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Need Help To Get Data Back And Computer Booting Normally Again

#1 User is offline   jay123 Icon

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    Posted 20 September 2009 - 06:19 PM

    I have a Dell Windows XP laptop that gets stuck at the blinking cursor screen after loading windows xp logo. I tried Dell Utilities to check the hard drive within bios and it said it working normally. I have created the UBCD4Win CD and also ran the check disk utilities from there and it said it was ok. I suspect that my hard drive is ok but my boot record is somehow corrupt (please advise if it could be something else or let me know how to find out what is wrong). Now, I'm trying to figure what steps I need to recover the data and/or getting my computer working again as it did (with all settings, files, programs, etc.) before it crashed. I just bought an external hard drive to use for this process if necessary.

    Any suggestions on which programs or utilities in UBCD4Win to use to help me in this process? Please help in recommending steps in order.

    Thanks
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    #2 User is offline   ReadOnly Icon

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      Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:53 PM

      If you can use UBCD4Win to read the contents of the laptop's hard drive, then make a backup of your data.

      If you suspect the boot sector is corrupt, boot into the windows recovery console and type
      fixboot c:
      .
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      #3 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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        Posted 20 September 2009 - 11:08 PM

        I really don't feel comfortable advising how to fix your problem based on the limited information you've given. You'll get better and more accurate help/advice if you give more details about the problem, events leading up to the problem, what you've tried so far, etc...

        Does the system boot into safe mode?
        Have you tried last known good config?
        Have you enabled boot logging and looked in ntbtlog.txt to see where it's hanging?
        Did this happen just after a lightning strike?
        Did this happen just after installing a new video card or printer?
        Have you had problems with malware lately?
        Can you access your files from UBCD4Win? If so then back them up first.
        Can TestDisk access your files? If so then use it to back them up.
        Where's Waldo?
        If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

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        #4 User is offline   jay123 Icon

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          Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:33 AM

          Sorry for leaving out the information that you needed..but here it is:

          Does the system boot into safe mode?
          No. I tried hitting F8 repeatedly to no avail upon system start up. I tried several times as I read this may be a timing issue. Only options available is F2 and F12 (which is BIOS and dell uilities).

          Have you tried last known good config?
          Same as above. Couldn't get this option to come up.

          Have you enabled boot logging and looked in ntbtlog.txt to see where it's hanging?
          No I haven't. How do I enable boot logging and how/ where do I look/ find in ntbtlog.txt.

          Did this happen just after a lightning strike? Did this happen just after installing a new video card or printer?
          I can only think of 2 things that could have happened that lead to this problem-
          1.) I downloaded and installed a new program called Orbit downloader.
          2.) I used a program called Glary's Utilities to securely (dod method) to delete some pdf files on my desktop.
          These 2 were done at almost the same time (without rebooting) before the computer crashed (hanging blinking cursor screen)

          Have you had problems with malware lately?
          No. I have Kapersky Internet Security running on my computer at the time. I run the virus scanner several times a week with no threat found before this happened. When my dell computer could not boot, I downloaded and created a bootable Panda Antivirus Program CD from a working computer. It scanned the non booting computer and found no problems. I also ran AntiVir using UBCD4Win antivirus tools and also found nothing.

          Can you access your files from UBCD4Win? If so then back them up first.
          Yes. I can access my files from UBCD4Win. Which program should I use to back up my files? Should I backup, image (Drive Image XML, etc.), or copy (unstoppable copier, etc.) to the external hard drive?

          Can TestDisk access your files? If so then use it to back them up.
          I think so. I ran Test Disk and analyzed current partition, did a quick search of the partition, and pressed "p" to list the files. The files are listed if this what you are asking about. How do I use Test Disk to back up my data? I am little confused on the last questions and suggestions since I am able to access my files from UBCD4Win and from TestDisk. Which should I use first to back up my data? Should I use this program to back up the data or should i backup, image or copy using another program first (based on your previous question). Not sure which approach and steps I should use first. What else should I do after backing up the data successfully using a program you recommended.

