recover data from system that won't boot

Discussion in 'Dell' started by tom, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. tom

    tom Guest

    my Dell Inspiron B130 laptop (windows XP) won't boot. I don't want to
    lose some data on it. I want to either reinstall the OS without
    reformatting, or save the data before I reformat and reinstall.

    I can boot from the Dell recovery CD's but I don't see how to get data
    off the machine. Network, CDROM and USB drives don't seem to be available.

    Is there a way to turn them on?

    Would a 3rd party tool help? I tried Ultimate Boot CD but none of it's
    routines worked (they hung). Am thinking of [email protected] and Eddie

    tom, Jan 28, 2008
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  2. tom

    tpow Guest

    remove drive, install it into an external 2.5" USB/Firewire case and attach
    to another comp to extract data.
    tpow, Jan 28, 2008
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  3. tom

    Colin Wilson Guest

    I can boot from the Dell recovery CD's but I don't see how to get data
    If you can get hold of a standard Windows CD, you can plug the USB
    drive in prior to booting, and it'll be available to copy data to.

    I found this out by accident trying to sort a corrupt registry problem
    for a colleague not long ago !
    Linux :)

    Knoppix or Ubuntu would be a good first bet, as they supported more
    hardware generally than other distribs i've tried.
    Colin Wilson, Jan 28, 2008
  4. tom

    Colin Wilson Guest

    my Dell Inspiron B130 laptop (windows XP) won't boot. I don't want to
    Minor point for future reference, which i'm sure has now sunk in - you
    need to get regular backups of data you can't risk losing...

    Stuff like email is dumped every month on mine, and pictures every 2-3
    months (I don't take many) - and most of the apps I use are updated
    regularly on an "oh shit!" disc.
    Colin Wilson, Jan 28, 2008
  5. tom

    RnR Guest

    Colin, excellent advice! The only thing I will add to your advice is,
    if possible, make regular backups or more than one in case one doesn't
    work. I've learn this from experience. Some software does allow for
    testing backups but on one occasion with one brand it tested okay but
    on the day I needed it, it didn't work tho I recall I had an older
    backup that did work (luckily I might add).
    RnR, Jan 28, 2008
  6. tom

    WSZsr Guest

    WSZsr, Jan 28, 2008
  7. tom

    Ben Myers Guest

    There is a least a small possibility that the hard drive is failing.

    I think that I would buy another 2.5" drive for the laptop, then get an
    inexpensive external USB case for the drive in there now. First, reinstall
    Windows and all the drivers (available from the Dell web site), then install any
    applications software you use, and finally plug in the old drive. Navigate
    through Documents and Settings to find your data, if you have been disciplined
    about it. Outlook and Outlook Express require more sleuthing to find the email
    folders which are hidden by Microbloat so you can't tamper with them.

    .... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jan 28, 2008
  8. tom

    RnR Guest

    My thoughts too.
    I think I once had to slave my failing hard drive in another pc and
    use a hex editor to get my old data. I'm not too good with hex
    editors and it was a chore but I did get what I needed from the
    failing drive.
    RnR, Jan 28, 2008
  9. tom

    tom Guest

    thanks for your replies.
    Thanks. this is exactly what I want to try. Seems like this used to be
    an built in option (in earlier Windows) but now it is not.

    I may have to try the external drive case.

    I don't think the drive is failing, because the computer had a virus
    just before this. CA Antivirus seemed to clean it up, but then it
    stopped booting.

