Who's smart enough to solve this problem - Laptop/XP Pro

By mwcomp ยท 11 replies
Sep 25, 2003
  1. A friend of mine gave me a laptop to fix. It has XP Pro on it which won't boot. I started by re-installing XP Pro after spending many frustrating hours trying other ways to solve the problem. Anyway, it gets so far with the installation, does a memory dump, checks the hard drive integrity (which comes through ok) and then reboots and starts installing again. When the installation gets so far, the same thing happens again; in effect, an endless loop that goes no where.
    I ended up using an evaluation version of Ontrack HDD Checker to check the hard drive. Basically Ontrack does four different checks. The hard drive fails one of the tests. Of course I fully expected it to fail the surface integrity test, but passed that and failed the file system integrity test. I was left with two ways to go.

    1) Put in a new hard drive and install XP from scratch, or
    2) Format the existing hard drive, then let Ontrack do its thing again and then if it passed all four tests, install XP from scratch.

    By the way, has my friend been doing backups. Don't be silly; of course he hasn't!!!
    I then thought, "How the hell am I going to get his data off the hard drive?" It just so happens that I have an external USB CD recorder. It also happens that his laptop is modern enough that it will boot from CD. With me so far? What I was thinking of doing is making a bootable CD which I can put in the inbuilt CD-ROM to boot the system up with. One problem, however, is that I wouldn't be able to get USB support for my CD recorder. So the question is, "Does anyone out there know how or where I can get a software product that I can put on CD that not only boots his laptop, but also loads the necessary drivers that will make the laptop's USB ports available?" Of course, it would also have to support writing to the CD. Sounds like a big ask to me, but who knows? Of course, what would be good would be a Windows operating system on CD, however that's not likely due to the different types of hardware.

    It would not have been a problem is it was a desktop computer as I could've simple put his HDD in my desktop computer, configured it to be the next logical drive and voila. Unfortunately, laptops are not nearly so flexible.
  2. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    Try PowerQuest Drive Image 7. It comes with a bootable CD, that boots into a Windows XP based environment, and allows access to networks and usb devices etc.

    You can find it here ...

    Drive Image 7 - Details
  3. MattG

    MattG TS Rookie Posts: 140

    ERD Commander 2003 works like that too. Giving you access to networks and USB so you can backup your files if the system is dead.
  4. Nic

    Nic TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,549

    ERD Commander 2003 costs $200, which is $130 more than Drive Image 7. It does provide a windows desktop, whereas drive image 7 only allows you to image your drive, though you can access individual files from that image when you boot into a windows OS and use the supplied image viewer.

    ERD Commander 2003 would be the prefered choice if file access is all you want, and you don't mind spending the $200 to buy it. You can get it here ...

    ERD Commander 2003
  5. Alexia

    Alexia TS Rookie

    Hi, I could need some of your help. I have, kind of, the same problem with mwcomp. But the thing is that my Xp cd installed an other OS. So I have 2 XP's on my laptop. I need to take all my documents but it says "access denied". Do you know how can I manage this??
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    .. Or you can buy a $5.00 2.5" to 3.5" laptop hard drive adapter and plug in the laptop hard drive into a desktop system.. Then you can copy your files with no problem.
  7. Alexia

    Alexia TS Rookie

    Is there an other way??
  8. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    You probably need to take ownership of that directory.
    Right-click the directory, select Security tab, then Advanced, Owner, change owner to whoever you are (you need to have administrative rights). If you have XP Home, well, I don't know if it has a Security tab. I guess home users don't need security :approve:
  9. Alexia

    Alexia TS Rookie

    I have already done that...but there is no security tab...only general, sharing and customize...I wnated to do that....
  10. mwcomp

    mwcomp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    Thanks for all the replies. I like the idea of the 2.5" to 3.5" adaptor. I do have one question though - I gather that the adaptor accepts the data cable and the power plug. I've probably answered my own question. Sorry.

    It appears that Alexia needs more help now than I do at the moment. This may be helpful but then again maybe not. Have you actually logged in as Administrator; not just someone with administrator rights. Sometimes, depending on what you want to do, having administrator rights is not quite enough. You actually need to be logged in as Administrator.

    Thanks guys/gals.

    ATTENTION: Sysop - If this should be in a new thread let me know and I'll repeat the problem again as a new thread.

    I have another question. What keeps creating files by the name of Perlib_PerfData_xxx.dat in my Windows\Temp directory - XP Pro SP1? The 'xxx' appears to be a hex number. My PC also appears to make this type of file every time its booted. They are 16KB in length and I have got so many of them it's absolutely ridiculous. I have also had a look in the registry and they appear to be generated by Microsoft.NET, but I am not absolutely sure of this. Personally I don't see the purpose of them as I don't even use the service, if it is Microsoft.NET. Or is this just big brother getting bigger?:)
  11. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    the program you are looking for is PEBuilder. you can build a bootable CD with a self contained OS that you can then exxtract the contents of the hard drive by burning what you need onto CD's (PE Builder allows you to add nero to it.)

  12. mwcomp

    mwcomp TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 16

    PEBuilder reads like it's just what I need. I have already downloaded it and will put it together. It will take time to do, but it's certainly one answer to my problem.

    Having said that, and thankyou "iss", I think what would solve all my problems is software that actually reads the data on the hard drive, formats that particular section of the hard disk and then dumps the previously read data back to where it came from. The software would also have to be able to fix files that all being reported with an incorrect file size, etc... similar to scandisk. I could perhaps use scandisk but am not sure whether I would have to use the "formatting" software first or scandisk. Logic tells me that I should probably use the "formatting" software first and if every thing appears to be ok, then, and only then, run Scandisk.

    Additionally, there must be some freeware somewhere out there that does the formatting part.

    Any comments please would be greatly appreciated.
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