Trying to recover data from hdd w/ corrupt OS and busted CDROM

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  • dfinkle
    • Oct 2001
    • 67
    • 3.0.7

    Computer Chat Trying to recover data from hdd w/ corrupt OS and busted CDROM

    Hi all,
    Well, I once again find myself in one of those situations that could only happen to me. My girlfriend and I each have and use our own laptops, I use a dell she has a Compaq Presario V4000. Within two weeks of one another, both laptops began experiencing the Windows XP boot loop problem. Her Compaq was no longer covered by the warranty and tech support would not help us. My dell was, and they simply said that reformatting the hard drive was the only solution.

    I was dismayed because we both have years worth of pictures, etc. on our computers that we really really don't want to lose, but were stupid enough never to have backed up.

    Thinking about this problem, I theorized that since the hard drive itself was still good just the OS would not boot, I could get the laptop running using Knoppix, backup the files to an external hard drive, then continue with the reformatting without worrying about data loss. I tried this on my dell and to my complete surprise, this worked perfectly! Then came the kicker.

    The Compaq's DVD-RW drive never worked. For the longest time, it was never recognized in the device manager or anything. I'm not sure if it was a software/driver issue or a mechanical issue, but since all we did with the computer was surf the internet, we ignored it and never bothered to fix it. Now that I need to start Knoppix off of the CDROM, however, I'm screwed. The computer doesn't have a floppy disk drive and I haven't had any success booting from any USB devices, either flash drives or plug-in cd-rom drives.

    I'm at a complete loss here. I don't want to reformat the drive and lose the data, nor do I want to shell out several hundred bucks for a data recovery service. Does anyone have any suggestions? I would really appreciate any thoughts. Thanks so much.
    New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!
  • Dean C
    Senior Member
    • Mar 2002
    • 4571
    • 3.5.x

    Get a 2.5" to 3.5" convertor cable. And then get an IDE/SATA to USB cable. Whether it's IDE or SATA will depend on your 2.5" to 3.5" cable. You can probaby get everything you need for under $20 off ebay. Then you can just plug it in to another PC as an external hard-drive via USB and you should be good to go and get all your data off of it. One thing to note is that if you stored anything in My Documents or My Pictures or My Music etc., you'll need to plug the hard-drive directly into a working PC (as slave ofc so it doesn't boot off of it) and then boot into windows using safe mode to get the data out of those folders, as they are locked to your user account.
    Dean Clatworthy - Web Developer/Designer


    • dfinkle
      • Oct 2001
      • 67
      • 3.0.7

      I'll give it a try, thanks!!
      New Jerseyans- Beat Your Traffic Ticket!!


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