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View Full Version : Recover my files from a non-booting laptop?



alboh
15-05-2006, 07:15 AM
Hello everyone-

My Win XP laptop stopped booting up fully all of a sudden. Windows starts up for a few seconds, then a brief glimpse at the blue screen of death, then it restarts itself and repeats the process all over. Pretty sure a virus got me.

I started up from the XP install CD, but it cannot find any of my old files on the laptop and wants to do a complete re-format.

Are there any hard disk recovery programs that I can boot from, or any methods to try to recover my files without having Windows booted up? Preferably freeware, as I'm in university and literally broke.

I have roommates with PC's over a network, so a network recovery is also possible.

Thanks!

drcspy
15-05-2006, 07:36 AM
quite possibly not a virus..........try starting in safe mode by tapping F8 repeatedly from startup then choosing safe mode from the menu.........or try choosing 'vga mode'.......I've seen this happen on many occasions and it's more likely a faulty driver or some other operating system issue.....if you can start in safe mode then clik start/run and type in msconfig then tap enter......then on the msconfig box clik 'diagnostic startup' then restart.......if this works then that shows it's a driver fault.....

beama
15-05-2006, 08:00 AM
If drcpy suggestion doesnt work then try booting off cd using a live linux distro that should mount your hard drive and enable data recovery. I have used this method in the past along with a usb pen drive to put the data on.

Greg
15-05-2006, 08:49 AM
If none of the other suggestions helps then you could possibly take out the hard drive and attach it to another computer as a slave drive, then copy the data to their drive. I say "possibly" because although it can easily be done with desktop hard drives, I'm not certain about laptop drives.

Can you not give access permission to one of the other networked computers to copy your data?

gum digger
15-05-2006, 08:54 AM
If drcpy suggestion doesnt work then try booting off cd using a live linux distro that should mount your hard drive and enable data recovery. I have used this method in the past along with a usb pen drive to put the data on.

This sounds like a valid option. how do you do this?
step by step. would help a idiot like me.

drcspy
15-05-2006, 09:48 AM
it can easily be done with desktop hard drives, I'm not certain about laptop drives

YES IT CAN be done you just need a 3&1/2" - 2&1/2" ide adaptor from dicksmiths costs about $18

bob_doe_nz
15-05-2006, 10:28 AM
This sounds like a valid option. how do you do this?
step by step. would help a idiot like me.

Download an up to date Linux Distro. Mepis and Slax work and I've tried them both. Slax is smaller and a bit more cut down though.

Burn to CD the linux distro.

Reboot the computer with the linux distro in the cdrom drive.

After it finishes loading, insert USB Storage Device.

Linux should detect it.

Open up the file manager, navigate to the Hard Drive containing data.
Select data, right click / copy. Navigate to USB device, Paste there.

Disconnect USB device
Reboot Computer.

Vallis
15-05-2006, 11:35 AM
Another alternative is the Ultimate Boot CD which, among many other tools, gives you a graphical interface similar to Windows Explorer.

http://www.ultimatebootcd.com/

alboh
15-05-2006, 05:26 PM
Thanks for all the help so quickly! I actually didn't realize I had accidentally gone into the NZ forums until just now. I will try booting from linux and see if my files are still there.

-a grateful canadian

beama
15-05-2006, 06:22 PM
Thanks for all the help so quickly! I actually didn't realize I had accidentally gone into the NZ forums until just now. I will try booting from linux and see if my files are still there.

-a grateful canadian

you're welcome here