          Please let me know if you need to know anything else or if I have left something out. Thanks for your help.
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          #5 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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            Posted 21 September 2009 - 01:38 AM

            Testdisk is not needed since you can access your files from UBCD4Win.

            Before doing anything more, I would use Unstoppable Copier to copy all files and folders to your external drive and then if the information is important enough, also make a backup image with Drive Image XML.

            The next thing I would do is restore the registry to a previous state using Registry Restore Wizard. Does it boot now? If not then boot UBCD4Win again and run RegResWiz again so you can revert the changes.

            If it still won't boot at this point then I'd try a repair install with your xp cd.

            The "Enable Boot Log" option is in the F8 boot menu that you can't seem to access. The log is then found at %Windows%\ntbtlog.txt
            If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

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            #6 User is offline   bingo Icon

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              Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:31 AM

              i got similar problem as Jay123 and also trying to find solutions about 2 weeks but still no luck ...

              My problem is as below, my laptop is IBM T42 using Hitachi 60G harddisk. I have three logic drives, C (bootable System drive), D and E.
              Using TestDisk, choose "analyze" ,it can display all three logic drives. By click "p" (list files), for C drive, it shows "can not open filesystem, filesystem seems damaged", for drive D and E, it is fine. it can list all the files/directories, which are correct. So i think my data drive "D" and "E" should be fine. my System Drive "C" should be damaged. what i expect now is to copy the data in D and E to other external storage, either USB drive or mobile hard disk. but i don't know how ??

              pcuser says it can directly copy from ubcd4win, it is not really ture. for my case, i can see the three logic drive from ubcd4win, but all of them have a "unknown" label and the size of the drive is 1M, which is incorrect.

              Any suggestion is much appreciated!
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              #7 User is offline   rdsok Icon

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                Posted 21 September 2009 - 12:15 PM

                bingo, please start your own topic describing your issues instead of hijacking someone elses.
                Plan A is always more effective when the device you are working on understands that Plan B involves either a large hammer or screwdriver....
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                #8 User is offline   Lord Necron Icon

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                  Posted 21 September 2009 - 08:53 PM

                  View PostReadOnly, on 20 September 2009 - 09:53 PM, said:

                  If you suspect the boot sector is corrupt, boot into the windows recovery console and type
                  fixboot c:
                  .
                  It is a Dell, so doing this may mess with the hidden recovery partition working properly. I know fixmbr can. http://www.goodells.net/dellrestore/


                  View Postpcuser, on 21 September 2009 - 01:38 AM, said:

                  If it still won't boot at this point then I'd try a repair install with your xp cd.
                  Make sure to try the non-destuctive repair first, might save you some pain. XP's No-Reformat, Nondestructive Total-Rebuild Option
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                  #9 User is offline   jay123 Icon

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                    Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:35 PM

                    Thank you everybody, especially pcuser, for their helpful recommendations. I just got back home so I'll work on the non booting computer for a little while and follow pcuser's recommendation in backing up my data first. Then, I'll take on the other steps and post my findings when I do. By the way, I forgot to mention that did perform a chkdsk/ r (the only thing I did) before I downloaded and ran UBCD4Win. If I recalled, it said it recovered 2 errors but it still didn't boot up. Also, the external WD hard drive came with Acronis True Image WD edition bootable disk. Should I use the Acronis program instead to image my non working hard drive or use Drive Image XML instead? I'll go ahead and backup my data using Unstoppable Copier as suggested by pcuser first. Then I'll image it next but before doing so I want to know which is better. Thanks.
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                    #10 User is offline   pcuser Icon

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                      Posted 22 September 2009 - 12:14 AM

                      Quote

                      Should I use the Acronis program instead to image my non working hard drive or use Drive Image XML instead?

                      Use both if you have enough free space and the data's important enough.
                      If you're afraid of taking any chances then the chances are great that you will never learn anything

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