Questions

Windows XP installation/ data issues

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Windows XP installation/ data issues

rafezetter
Hi all - I've had a look around on the forums (although most of it I didnt understand) and tried a solution, but that didn't solve it... so here goes..

My "normal" installation of XP kept on getting BSOD during loading - I couldnt catch the error to see what it was. After several attempts to fix it - I decided to do a reinstall without formatting the partition as I'm desperate not to lose the stuff in there including irreplaceable photo's files etc (yes yes I know...). Ok so now a new windows XP runs as a basic build, BUT I can't see any of the data from the previous install. The partition this install is in says it has 256gb out of 260gb free so it's not in here (or is it just not being recognised..?), the other partition at first wasn't even registering, after going into control panel and the storage part of admin services I could see the partition but it hasn't been assigned a letter, and just says 205gb of free space.

However..when I boot up I'm still being asked which version of Xp I want to load and when I try the other one I get the "....hal.dll" error. When I tried to do the recovery from the XP disk it only gave me one (1) choice instead of the two (2) I'm seeing on bootup, so I don't know if I'm able to do the fix that way as I can't tell which one is being offered.

ok all that explained I need to know two (2) things: can my previous install be fixed? OR and more importantly can the data/ files from the first install be recovered in any way? Even if it means buying a new HDD and installing a new XP onto that and sending the borken HDD away? I REALLY hope the data has not been "lost" or otherwise become irretrievable (and yes I'll backup from now on..*sigh*)

If anyone is able to help in ANY way - I'll be very very grateful, feel free to ask for email details etc if u need and I'll try to answer any question as best I can.
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    OH Smeg

    They can be really expensive but with a working HDD things are not too bad though not exactly cheap either.

    Now provided that you didn't format the Drive with the Data on it it's still there but you will not see it as you need to Take Ownership of the Files/Folders by following the directions here

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308421

    Provided that you where not using the Windows Encrypted File System that only comes with XP Pro it's straight forward. If however you where using EFS take the drive out now and find a good Data Recovery Service and tell them exactly what you have done as well as your Encryption Key. Here I'm assuming that you didn't backup the EFS Recovery Agent as you have not backed up your Data, so I'll not run through the process of Mounting the EFS Recovery Agent.

    As for the Drive that isn't mounted in Windows Open the Drive Management by Logging in as the Administrator or a User Account with Administrator Privileges then Click on Start, Control Panel, Switch the Control Panel to Classic View, then left click on Administrative Tools, Computer Management, then in the next Window to open on the Left Hand Side Disc Management. Highlight the Drive or Partition which needs to be mounted then right click on it and from the drop down Menu left click on Change Drive Letter and Paths.

    Follow the directions from there.

    You may also find things easier to Unhide Hidden Folders so Left Click on My Computer, then when the Window Opens left click on, tools, then Folder Options from the Drop Down Menu, when the next Window opens left click on View and then from the list Show Hidden Files & Folders. Apply the changes and close that window down.

    Post back if you have any problems or do not understand my directions.

    Col

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    rafezetter

    Hi Col - many many thanks for taking the time to reply - no I'm not using XP pro so no worries there. The link you sent me is about taking ownership of a file (I had a good read several times of it) yet even in safe mode/ administrator none of the old stuff is showing on the c: drive, no files folders or anything, greyed out or otherwise.

    The hidden tip for folder options I do all the time anyway, the partition I have now given a letter to as per your advice but it keeps asking me to format, and is showing as empty. I've declined the formats just in case anything is "hiding" on there.

    Already looked up about HDD data recovery and one offers for ?97 which isn't bad when compared to losing photo's of people since gone... (and again mentally kicks oneself in the backside for not backing up)...akkk

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    kentontator

    Hey check out System Rescue CD
    http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page

    you should be able to at least browse your partitions and see if the files are there.

    If they are, we can go from there.

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    rafezetter

    Hi - Ok I'm in the process of DL and making the CD from the site you suggested *fingers crossed*

    for the other posters below thanks for the replies and if this try doesn't work I'll try the other suggestions....

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    rafezetter

    Hmm ok - well that didn't seem to work - when I looked at the partition using this system restore disk, only the newly installed XP is showing on the partition, when I scanned the hdd it again only showed the files for the new XP. - No old partition, no "hidden" files. Of course I could be doing it completely wrong and missing the obvious.

    So...onto the knoppix suggestion...

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    rafezetter

    a recovery company has called and said I'm looking at possibly ?400 fee to do it... if there is any way I can avoid this (being currently between jobs) I'd like to try it but I'm kinda flying blind with these recovery programs suggested here...I'm still posting my thoughts and progression in the hope some of you might continue to post replies and suggestions.

    Either way I'd like to thank you all for the replies.

