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Recover data from a mirrored set

By wildhair ยท 6 replies
Aug 5, 2007
  1. OK I will try to keep the saga brief. The PC is a:
    Dell Dimension 9100
    Windows XP Pro SP2
    160 GB Seagate drives set to Raid 1 with the Bios

    The PC was booting when city power went out. Since then the PC has not booted successfully from the hard drives with a Ntfs.sys file missing or corrupt. I can boot with a Dell WinXP Pro SP2 boot disk. I have tried replacing the ntfs.sys file with no change. Replacing the memory does not help either.

    I ran checkdisk /r and recovered half a dozen files. The hard disks passed the hard disk test on the boot CD. I am in the process of running the diagnostic utility on the boot CD for the memory and hard disks. It has passed the memory tests as I write.

    At this point it appears I either have a corrupted Windows install or a bad hardisk. Regardless I would like to backup my data before I proceed as I have been a bad boy about backups.

    I was thinking I would break the mirrored set and do the rebuild on one drive. Could I then recover the data from the other drive before remirroring?

    From the boot CD all the directories, except Windows, on the C:\ drive give me an Access Denied error? This is true for a change directory or a copy command. Will this be the same after I rebuild?!

    Does anyone have any better ideas or suggestions? I thought of a 3rd drive but I cannot copy without the rebuild.
  2. Tedster

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

    to be safe I would export all important data to a third drive before attempting a rebuild of any sort. Have you tried using crap cleaner registry repair?
  3. wildhair

    wildhair TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I agree. I have a spare drive but I cannot copy to it because of the access denied error. I thought about removing one of the mirror disks installing my spare disk and rebuilding the mirror to it so I have 3 copies 1 on a completely off line disk.

    But this will not do me any good if I continue to have access denied errors on all the data directories. If I could no that I could change the attributes on the directories later it would be great, but the boot disk does not have that capability so I am unsure.
  4. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    All Dell computers now come with a factory image. If you can find it, this will save you a ton of hassle in rebuilding your system. To access it, press CNTRL-F11 when you see the Dell logo on startup. You'll know if you find it because you'll get a screen that says "Dell PC Restore by Symantec" at the top. Just follow the instructions, it's trivial. It takes between 3 to 8 minutes to restore. Then you system will be exactly as it was when you pulled it out of the box.
  5. wildhair

    wildhair TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Cntrl_f11 works. How come Dell does not mention that anywhere on their website or documentation. It is unclear what it will do to my data as it says it will wipe everything so I still need to resolve my backup issue first.

    By the way I have tried F8 at boot as well to get to my last restore point. This did not help either.

    Computer has passed now passed all the hardware diagnostics available on the boot disk, including hard disk tests. So seems to be corrupted windows OS.
  6. almcneil

    almcneil TS Guru Posts: 1,277

    I used to work for Dell and can answer all the questions.

    Dell does mention that there is a factory image restore utility at their web site but it is buried somewhere. Also, it's listed on your invoice. Whatever, most Dell customers do not know it exists. I recently had a customer who owned a Dell and used the factory image restore utility. He made the same comment that he didn't know it existed.

    Here's how an image backup works. A Disk Image is an exact copy of everything on your internal hard drive. That includes you Windows installation, device drivers, programs and any personal files. If something catastrophic happens and your Windows installation is too corrupted to recover, you can simply restore from an image. This means the image is copied over your current installation and *PRESTO* you're back up and running. What's more, it only takes minutes! In the case of the factory image, Dell take the image after it builds your system but before it ships it. This means the factory image does not include your personal files or any programs that you installed since you received it. Therefore, if you restore from the factory image, all your personal files and new programs will be overwritten and lost.

    If you want to save your personal files you can perform either an "in place" installation" or a "parallel" installation. In both cases, you're installing a new copy of Windows only, with no reformatting. This allows you access to your files so you can back them up. Then you can perform the restore from factory image. Now the reason the "in place" and "parallel" installations are not a permanent solution is that you still need to re-install device drivers, plus there may still be corruption in other areas outside the Windows system folders. An "in place" installation simply overwrites the current Windows systems files/folders with a new copy. A "parallel" installation inserts a new Windows system files/folders on the same partition and you must select that one to boot to on startup.

    Backup your important files and then perform the restore from factory image.
  7. jobeard

    jobeard TS Ambassador Posts: 10,432   +801

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