Error loading OS - Hard drive full?

By Mister_I
Oct 29, 2005
  1. Hi guys,
    I actually have a single hard drive of 30 Gb with no partition from Seagate.
    I have a 1,2Ghz pc with 384Mb memory installed and OS is Win XP Pro.
    I've been using my pc for 8 years now and, though my hard drive was almost full (28Gb used), I tried to put a dvd on it, so that I think the drive became completely full. Indeed, I got an error message (don't remember what is was), tried to reboot but then I was faced with an other message saying "Error loading the operating system". Can't start the pc anymore.

    A friend of mine put my hard drive on his machine and the drive seemed to be recognized in Explorer but wouldn't open. A click on the HD properties showed "File system: RAW" and 0 bytes used.

    I will no doubt buy another pc but I wish I could recover my data (mainly pictures and doc files).

    How could I do?
    Any help would be appreciated
  2. gouthamd

    gouthamd TS Rookie

    reinstalling the windows might work, but it looks like your HDD isn't partitioned. Most probably you can try to reinstall (repair) without formatting. I think the windows cd can be loaded while booting by making cd rom drive as first boot device.
  3. Mister_I

    Mister_I TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I might try that but am I gonna be able to recover my data or is it gonna erase them all?
  4. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Don't start messing with a full drive!
    Put that Harddisk in another PC which has a 40GB or larger partition free.
    Use Drive Image or Acronis True Image to make an image of your old 30GB and 'restore' it on that 40GB partition. Then use the Windows from that other PC to see if you can access the files. Alternatively, using e.g. Drive Image Explorer, you might be able to retrieve files with that from the 40GB.
  5. gouthamd

    gouthamd TS Rookie

    yes, the software that RealBlackStuff might work. THe doubt is because you said it didn't work on your friend's comp too..

    about the installing, there will be an option to install tithout formatting a drive. . or there will be another option to repair a current installation. So you can try either of that. If you do this the data will be recoverable, it wont be erased.

    But trying out that software suggested first would be preferrable . .
  6. Mister_I

    Mister_I TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Ok, but as I said, putting the hard drive on my friend's pc only showed the drive was recognized, but it was a RAW file system with 0 bytes in it. So making an image would be useless, wouldn't it?
  7. gouthamd

    gouthamd TS Rookie

    yeah thats what even i feel. try out the second option....
  8. Mister_I

    Mister_I TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi guys,
    Just a post to let you know I did succeed in recovering my data, putting the damaged hard drive as slave on a friend's pc again, and then running a recovery software. I was able to copy all my important files on a dvd. Then I reformatted the whole drive with a fresh XP. Everything's fine now.

    Thank you for your help
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