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    The last time I had to have a dead drive recovered it cost $56,000.00 but that was a dead drive and it was done in 24 Hours so it was a Rush Job. It would have been considerably cheaper if the Tax Man didn't need the data off the drive the day after it was destroyed or at least given to me after being destroyed.

    As for Data Recovery Applications I don't believe any have been suggested yet mainly because we first need to see what type of Recovery Application you require, but if this helps any my preferred Data Recovery Application a Utility from On Track costs $1,200.00 or at least it did last time I looked. If you need Forensic Type Recovery Tools they are more expensive and take a lot longer to run with no guarantee of results. But then again I suppose any Data Recovery Program has no Guarantee of getting your Data Back it's just with the more that you do the less likely you are to recover any Data and if it is Important the more it's going to cost to try to get a good result.

    But having said that On Track managed to recover 100% of the Data off a HDD that was on Colombia when it was destroyed. The Drive survived the destruction of the Space Shuttle and landed in a swamp where it was buried for a short while under water. But by the same token they failed to get any data off 2 other drives from that Space Craft.

    I hate to even consider the costs involved in that recovery but as the experiments that it was recording where not repeatable easily I suppose it was worth the cost.

    Try Knoppix and see if you can see any Partitions or Data at all before we go any further.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Try the More advanced option.

    Here you'll need a copy of Knoppix which you can get from here

    http://www.livecdlist.com/

    Knoppix is a Live Linux which runs off the CD so all you need do is make a Knoppix CD and then sett he BIOS to boot off the Optical Drive before the HDD and restart the system after inserting the Knoppix CD.

    With Knoppix running just look at the different Drives or Partitions and copy the Data off to your preferred Backup Media.

    It's just like using Windows but without the Windows OS Running.

    Post back if you are unable to read any data off the HDD's or partitions.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi Col - ty again for continued replies, I'm trying one rescue software someone suggested first - if that doesn't do it, I'll try your knoppix idea.

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    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    When you checked the second drive in Disk Management, did you assign it a letter?

    If not do so and then take ownership.

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Does it include the SP2 Service Pack?

    If not try installing SP2 for XP which you can get here

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=049c9dbe-3b8e-4f30-8245-9e368d3cdb5a

    Load SP2 if it's not already loaded and see if that helps.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi - yes the XP home retail I have does have SP2 built in, I've been wondering if I should go ahead and get all the updates SP3 etc, but I'm worried it might write new data over the old stuff that (i'm hoping, soooo HOPING) is still there, although technically I've already blown that, as I've had to reinstall a cpl of things simply to keep me going whilst I figure out / try things ...

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    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Didn't have large Disc support. They couldn't read any HDD above 137 GIG. SP2 also included some Security Updates which can affect the way that the system reads partition Information so if you have SP2 included in the Install Disc that's all you need at this point in time.

    I suggested Knoppix because it reads all Partition types where as some of the others do not. but as you've got a start I'll leave yo to go for it.

    Col

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    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi - thanks for taking the time to read and reply, I originally didn't assign a letter, tho I now have and it keeps asking me to format, which so far I have ignored and left it alone in case some data is there - it shouldn't be, but right now I'm feeling like the proverbial "longtailed cat in a room of rocking chairs" and I'm being ultra cautious until I either get results or find it's beyond hope...

  • +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    They can be really expensive but with a working HDD things are not too bad though not exactly cheap either.

    Now provided that you didn't format the Drive with the Data on it it's still there but you will not see it as you need to Take Ownership of the Files/Folders by following the directions here

    http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;308421

    Provided that you where not using the Windows Encrypted File System that only comes with XP Pro it's straight forward. If however you where using EFS take the drive out now and find a good Data Recovery Service and tell them exactly what you have done as well as your Encryption Key. Here I'm assuming that you didn't backup the EFS Recovery Agent as you have not backed up your Data, so I'll not run through the process of Mounting the EFS Recovery Agent.

    As for the Drive that isn't mounted in Windows Open the Drive Management by Logging in as the Administrator or a User Account with Administrator Privileges then Click on Start, Control Panel, Switch the Control Panel to Classic View, then left click on Administrative Tools, Computer Management, then in the next Window to open on the Left Hand Side Disc Management. Highlight the Drive or Partition which needs to be mounted then right click on it and from the drop down Menu left click on Change Drive Letter and Paths.

    Follow the directions from there.

    You may also find things easier to Unhide Hidden Folders so Left Click on My Computer, then when the Window Opens left click on, tools, then Folder Options from the Drop Down Menu, when the next Window opens left click on View and then from the list Show Hidden Files & Folders. Apply the changes and close that window down.

    Post back if you have any problems or do not understand my directions.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi Col - many many thanks for taking the time to reply - no I'm not using XP pro so no worries there. The link you sent me is about taking ownership of a file (I had a good read several times of it) yet even in safe mode/ administrator none of the old stuff is showing on the c: drive, no files folders or anything, greyed out or otherwise.

