Win XP failed, repair failed -- can I access hard drive?

By babsdela
Apr 2, 2012
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  1. I was running Win XP which finally failed and I was able to enter in safe mode (only, no networking) and ran all the tests I could think of. Hard drive is ok and so I attempted to repair WinXP from the installation CD. However, the PC failed to shut down and restart so I eventually force closed it. Now it won't even load past the initial black windows screen, don't even get the option of going into safe mode.

    Is there any way I (or someone) could access the hard drive to retrieve the data? I guess I could reinstall the OS but don't want to do that yet as I'll definitely lose the data.

    Any advice would be appreciated.

    Thanks.
  2. SNGX1275

    SNGX1275 TS Forces Special Posts: 12,419   +281

    Sure, there are many ways. Depending on what you want in the end decides how to proceed.

    If you have a lot of space free on the drive, you could boot off a linux dvd and create a new partition. You'd have to shrink the existing, then make a new one. Then you could just copy over the data from the old one to the new one. Then reinstall windows onto the old partition, and copy your stuff back (then delete the partition and expand the remaining to fill the rest of the space).

    You can also just boot off a linux disk and copy it to a thumb drive or whatever.

    Or you could remove the hard drive and place it in another computer.

    Also, I'm not convinced you lose the data if you install Windows again. I'm pretty sure you can install without formatting the drive. Your programs won't work, but it shouldn't overwrite any of your data. This is a non-ideal solution though.


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