WinXP in restart loop

By bsaber ยท 8 replies
Oct 11, 2005
  1. Hi,

    My cousin was defragging his computer when there was a power outage. When the power came back on, he turned on his computer but it would restart itself about 3 to 4 seconds into the WinXP bootup screen. When we tried to boot up in safe mode it would do the same thing. We eventually gave up on trying to salvage the data on his drive and just reformat. However, when we booted up from the Windows XP installation CD it couldn't detect the hard drive and its partitions with the error message: Unknown disk.

    The VIAO Restore Utility is still operational (its a Sony Viao) which means that the hidden partition where the restore is kept is still readable. So my question is there a way to recover the data on his hard drive before reformatting using the Viao Restore Utility? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 353

    If you had formatted the user portion of the drive I doubt that data recovery is doable unless you get some software just for the task.
    If you have yet to format, the data is probably still there. I would get the drive maker's utility and check the drive for errors as it may contain some significant ones. Also I would check bios to see if the drive's getting noticed or not.
  3. bsaber

    bsaber TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    The hard drive is detected by the BIOS and as of yet we still haven't reformatted. We're hoping to be able to access our files so that we may back them up. And we don't have any utilities from the drive maker. I'm pretty sure the hard drive itself doesn't have any problems because wouldn't that interfere with the hidden restore partition which is located on the same physical drive? Thanks your help, Blakhart.
  4. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

  5. bsaber

    bsaber TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Hi iss,

    Actually that was one of the first things we tried but the hard drive doesn't get reconized. Any more ideas? Thanks for the assistance.
  6. Blakhart

    Blakhart TS Rookie Posts: 353

    I think your partition got zapped as that's the one that was in use at the time, not the restore. Data on that partition alone was probably mangled. I would run the drive makers ute and see what it says.
  7. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    if the drive isnt recognized even under bart PE then you arent likely to be able to retrieve the data without sending it to a professional data recovery outfit.
  8. Eric Legge

    Eric Legge TS Rookie Posts: 132

    Try installing the drive in another computer with the same file system (FAT32 or NTFS) and then burn the data files to CD/DVDs.
  9. bsaber

    bsaber TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 49

    Thanks for all the help everyone. We still haven't been able to extract the data off the drive but he's now willing to just reformat. We don't have any other computers that support SATA so thats out of the question. Thanks for the suggestions though.
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