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Power surge happened, data recovery and assessing any damage

By jmon3028
May 7, 2008
  1. Long story short... my sister put a damaged audio connector in her out of warranty dell and the whole computer shut down. When I plug in the machine, the mobo lights turn on. When I hit the power button, not a thing happens. It was late so I decided to just grab her harddrive and try to boot it on my machine hoping to get some files off there she needs. I figured the mobo and psu were the most likely candidates for serious damage. The power button blinks amber which apparently indicates a power issue of some sorts.

    When I tried swapping my HD for hers on my machine, the windows xp screen pulls up and I eventually get the blue screen and some error code 0x1000007E along with 3-4 others in parens. I am not in front of the computer right now so I can't provide them at the moment. I will be able to if someone needs them. I didn't really expect for it to just boot on my comp, but I figured it was worth a shot.

    One odd thing is that I can hit delete to enter my bios and I can navigate around in there perfectly, but I cannot navigate when I am attempting to change the "type of boot" meaning normal, safe mode, last know good, etc. It is completely nonresponsive at this time.

    I am downloading a live cd in hopes that I can use that to get her files. I have never dealt with a power surge of any kind or harddrive failures, so I am unsure what approach to take. I will probably have the machine in front of me tonight as I try to figure out what could be wrong.

    First thing, I want to get her data.

    I can't get it to boot into safe mode with command line since I cannot navigate at that screen for some reason I don't understand. I am downloading a linux live cd hoping to boot into that and get the necessary files. Should I try something else here?

    Second thing, can anyone provide me with a good approach to take to assess the damages? I have never really done this.

    Any responses would be appreciated.
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    First buy or aquire another hard drive and install it into the "sick" Dell. You have probably corrupted the MBR on the hard drive.Try to reinstall Windows. If the install goes normally, shut down the computer and install the old hard drive a a slave. You should be able to access the data on the old drive then
     
  3. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    try booting off a real XP CD and using CHKDSK to fix the drive
     
  4. jmon3028

    jmon3028 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the responses tedster and tmagic. I can't get this machine to boot though. I put the harddrive in my home rig and got all the data off it using a live cd without too many problems.

    Just today I found some time to look at the actual computer again.

    I am fairly certain at least the PSU in the "sick" computer went bad.

    With the old psu, nothing happened. No beeps. No nothing except an amber blinking power button. So I have swapped power supplies with my home rig and I get a long continuous beep now. I tried reseating the gfx card and memory. I even replaced the memory with some I had lying around and no luck. I still get this unending continuous beep.

    Can anyone help me out with what I should exactly be doing...
     
  5. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    The motherboard might have gone bad
     
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