Any PC guys here? (off topic)

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by EngineerKyle, May 31, 2007.

  1. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    I really need a nickel’s worth of free advice. My hard drive on my PC will not boot up. I’m pretty sure the system files are bad, and there is a lot of work on there that is very valuable and I need to save it.

    I’m pretty sure the operating system is Windows XP. I don’t have the original system disk but I do have access to other computers.

    From my DOS days I remember a command that went like this C:format a:/s

    That command would make a disk bootable. I’m thinking is I had such a disk with the 2 system files on it I could restart my computer with that, then see about backing up crucial data and Hard Drive replacement or other things.

    While that work on today’s computers? Is there a similar command to make a “boot disk”?

    Thanks in advance

    Kyle Engelmann
  2. rogerw

    rogerw Active Member

    Kyle I have a program that I used to save a hard drive that had losts it fat (file allocation table) table. It was unbootable and unreadable before I used the program. I had tons of mp3's on it and got them all back. I will look for it tonight when I get home from work ,about 5:30 central time. You could make a floppy like you said on another computer with the /s system files and it will boot off of that. try it and see if it works. and oh ya your origanal question I try to be politically correct:mrgreen:
  3. CRed

    CRed Member

    Try this program.....

    UBCD for Windows

    A friend of mine says it works well.

  4. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    An update...
    I picked up two CPU's from IT that have a Pentium 550? and Windows XP. I'm sure I can get the bad hard drive in one of them as a slave and see if I can recover anything. I was also informed of a freeware program called "The Ultimate Bootable CD" I downloaded it, and that looks pretty good too. I think I'll try that before I get out the screwdriver.
    If all that doesn't work, it's off to Best Buy for a whole new 'puter.
    The file I'll miss the most is my Excel program, which I actually gave to a couple interested guys here. I'm gonna look them up and see if they still have it. I think I'll get a data "stick" for future backups. Of course, many pictures, movies and such and backed up (if you will) on the Internet.
    It's not too bad. Weekend project. THANKS for all the ideas!
  5. Renovo PPR

    Renovo PPR Just a Farmer

    I'm sorry to hear about your problem and wish you the best of luck. I can only add for those that might not do this is that having a back up of your important data is important. It is easy to do with either CD's, DVD's or an external hard drive.

    While having photos stored through an internet service or site is good you still run the risk of them loosing the data or worst case they go out of business.

    Good luck and I wish you the best.
  6. CRed

    CRed Member

    If you look at my first post I actually left you a link to UBCD,apparently it works really well.Good luck with your HD,I lost one a while back with tons of family photos and movies,it was upsetting to say the least.Oh,and don't buy Maxtors!There quality is not good and they have a bad reputation in the computer forum circuit.

  7. IAIS 604

    IAIS 604 Member

    Having TWO hard drives go down this year at work, I now back up all my important files on my USB drive/key.
  8. JR&Son

    JR&Son Member

    Lots of PC experience here............
    XP should be in NTSF not FAT (really FAT 32)
    Your best bet is to Slave it to a different HDD and pull the info off.
    Keep in mind Western Digitals can be very finicky about how you slave them. Some must be set up on Cable Select, others on Slave, and then others will not work with anything but Western Digitals no matter what you try. Im assuming IDE here. That said you can run the bad HDD as the Primary on the 2nd IDE channel, but it will REALLY slow down the transfer.
    Couple of options:
    #1 Small HDD NTSF formatted to explore the bad HDD (works 100% of the time)
    #2 Attempt a Recovery Console repair (works 80% of the time)
    #3 Reload the OS (works 90% of the time)
    #4 Format with a product like Partition Magic and keep the HDD(95% of the time)
    #5 Replace the HDD and salvage data (80% of the time)

    I can advise on any of these
    I can help on #1 and #4
    Got a couple of small HDDs I can ship with Windoze 2000 Pro, will tell you that the HDD is OK but corrupt
    #4 I can send you a copy of Partition Magic

    Let me know
  9. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member

    Well Gentlemen,

    I’ve got the bad drive in the good computer and made it a slave. Good news and bad news; I’ve got a D:\ prompt… however; I get a CYCLIC REDUNDANCY CHECK when I try to access it.

    I did a CHKDSK/F D: command at the DOS prompt and got about 32 unreadable file records segments, 2 deleted orphan files (276, 5296) and this ominous message.


    Do you all have any more suggestions before I deep six it?

    Thanks in advance,

  10. wickman

    wickman Member

    I do Microsoft Vista technical support as a profession errrrr occupation.
    You didn't really define "won't boot up" , so a couple questions
    1. have you tried booting the system into safemode by tapping F8 on bootup?

    2. Are you getting and post beeps when computer turns on ?

    3. Have you tried booting the computer with keyboard mouse and video plugged in and thats it, also to safemode

    4.Are you getting error messages

    5. Is the computer booting up as far as seeing the windows bar

    6. In the bios is the harddrive recognized

    7. Can you boot to the menu that gives you option to goto safemode safemode with networking etc

    So depending on the answers to above you may be able to run a chkdsk /r from the recovery console clicking R for repair once you boot to the winxp os cd
    -can do a dirty install of winxp which basicly means installing winxp and calling the directory name windows2 this would give you option to then get in remove data and do proper install
    - the OS dosn't actually have to be ntfs it can be fat32 if fdisk was used at some time to create an active partion fat32 would be created
    -and of course if bios does't recognize the harddrive you may in fact have a bad cable or unseated cable which basicly you would simply pull the cable off the motherboard and put it back on and do the same on the hard drive making sure pin 1 matches up to the red or sometimes blue stripe on the ide cable:mrgreen:

    Oh yes C:format a:/s actually will simply format your drive from say a floppy if thats what the format command is being run from and /s will transfer system files so C:format a:/s
    would actually format a floppy and make it bootable
  11. EngineerKyle

    EngineerKyle Member


    Not really, I'm up and running. I could not recover the software myself, but I've got this new PC up and running at 90% of what I had. It was a project. You don't realize (at least, I didn't realize,) how much software is unique to a particular PC)

    I had to find downloads for printer drivers and Zoombrowser EX. I still haven't got the right version on the later. All the preferences had to be reselected, etc.

    It was quite a pain.[​IMG]

    I found older versions of my excel programs in sent email, and I can recode them from there. My IT guys will take the bad hard drive and see what they can get off of it.

    THANKS for the tips and concern guys!
  12. Ralph

    Ralph's for fun!

    PC guys? Shucks I thought this thread was about something else! :)
    Seriously Kyle, glad to hear you're having some success with the computer. Best wishes for the rest!
  13. wickman

    wickman Member

    Can't computers be soooooooooooooooo much fun :mrgreen: Glad to here you have a puter up and running.
    Tip of the day back, up your data, dvd's are super cheap. What I do is this , I save everything in one main folder off the C drive ( not in windows documents or anyplace that has to do with windows ) so I have one folder called TRAINS then in that folder I have alllllllllllll my sub folders and this is done for 2 simple reasons, 1 , if I want to do a quick back up all I have to do is select the train folder and everything else thats in the sub folders gets selected with it , quick and simple off it goes to a dvd.
    2.if I end up with a corrupt OS and can't get windows to boot up for some strange reason, I can still perform whats called a dirty install and this wouldn't effect any of my personal stuff thats stored at location TRAINS.
    Also keep in mind that in your emails you can save them individually to your personal folder so if the email software crashes you don't loose any emails.
    So enough of computers for one day its the weekend , days off, wifes not around , and I'm off to the train room, errrrrrrrrrrr after I cut the grass:wave:

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