LIVE flashdrive ...
  • Go to UNetbootin - Homepage and Downloads and at the top of the page, click on Download (for Windows) to download the application.
  • Follow the instructions further down the page under the heading Installation & Screenshots.
  • Run the application to download and install the Linux version of choice to your flashdrive.
  • I suggest that you try one of the following:
  • Puppy Linux (smallest download file size at 128 MB)
  • Linux Mint 12 Lisa (download file size depends on version)
[/list][/list]
:step2: Boot the problematic machine from the LIVE CD or flashdrive.
  • (You may have to configure the Boot Menu or BIOS Setup Menu to boot first from the optical/CD drive or the flashdrive, which ever you are using.)
  • Choose to run the Linux operating system from the CD or flashdrive without making any changes to your computer.
    Do NOT install Linux on your hard drive.
  • When the Linux operating system loads ...
  • You will have internet access in the normal manner.
  • You will be able to navigate to all the files on your HDD.
  • You can backup your files by copying them to a flashdrive or an external hard drive.
You may find one of the following guides useful:
Recover files from Windows XP hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows Vista hard disk using Puppy Linux

Recover files from Windows 7 hard disk using Puppy Linux

The easiest way to copy files/folders in Puppy is to drag-and-drop from one window to another. To do this open a window showing what you want to copy. Open another window showing the location that you wish to copy to .... and move the windows so that you can conveniently see both at the same time.

Now, simply drag the items you wish to copy from one window into the other. Simple.
AustrAlien
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#4 Quevvy

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 01:55 PM

I tried both a flash drive and a CD, but neither would let me actually use it on the computer. When I try, the boot does not work, but fails and then says "Press F1 to retry boot or F2 to enter the setup utility"

I'm beginning to think this is beyond recovery…

#5 rotor123

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Posted 24 May 2012 - 02:46 PM

To use a flash drive to boot you may have to change the Bios settings. To do that when you power on the computer have the flash drive plugged in, then when the Dell Logo appears press the F2 key to go to the BIOS settings menu. Look at the boot device menu and change as / if needed.

Then the flash drive must be plugged in when you power on the computer. When the Dell logo appears start pressing the F12 key to get to the boot device menu. Then you can choose CD or USb or floppy or Hard disk depending on the options set in the bios.

Then follow the instructions above by AustrAlien

Good Luck
Roger

Edited by rotor123, 24 May 2012 - 02:47 PM.

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
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#6 Quevvy

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 12:24 PM

I don't know what changed, but the CD worked, and I got the files off the computer. I think that the Windows XP file was corrupted, or something.

#7 rotor123

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 01:44 PM

Good News :thumbup2:
Congratulations

Roger

Fortune Cookie says: Fortune not Found: Abort, Retry, Ignore?

Sent from my All-In-One Desktop. Perfect for Internet, Not for heavy usage or gaming however.

How Does a computer get Infected? http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/2520/how-did-i-get-infected/
Forum Rules,    The BC Welcome Guide

167 @ June 2015


#8 AustrAlien

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:16 PM

I don't know what changed, but the CD worked, and I got the files off the computer.

Excellent! :thumbup2:

Thanks for letting us know the successful outcome.
AustrAlien
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