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File Recovery

By SledgeProne
May 25, 2013
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  1. Having endured a failure installing Vista's SP1, and then yet another while attempting to simply restore the system back in safe mode to pre-patch conditions, it is now left unbootable. At this point, I'm resigned to saving some important files, before reformatting altogether.

    To do this, I'm planning on removing the C drive from this system (running Vista HP), connecting it as a slave to another system (running WinXP) to access the folders and make copies.

    I would then replace the C drive back into its original machine, and reformat, using the backup disc which I believe is located on it's D drive.

    Should I anticipate any problems with this?
     
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,365   +53

    Yes. You need to check first that the type of drive you are trying to recover is actually supported in XP. An XP system, if old enough, could be ATA drives only. Even if it has SATA connectors onboard, it may never have used them, and lack the necessary drivers.

    Secondly, you expect to recover from a D: drive, which I assume is a second partition on the original HDD. This needs checking as to what it's format is. Is it a drive image, or a recovery image, or a plain old backup of data or what? Be sure you can actually recover what you need from it, and hope the original failure is not down to a HDD failure which would make the whole HDD inaccessible.

    An alternative to mounting in an XP enclosure would be to burn any small Linux stand-alone download (Ubuntu is good) to a CD drive, and to boot from that CD in your current PC, without any need to remove the HDD at all. Doing that would enable you to check the D: drive you mention, and also recover what you can from the HDD to any plug-in USB media
     
  3. SledgeProne

    SledgeProne TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    Thanks for the heads up gbhall,
    The version of XP on this machine, is indeed an early (pre SP1) edition, and made use of the 6 startup floppies to install. While I have no experience with Umbuntu, I expect it would be less invasive as a surrogate desktop/OS than XP foraging about, turning over rocks across the Vista landscape.
    The problem machine is an HP Pavillion Model a1710n. Having just visited the site, it appears HP has specific instructions for their computers regarding updates, service patch procedures, and among other things, initiating system restore. Such specifics which might explain why simple execution of these tasks on my previous systems, went belly up on this one.
    I'm not sure if I'll find much help there, as I booted their automated update assistant, as just another part of their annoying bloatware package.
    Do you by chance have a link to the download , or instructions for creating the Ubuntu startup disc?
     
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,365   +53

    Certainly - http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop and you can follow the links and instructions to produce a CD for running ubuntu without installing.

    Alternatively, if you have no interest in poking around linux, you could just use the smallest, simplest-possible version to allow you into a broken PC - puppy linux http://puppylinux.org/main/Overview and Getting Started.htm

    So small, you can even save data from the broken PC on the USB stick you launched puppy from, if you do launch that way. (CD or DVD or USB choice of launch media)
     
  5. SledgeProne

    SledgeProne TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    Highly appreciate the links!

    Just to be clear, this will allow me to roam freely throughout the hard drive without affecting an already hobbled Vista OS, and without even having to install it ??

    Geeez if this works I may replace my backup machine, also running XP with Ubuntu!

    Thanks again gbhall!
     
  6. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,365   +53

    Absolutely !!

    Try puppy linux to get a flavour. Install Ubuntu on an old XP machine for the most versatile thing. You can even dual-boot XP and Ubuntu or puppy linux (or all three) if you want.......
     
  7. SledgeProne

    SledgeProne TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 83

    One cool puppy!
    I actually have a significant amount of data to backup, and will probably take a couple nights transferring via flash drives, but simply having the ability to do so has been a huge relief.
    I'll be sure to check back if the reformat goes south, but as of right now,

    this pup is a keeper! Great call gbhall!
     


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