Hard Drive Crash, any suggestions?

  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Hello,

I am new the the site. I am an IT Technician, but about 1 year ago on my home PC running XP Pro, i was sitting there on my computer and all of a suddden a blue screen came up and said something like:

"Windows Fatal Error blah blah, please press any key to restart."

So i hit the enter key and that drive has never booted again.

I have some data recovery utilities that I use at work, and it sees the drive, so i know it turns on, but it comes up as a very weird and scrambled drive name with a bunch of letters and numbers like: A7433HFDUIFADFO.......

In windows explorer it will not even show up, but with the programs i have that are DOS based it says its a drive, and it shows up in the BIOS, but i cannot get anything to actually show up as far as files on the drive. I had soooo much stuff on that drive, thats why i still have it after a year, i am hoping there might be someway to get things off it. Anyone ever experience this? Any suggestions? I think i might try to change the HD COntroller on the drive for beginners.

Thanks
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Post 3+ Months Ago

  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Windows Fatal Error blah blah, please press any key to restart.

Are you sure? I don't know whether Windows has any error message of this kind.

Don't know whether a serious case of boot record virus. But before trying to say more about how to resolve boot record virus I am looking forward for any other's suggestion.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

One thing you can try to do is boot from a Linux live CD like Knoppix. Personally I have never tried this but I have friends who are Linux nuts and have recovered data from Windows machines using it.

http://www.knoppix.net/
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

pramitroy wrote:
Quote:
Windows Fatal Error blah blah, please press any key to restart.

Are you sure? I don't know whether Windows has any error message of this kind.


Yeah i have never seen it again since that time. It had to be some sort of boot virus, because that drive was gone after i restarted.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

grinch2171 wrote:
One thing you can try to do is boot from a Linux live CD like Knoppix.


So basicially i would hook the drive up to my machine and boot to this Linux CD?
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes, like I have said, never used it myself but I know people who have and swear by it. They actually call it the best Windows Recovery disk you could ever have.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah i have used Linux before, and actually liked it, just never really got hardcore into it. But i will definitely try it, im downloading it right now. Thanks a bunch. I have things on that drive that are like from 1997-2004, so to get them all back would be amazing, lol.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yes and also
go here to see whether it helps
http://www.sophos.com/support/disinfect ... r.html#1.2

If you can get any boot floppy disk(of your same OS version) open in dos mode and press "fdisk /mbr"
http://support.microsoft.com/default.as ... -us;122221
In most of the cases the second option doesn't give satisfactory result.

What antivirus do you use?
If you have any boot disk from the antivirus program that also may help you.
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

But Linux cd is best in all the sense.
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I hate giving Linux any props since I am a Windows guy but if it works it works.
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah me too :) I posted as you were confident.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Yeah i tried the whole fdisk thing when it happened, and it didnt do a thing for me at all. I even have some pretty good data recovery programs, and they didnt do a thing either, so as much of a windows guy i am as well, i hope Linux can come through for me. haha Thanks for all the help so far, its great.
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Post 3+ Months Ago

omg i just thought of something that is so obvious that one probably wouldnt do it

did you try to rebuild the registry?

yes do use knopix or set the drive to slave, install a small drive as a primary, install a linux distro on that disk then go to file:/usr/mnt/windows or something like that, then pull all of the files to a disk(or 10) and call it spiffy!

on my mule comp the HDD wont allow a windows boot partition so i have it partitioned 10 gigs ntfs and the other 10 gigs are Mandriva 2005 LE.
then i added a 3gig primary drive, installXP Pro on it then install my programs on the 10 gig partition and use the 3 for files and the like. works well.

my mobo install cd's autoplay is screwed so i put it on the linux partition and remove everything but the autorun components and put it on a cd. it works beautifully
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Well, i once again hooked this thing up, used linux, and it sees the scrambled drive name ICHR823435532..... but when i tried to mount the drive it would not mount under Knoppix. For some reason the only partition that shows up on the drive is like 512bytes. I had like 30 gig on there of stuff when i t crashed. Any ideas?
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Things have become much complicated. Don't know whether anything would help without erasing the data.
Use Partition Table Doctorto get back the partition then try Recover My Files or Active Undelete to recover the lost data from that partition.

