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CRASHED! A topic for SEVERE and immediate Hardware and Operating System FAILURES. We will try to get you up again. NOT for Optimization questions!


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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 18th April, 2011, 10:25 PM
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how do i recover stuff from my hard drive?

A pre-post apology is in order- "I'm sorry."
I am a completely hopeless computer user...I know how to use them when they work like they are supposed to- but if something breaks down I have no clue. I have tried to find the answer to my problem- and I do know that there are lots of answers to be found 'out there', but I can't make heads or tails out of them. Each answer seems to be missing an aspect or something...
ANYWAY- I found your forum and have browsed through it and find your candor refreshing so I summoned the courage to ask what I am sure has been asked before...
Have a desktop PC running Windows XP- has sat unused for about half a year until I needed to update my resume....
turned the thing on- all was fine- retrieved what I needed- shut it down properly...or so I thought.
the next day I thought perhaps I should go back in and see if there was anything else useful on there- there's a couple months of unbacked up photos, some really old photos from childhood that I had spent lots of time to scan in, some correspondence from my husband's small handyman business...
well- when I went to turn it back on the next day it said something about not having shut down properly and was 'stuck' on that error message. so i hard shut it down, then restarted an I got error messages- I don't remember now exactly- something about MBR missing or some such.
In my limited ability to understand what I needed to do I think I did stumble onto the idea of buying a hard drive enclosure, putting the old hard drive into it, and plugging it in to another working computer.
I did all that- and in My Computer I can see the hard drive- 2 of the actually- one 160 GB which says it is empty- another one 7GB which I can see stuff on but it isn't "my" stuff...
I think I read somewhere in my web surfing that I have to 'own' these files before the new computer can recognize them- I tried to follow instructions that I found to no avail.
before i just give up on this all together i thought i would try one more plea directly, rather than reading answers given to someone else.
again- i am sorry- i know it's a problem others have solved before, and i know i have not done well explaining myself...but can anyone help?
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Old 18th April, 2011, 10:46 PM
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Sounds like the Master Boot Record (MBR) has been lost/corrupted.

Master boot record - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The MBR contains the disk's partitioning information - that information helps Windows to find files on the drive.

Most likely your data is still there on the disk, even if you can't see it right now.

If there is critical data on the disk, I'd suggest the best thing would be to pay a professional to recover it for you.

If you want someone to lead you through that, then best wait for someone else to reply, because I have not recovered data for many years.
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Old 19th April, 2011, 03:31 AM
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If you know the 'Administrator' password and have the original XP disc - not a recovery disc, you can fix it in about 2min.

1. Boot to the CD
2. Choose R (from memory) for recovery
3. Choose the OS - press '1' (without quotes) if that is the only one available
4. enter the Administrator password
5. type 'fixmbr' (without quotes) and press enter
6. press 'y' and then enter
7. reboot once done, and if it is just the MBR you should be good to go.

If this happened during a standard shutdown, it may be symptomatic of a coming general HDD failure. I would take all data required off it, then use the platters as coasters.

If this doesn't work, depending on how much you value the data, look at taking it to some data recovery specialists. It isn't worth trying to learn on your own data that isn't backed up.
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Last edited by noob; 19th April, 2011 at 03:33 AM.
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Old 21st April, 2011, 06:50 PM
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still stuck

thank you for your answers...unfortunately XP came pre-loaded-so I do NOT have the disks...is there any way to get this thing to be read from my other computer using the enclosure I bought?
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Old 21st April, 2011, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reitbauer3 View Post
is there any way to get this thing to be read from my other computer using the enclosure I bought?
Here's an .iso of just the recovery console.

Recovery Console

Burn it to disc, and boot from following noob's instructions.
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Old 24th April, 2011, 09:13 PM
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If there's data on the drive that's crucial to have, the professional recovery outfits will get it for you. Last time I checked, it cost about $700-from the least expensive outfit.
Hope you can get to it yourself!
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Old 2nd January, 2012, 10:20 PM
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Hope Reitbauer3 recovered what he/she really needed.
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