Lost Hard Drive Disaster!

  roger 13:35 06 Nov 2005

Desktop working ok. It then hung. Rebooted but then had message " corruption of file \WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\CONFIG\SYSTEM - you can attempt to repair by selecting "r" at first window in Windows Setup from original installation CD-ROM".

Re-booted into Setup and the first window. Hit "r" and got mesage saying "Setup did not find any hard drives installed in your computer. Make sure any hard drives are powered on and properly connectd to your system and that any disc related hardware configuration is correct. This may involve running a manufacturer-supplied diagnostic software or setup programme. Setup cannot continue".

It would be very serious if I lost my data in a re-format of the existing HD or if it has failed.

Does anyone know if there are any disaster recovery programmes that I can use or companies that specialise in recovery of data in these circumstances that I can go to so that I can gete my data back, even if I need a new HD.

Any help and suggestions will be much appreciated.


  Batch 13:55 06 Nov 2005

Loads of services will try and recover your data, but they ain't cheap. Some do a no data / no fee service.

click here

click here

click here

But if your data is so valuable, why don't you have back-ups???

The underlying problem might just be a loose cable, so your first step might be to check out the basics (get someone in to do this if you are not confident of doing it yourself, or take to a PC shop).

  PaulB2005 16:35 06 Nov 2005

Can you put the disk into a friends pc as a slave or an exernal caddy and see if you can retrieve the data from there?

Does the BIOS recognise the presence of the drive?

  Pidder 16:46 06 Nov 2005

Just to add to what PaulB2005 said I had a slave hard drive which stopped working but putting it into an external caddy XP recognised it and I can now access all my files on it {touch wood}. Possibly the separate power supply to the external caddy helped.

  woodchip 16:53 06 Nov 2005

Read click here

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 17:09 06 Nov 2005

First check the drive is showing in BIOS.

Boot the PC does it show on the first screen (POST)?

You could enter the BIOS (message on first screen) and check if it shows up in there.

IF not check that the IDE cables to the HDD is tight at the HDD and the motherboard.

  roger 22:17 06 Nov 2005

Thanks all for your thoughts.

I have been into the BIOS as suggested by Fruit Bat and it IS there! So that is a good.

However I have just downloaded a Unility Recovery Programme called PCBeginner at click here and it has identified that on top of corruption to \windows\system32\config\system "PCBeginner could not start windows because the following file is missing <Windows Root>\System32\hal.dll"

So it seems to me that if I can get these files re-loaded I may be ok.

Any further thoughts anyone!



  PaulB2005 07:59 07 Nov 2005
  Danoh 08:42 07 Nov 2005

Do you have Serial ATA (SATA) hard drives and an older version of XP installation/recovery CD without the SATA drivers included? If so, and you have the SATA drivers on a separate floppy disk, you can include them during the XP setup routine by hitting F6. Then your HDD will be seen by XP and you can progress to R for recovery of XP ~ your data should not be affected by XP recovery.

  WhiteTruckMan 13:24 07 Nov 2005

Have you tried safe mode? followed by system restore?

or, (and not everyone will agree with this) can you boot to dos via a floppy or cd, then try a scandisk-but under no circumstances try a dos defrag. always assuming you arent running ntfs on the hdd.


  Splodge 15:54 07 Nov 2005

Have you tried "Search and Recover 3"? You can see the details at click here . I have it and it will recover most files.
You do need to transfer the saved files to another drive though.

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