    As for advice I should have backed up, well, I know. I'm a software
    engineer with 20 years experience. But this is my wife's computer.
    Also my experience is backups ususally miss some things.
    tom, Jan 29, 2008
  10. tom

    Ben Myers Guest

    Still, make sure that the hard drive is NOT failing before you do much of
    anything else. Attempting a repair install on a failing drive is like peeing
    in ones soup, to quote a phrase from the old Slavic neighborhood... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jan 29, 2008
  11. tom

    Tony Harding Guest

    Eeeeeeewwwwwww, but point taken.
    Tony Harding, Jan 29, 2008
  12. tom

    Ben Myers Guest

    Pretty strong emphasis, eh what? ... Ben

    Ben Myers, Jan 30, 2008
  13. tom

    Jay B Guest

    when you say it "doesnt boot" what exactly does it do??
    you're not giving enough information to have anyone help you properly
    diagnose this problem. what exactly happens?? what words are printed on
    the screen?

    if the screen gives an error like missing drivers,
    then most likely it is a viral infection, and most certainly it can be
    fixed by a computer pro by pulling the drive, mounting it in a working
    computer, and removing the virus and the bad files, then returning the
    drive back to the original system. i do this procedure every week or so.

    when the drive is pulled, the user data files could also be safely
    pulled off as well if required.

    i would never just blindly reformat/reinstall a drive without knowing
    what happened and what the problem is.
    Jay B, Jan 30, 2008
  14. tom

    Ben Myers Guest

    Right. Not enough information here. Your suggestions make good sense, but
    only after running mfr's hardware diagnostics on the drive to make sure it is
    100% functional. I won't repeat what I said elsewhere in this thread, but if
    you do not know that the hardware is 100% OK, you can end up spinning your
    wheels. (I did so yesterday and today, working around Windows restore errors
    when the real problem was bad DDR memory)... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jan 30, 2008
  15. tom

    Tony Harding Guest

    Tony Harding, Jan 30, 2008
  16. tom

    tom Guest

    Thanks for your ideas.

    I was able to boot using the System Rescue CD (Linux) which I highly
    recommend, if you are familiar with Linux. I was able to mount the NT
    filesystem and a USB drive and save the data. It connected to the
    internet too.

    Then I reinstalled Windows XP from the Dell Recovery CD.
    It turned out there *is* a "repair" option to install Windows without
    reformatting, but it is confusingly under the option "install windows"
    not the "recover" option.
    I did a fresh install and reformatted since the data was saved.
    The only problem was after the installation finishes, the wireless
    network wizard is available and lets you set up a network, but nothing
    happens and it does not appear in Network Connections. I needed to run
    the Driver CD as well, a confusing process for a first timer. After I
    installed a bunch of drivers including the wireless card driver (2
    times) it found the network and worked.
    In the Help for the Driver CD there is a list of what order to install
    the drivers. It is mostly the order they are listed in the first tab
    displayed ('My Computer' I think) but there are differences.
    tom, Feb 19, 2008
  17. tom

    tom Guest

    trust me, it wouldn't boot. I tried safe mode and using the recovery
    partition. I didn't add these details to keep things brief.

    When it booted it gets a blue screen that says,
    "If this is the first time you've seen this stop error screen, restart
    your computer. If this screen appears again, follow these steps:

    Check to make sure any new hardware or software is properly installed.
    if this is a new installation, ask your hardware or software
    manufacturer for any windows updates you might need.

    If problems continue, disable or remove any newly installed hardware or
    software. Disable BIOS memory options such as caching or shadowing. if
    you need to use Safe Mode to remove or disable components, restart your
    computer, press f8 to select Advanced Startup Options, and then select
    Safe Mode."
    tom, Feb 19, 2008
  18. tom

    Jay B Guest

    are you still having the same problem now?
    it's about 3 weeks since you first posted.

    the right way to fix this problem is to pull the hard drive and mount it
    in another system,
    then you can properly copy off your valuable data, and then look into
    the problem.
    the symptons you state can be caused by a number of things, one of which
    is malware/spyware/viruses that mess with the system startup.

    i've had 2 of these such cases very recently.
    after removing the bad programs from the various folders, then insert
    the drive back into the computer, it will boot fine.

    if you cant figure it out, then do a full format on the hard drive after
    erasing all partitions and reinstall windows, then put back your data.
    Jay B, Feb 19, 2008
  19. tom


    Aug 11, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hi !

    If your Windows won't start it may be due to a damaged boot sector or a missing or corrupt ntldr or can use a Kernel windows data recovery software to resolve this issues.

    bibomaria, Aug 11, 2010
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