my impatience got me

By nick ·
Yep, my impatience got me. Rather then waiting for a logical shutdown (so very, very slow), I depressed the ON button to turn off my PC (eMachines T-1440). Next morning, I can no longer boot up Windows XP Pro. It keeps cycling through the attempted bootup. I've tried Safe Mode, Last Known ... etc. many times but it just cycles through the motion with no bootup.

After trying to Repair Windows, it says Windows is too corrupted and if I re-install Windows, it must re-format partition C:. Before I do that, is there a way to save the data on C Could I put on another external drive then use that for Windows then get the data off the non-bootable C: drive?

By the way, about 4 months ago, I turned off the auto save feature of my external Iomega 80GB drive and was only one day away from turning it back on. I'll buy a second external drive if I must because I'd like to save the data on my existing 80GB extrenal drive. Looks like my timing is terrible.

I don't have a second PC available.

Your help will be much appreciated.

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If you don't have a 2nd PC, how are you posting?...

by OldER Mycroft In reply to my impatience got me

You don't necessarily have to have a PERSONAL 2nd PC - you just need access to a 2nd PC.

However, all may not be lost.

You could download the Ultimate Boot CD [ http://ubcd.sourceforge.net/download.html ], burn it to CD, then boot from it.

It contains a myriad of disk repair utilities that would be a more sensible approach prior to reformatting and reinstalling.

If you still require to copy data from your hard drive you'll need to remove it from your system, insert it into a disk-caddy and use it as an external drive on another PC.

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Afterthought . . .

by OldER Mycroft In reply to my impatience got me

By the way, it's not necessarily true to say that you have to reformat if you need to reinstall.

There is another option: you can re-build the existing installation, but you would need to be talked through that option.

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What about trying a In Place Install?

by OH Smeg Moderator In reply to my impatience got me


This will rebuild the Windows install without a worry. Of course it relies on having a valid Partition on the HDD which may have been corrupted with the Hard Shut Down.

Now if you can perform a In Place Install there are a few things that you need to know as you Do Not have a current Backup. You most likely will need to take ownership of your Files by following the directions here


If you where using Windows File Encryption you have basically lost your data unless you fit another HDD and remove the current one and fit it to a USB Caddy then you can recover the Encryption Key by following the directions here


As for booting off an external HDD this is only possible if your current hardware supports this option but even still for safety I would recommend removing the existing internal HDD and fitting it to a USB Caddy and only plugging it in when it is needed to recover your data.

If the Partition Information has been damaged you can try to rebuild the Partition or format and recover the data but both are time consuming and expensive a decent Data Recovery Utility is Spin Rite If you are interested but honestly it's far better to have a Backup in place so that you don't need to waste time attempting to recover everything.



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