    The hidden tip for folder options I do all the time anyway, the partition I have now given a letter to as per your advice but it keeps asking me to format, and is showing as empty. I've declined the formats just in case anything is "hiding" on there.

    Already looked up about HDD data recovery and one offers for ?97 which isn't bad when compared to losing photo's of people since gone... (and again mentally kicks oneself in the backside for not backing up)...akkk

    +
    0 Votes
    kentontator

    Hey check out System Rescue CD
    http://www.sysresccd.org/Main_Page

    you should be able to at least browse your partitions and see if the files are there.

    If they are, we can go from there.

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi - Ok I'm in the process of DL and making the CD from the site you suggested *fingers crossed*

    for the other posters below thanks for the replies and if this try doesn't work I'll try the other suggestions....

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hmm ok - well that didn't seem to work - when I looked at the partition using this system restore disk, only the newly installed XP is showing on the partition, when I scanned the hdd it again only showed the files for the new XP. - No old partition, no "hidden" files. Of course I could be doing it completely wrong and missing the obvious.

    So...onto the knoppix suggestion...

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    a recovery company has called and said I'm looking at possibly ?400 fee to do it... if there is any way I can avoid this (being currently between jobs) I'd like to try it but I'm kinda flying blind with these recovery programs suggested here...I'm still posting my thoughts and progression in the hope some of you might continue to post replies and suggestions.

    Either way I'd like to thank you all for the replies.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    The last time I had to have a dead drive recovered it cost $56,000.00 but that was a dead drive and it was done in 24 Hours so it was a Rush Job. It would have been considerably cheaper if the Tax Man didn't need the data off the drive the day after it was destroyed or at least given to me after being destroyed.

    As for Data Recovery Applications I don't believe any have been suggested yet mainly because we first need to see what type of Recovery Application you require, but if this helps any my preferred Data Recovery Application a Utility from On Track costs $1,200.00 or at least it did last time I looked. If you need Forensic Type Recovery Tools they are more expensive and take a lot longer to run with no guarantee of results. But then again I suppose any Data Recovery Program has no Guarantee of getting your Data Back it's just with the more that you do the less likely you are to recover any Data and if it is Important the more it's going to cost to try to get a good result.

    But having said that On Track managed to recover 100% of the Data off a HDD that was on Colombia when it was destroyed. The Drive survived the destruction of the Space Shuttle and landed in a swamp where it was buried for a short while under water. But by the same token they failed to get any data off 2 other drives from that Space Craft.

    I hate to even consider the costs involved in that recovery but as the experiments that it was recording where not repeatable easily I suppose it was worth the cost.

    Try Knoppix and see if you can see any Partitions or Data at all before we go any further.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Try the More advanced option.

    Here you'll need a copy of Knoppix which you can get from here

    http://www.livecdlist.com/

    Knoppix is a Live Linux which runs off the CD so all you need do is make a Knoppix CD and then sett he BIOS to boot off the Optical Drive before the HDD and restart the system after inserting the Knoppix CD.

    With Knoppix running just look at the different Drives or Partitions and copy the Data off to your preferred Backup Media.

    It's just like using Windows but without the Windows OS Running.

    Post back if you are unable to read any data off the HDD's or partitions.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi Col - ty again for continued replies, I'm trying one rescue software someone suggested first - if that doesn't do it, I'll try your knoppix idea.

    +
    0 Votes
    IC-IT

    When you checked the second drive in Disk Management, did you assign it a letter?

    If not do so and then take ownership.

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Does it include the SP2 Service Pack?

    If not try installing SP2 for XP which you can get here

    http://www.microsoft.com/downloads/details.aspx?displaylang=en&FamilyID=049c9dbe-3b8e-4f30-8245-9e368d3cdb5a

    Load SP2 if it's not already loaded and see if that helps.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi - yes the XP home retail I have does have SP2 built in, I've been wondering if I should go ahead and get all the updates SP3 etc, but I'm worried it might write new data over the old stuff that (i'm hoping, soooo HOPING) is still there, although technically I've already blown that, as I've had to reinstall a cpl of things simply to keep me going whilst I figure out / try things ...

    +
    0 Votes
    OH Smeg

    Didn't have large Disc support. They couldn't read any HDD above 137 GIG. SP2 also included some Security Updates which can affect the way that the system reads partition Information so if you have SP2 included in the Install Disc that's all you need at this point in time.

    I suggested Knoppix because it reads all Partition types where as some of the others do not. but as you've got a start I'll leave yo to go for it.

    Col

    +
    0 Votes
    rafezetter

    Hi - thanks for taking the time to read and reply, I originally didn't assign a letter, tho I now have and it keeps asking me to format, which so far I have ignored and left it alone in case some data is there - it shouldn't be, but right now I'm feeling like the proverbial "longtailed cat in a room of rocking chairs" and I'm being ultra cautious until I either get results or find it's beyond hope...