Have you tried "fixmbr" or "fdisk /mbr" ?
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Post 3+ Months Ago

As I mentioned, "Recover My Files" is a robust software I think and that should help. And I am now quite confirmed that these are due to a boot record virus as it requires a restart to take effect. Whenever you get this kind of error which requires you to restart due to any error with your permission (as Windows wouldnt bother to ask you to restart if it gets any fatal error) never respond.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I am going to try the Partition Table Recovery tool tonite. Ill let you know how it goes
  • Mav06
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Post 3+ Months Ago

my network tech at my high school has a prg called HDD regen. it reverse the polarity on the drive and switches it back it dosen't erase any data he says and it recovers sectors. it does take a whille but he swears by it . i will try finding it quick but i have to go google it if you can.

matt
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Post 3+ Months Ago

http://www.dposoft.net/

60 USD to buy it.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Wow that sounds great, at this point i am willing to try anything. Thanks so much for the help.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Quote:
Whenever you get this kind of error which requires you to restart due to any error with your permission (as Windows wouldnt bother to ask you to restart if it gets any fatal error) never respond.


Yeah i had no choice, my computer went to a blue screen and it was already counting down the restart from 10 seconds, so even if i would have done nothing, it still would of happened. Thats why i was so mad. there was nothing i could do.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

Ok so i ran this Partition Table Recovery Tool, obviously the disk was bad, because it came up as Bad Disk. It cannot find any partition on the disk at all, and i used the parition rebuilder and fixed the Master Boot Record, and still nothing. The weird part is if i look at the disk in raw format, on the side bar it shows ASCII coding, and in the code it says......

.....Invalid.partition.table.Error.loading.operating.system.Missing.operating.system.
.......

Anyone have anything? I have tried so many different data recovery tools, and nothing finds a single partition or file. But it appears there is still stuff on the disk.

Thanks
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

You will get that message if an active partition does not exist or if boot sector information is missing or corrupt.
Quote:
Restoring the MBR

You must repair the MBR if it becomes corrupted and you can no longer access any volumes on that disk. You can use several tools to repair the MBR. Which tool you choose depends on whether the partition table is also damaged and whether you can start Windows XP Professional.

* Use the Recovery Console. You can use the fixmbr command in Recovery Console to repair the MBR. You can start Recovery Console by booting from the Windows XP Professional operating system CD; so this troubleshooting method is available even if Windows XP Professional does not start in normal or safe mode. However, you cannot use Recovery Console to repair partition tables that were damaged by viruses or other corruption.
* Use DiskProbe. You can use DiskProbe to restore both the MBR and the partition table, but you must have previously backed up this information by using DiskProbe, and you must be able to start Windows XP Professional.
* Use a third-party disk editor. You can use a third-party MS-DOS-based, low-level disk editor to repair the partition table if Windows XP Professional does not start. This method is for experienced users only and involves manually editing the partition table.

Using the Recovery Console to Replace the MBR

You can use the fixmbr command in Recovery Console to rewrite the MBR to resolve a corrupted MBR on a startup disk. However, running fixmbr overwrites only the master boot code, leaving the existing partition table intact. If the corruption in the MBR affects the partition table, running fixmbr might not resolve the problem.

Caution

* Use this command with care because it can damage your partition table if any of the following apply:
o A virus is present and a third-party operating system is installed on the same computer.
o A nonstandard MBR is installed by a third-party disk utility.
o A hardware problem exists.
* It is recommended that you run antivirus software before you use the fixmbr command.

To start the computer and use the Recovery Console to replace the MBR

1. Insert the Windows XP Professional Setup CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
2. Restart the computer. If prompted to press a key to start the computer from the CD-ROM, press the appropriate key.
3. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Press the R key to repair a Windows XP Professional installation.
4. If you are repairing a system that has more than one operating system installed, from the Recovery Console choose the Windows XP Professional installation that you need to repair.

Note
* If you press ENTER without typing a number, the Recovery Console quits and restarts the computer.
* The Recovery Console might also show valid installations of Windows NT 4.0. However, the results of attempting to access a Windows NT 4.0 installation can be unpredictable.

