Can't access HDD to grab data for reinstall

  Bargee 13:44 05 Dec 2009


My main internet PC (XP) has crashed & won't start - it keeps recycling through the boot sequence via the "start Windows normaly" option followed by a nano second of blue screen error page before starting to boot again. It seems obvious to me (unless you know better!) that a reinstall is probably the only solution.

To that end, I've hooked up the affected Maxtor HDD to another XP PC as slave in order to grab all favourites, mail messages, address book etc. off it, but no matter how I configure the jumpers on it, I can't get access & I get the error message "error performing inpage operation".

Any ideas? Can I simply reinstall XP over the top or will I lose those emails, addresses etc.?

  Graphicool1 14:00 05 Dec 2009

You could try booting into safe mode. As it starts to boot, keep tapping either the 'F8' or 'F5'key. If it lets you in firstly try a 'System Restore'

If that doesn't sort it you can run checkdisk.
Click 'My Computer'
Right click 'Local Disk (C:)'
Under the heading 'Error Checking'
Click 'Check Now'
click the box...
'Automatically fix file system errors'
Click start. It will say it can't until you reboot.
Say OK and reboot.

  bremner 14:16 05 Dec 2009

Re connected the HDD as a slave.

When the drive is connected I assume Windows does see it and give it a drive letter.

The error is an indication of a physical problem with the drive click here

  Bargee 14:25 05 Dec 2009

Thanks, Graphicool1, but I tried safe mode when I first got the start up error page, none of the listed options lets me get windows started.

I am fairly sure that an MBR corruption is the problem & that total reformat & reinstall is my simplest option & right now if I could access the HDD somehow for the data, I would be happy.

  PalaeoBill 14:34 05 Dec 2009

Found this in a google trawl. It may be of some use:

click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 14:46 05 Dec 2009

I've hooked up the affected Maxtor HDD to another XP PC as slave

CAn you see it in M computer but cannot get at the data?

if so Start - Run - type (the letter of the drive): chkdsk /f

e.g. E: chkdsk /f

press OK

this should fix any errors on the drive and allow you to access your data it may even be bootable again.

  Bargee 16:06 05 Dec 2009

Thank you one & all!

Fruit Bat, your suggestion didn't work in my particular case, but it put me in the ball park because PalaeoBill's link gave me the version that did work for my system. It was:

Run, type "cmd", click OK, At prompt type "chkdsk (drive): /F" In my case "chkdsk K: /F".

It checked & fixed the drive & I was able to access the files, but best of all the Drive booted when reinstalled & now works normally, so, no reinstall required. Brilliant!

Once again, a big thanks to all of you who give advice & help in the forums. Thank goodness you're out there.


  Graphicool1 16:17 05 Dec 2009

"Can I simply reinstall XP over the top or will I lose those emails, addresses etc"

Yes you can reinstall Windows over Windows, without reformatting. How much data would be saved or lost is debatable. I did it and didn't lose anything, but it took a long while getting it back the way it was. As some of the system files were copied again. Still it's surely worth a shot, the worst scenario is that you may lose some stuff. But is you reformat you'll definately lose everything.
I know which way I would jump. This is of course presupposing that Fruit Bat's /\0/\ solution doesn't work.

  Graphicool1 16:20 05 Dec 2009

Glad to hear you got it sorted and didn't have to try my last suggestion :¬)

  Bargee 17:13 05 Dec 2009

Thanks for that last suggestion, its something I'll try to remember for the future as an "if all else fails" possibility.


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