5. When prompted, type the Administrator password. If you do not have the correct password, or if the security database for the installation of Windows XP Professional you are attempting to access is corrupted, Recovery Console does not allow access to the local disks and you cannot repair the MBR.
6. To replace the MBR, at the Recovery Console command prompt, type:

fixmbr

Verify if you want to proceed. Depending upon the location and the cause of the corruption within the damaged MBR, this operation can cause the data on the hard disk to become inaccessible. Press the Y key to proceed, or press the N key to cancel.
Using DiskProbe to Replace the MBR and Partition Table

If you have backed up the MBR by using DiskProbe, you can use it to restore the MBR on any disk that is not used to start the computer. Restoring the backup MBR rewrites the entire sector, including the partition table. However, DiskProbe only runs under Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000 and Windows NT 4.0. It does not run under MS-DOS, Windows 95, Windows 98, or Windows Me.

If the disk that starts Windows XP Professional has a corrupted MBR, Windows XP Professional does not start. Therefore, you cannot use DiskProbe and must use the Recovery Console to replace the MBR.

For more information about restoring backed up MBRs by using DiskProbe, click Tools in Help and Support Center, and then click Windows Support Tools.
Using a Third-Party Disk Editor to Replace the Partition Table

Before you can repair the partition table, you must know the exact values to use to recreate the partition table. If you backed up your MBR and partition table by using DiskProbe, and you have the backup available on a floppy disk or on another computer, you can use DiskProbe on a different computer to see the correct values so that you can manually recreate the partition table.


Quote:
Replacing the Boot Sector

If Ntldr is damaged or missing, or if the boot sector is corrupted, you can resolve either problem by using the Recovery Console.

To start the computer and use the Recovery Console to replace the boot sector

1. Insert the Windows XP Professional Setup CD-ROM into the CD-ROM drive.
2. Restart the computer. If prompted to press a key to start the computer from the CD-ROM, press the appropriate key.
3. When the text-based part of Setup begins, follow the prompts. Press the R key to repair a Windows XP Professional installation.
4. If you are repairing a system that has more than one operating system installed, from the Recovery Console choose the Windows XP Professional installation that you need to repair.

Note
* If you press ENTER without typing a number, the Recovery Console quits and restarts the computer.
* The Recovery Console might also show valid installations of Windows NT 4.0. However, the results of attempting to access a Windows NT 4.0 installation can be unpredictable.
5. When prompted, type the Administrator password. If you do not have the correct password, or if the security database for the installation of Windows XP Professional that you are attempting to access is corrupted, Recovery Console does not allow access to the local disks and you cannot replace the boot sector.
6. To replace the boot sector, at the Recovery Console command prompt, type:

fixboot [drive:]

If you do not specify a drive letter, the Recovery Console replaces the boot sector of the system volume. If you need to replace the boot sector of a volume that is not the system volume, then you must specify the appropriate drive letter.
Using a Disk Editor to Replace the Boot Sector

If the boot sector is not from the boot volume on the hard disk, you can use several methods to replace it. If you backed up the boot sector by using DiskProbe, then restoring it by using DiskProbe is the fastest method.

If you want to replace the boot sector on an NTFS volume, you have another alternative. When you create or reformat an existing volume as an NTFS volume, NTFS writes a duplicate of the boot sector in the following location:

* At the end of the volume on volumes formatted with Windows XP Professional, Windows 2000, and Windows NT 4.0.
* At the logical center of the volume on disks formatted with Windows NT 3.51 and earlier.

You can use DiskProbe to locate and copy a duplicate boot sector to the beginning of the volume. There are also third-party MS-DOS-based disk tools that you can use to locate and copy this backup boot sector to the primary boot sector on the volume.

For specifically replacing corrupted boot sectors from boot volumes, DiskProbe is not always an option. Unless you created a Windows XP Professional startup floppy disk, you cannot start Windows XP Professional, which is required by DiskProbe. You can use a third-party MS-DOS-based, low-level disk editor to restore the backup boot sector.

For more information about creating a startup floppy disk, see article 119467, "How to Create a Bootable Disk for an NTFS or FAT Partition." To find this article, see the Microsoft Knowledge Base link on the Web Resources page at http://www.microsoft.com/windows/reskits/webresources.
  • taguy83
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Post 3+ Months Ago

See i was told by many not to use the windows stuff because it can make it so i can never get anything off of it again if it doesnt work..... :(
  • grinch2171
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Post 3+ Months Ago

I have used and use Windows "stuff" all the time. It does work, trust me. A lot of people will tell you that because they dislike Windows or had a bad experience with Windows recovery. But if other programs have failed you, why not try Microsoft? It is their OS.
  • pramitroy
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Post 3+ Months Ago

In many cases you won't find any alternative to windows "stuff".

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