Retrieving data from a crashed laptop

  s_whitie 13:24 22 Oct 2008

Hi I have an Advent 7102 and it crashed on me last night. I am having to order recovery disks from "the tech guys" (£37.50!!!) but before I do anything I need to know what will happen to the data on my laptop. I presume that it will be lost unless I try to retrieve it now in some way.

Can anyone help? pc world want £99 to do it!!

  FreeCell 14:29 22 Oct 2008

If you can get a copy of linux (eg Ubuntu) on a cd-rom you can run it from the cd. This then gives you access to your hard disc and you can (hopefully) recover any of the data you have on it. On my old machine Ubuntu supports USB stick so straightforward to copy data off.

click here

Select desktop version. Copy ISO file to CD-ROM.

  Pineman100 17:55 22 Oct 2008

FreeCell's solution should work if the hard drive still works - in other words, if you've suffered a "soft" crash.

But if it's a head crash on the hard drive and there's physical damage, I'm afraid you may be stuffed.

  woodchip 18:39 22 Oct 2008

You could take the Hard Drive out and fit it in a USB caddy connect it to another Computer XP most likely and Run Check disc on the Drive. You may not need recovery CD's. click here

or this if you do not like ebay click here

  woodchip 18:41 22 Oct 2008

PS if you get it working, invest your money on Acronis True Image and make a Image of you drive when its in good working order. As you can load this also to a new bigger hard drive if the old one fails

  s_whitie 21:06 22 Oct 2008

Thanks for the replies so far:

I'm no expert when it coms to this sort of thing. This is the problem I have. When I turn the pc on I get the following options:

Safe Mode
Safe Mode with Networking
Safe Mode with Command Prompt
Last Known Good Configeration
Start Windows Normally

I have tried all options and get the following:

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

You can attempt to repair this file by starting Windows Setup using the original Setup CD-ROM.
Select 'r' at the first screen to start repair

Pressing f10 on start up has no effect

so.......... 2 things ten

1. what options do I have to retrieve the data
2. do I need the recovery disks to sort my laptop out?


  woodchip 22:59 22 Oct 2008

You should be able to get your data of it by using the caddy I pointed to as its only the operating system that as a fault. One you have that you can try to sort your drive out

  dth 11:21 23 Oct 2008

If you visit W H Smiths - you will come across a few magazines with Linux discs (usually cost about £5 or £6). You can then use one of these to run your computer.

If you set this to run from the DVD it will run Linux without installing anything actually on your laptop. You should then be able to access your files and copy these over to a usb stick.

  s_whitie 12:47 23 Oct 2008

Woodchip - Thanks for your help so far. I have ordered the usb caddy as suggested. I'll be back here when it/recovery disks arrive if I get any trouble.


  s_whitie 06:31 27 Oct 2008

The above has arrived and I have linked the hdd up to my desktop.

I can access all my files apart from "my documents". I am getting the following message:

F:\Documents and Settings\Rachel is not accessible

Access is denied

Can anyone help?

  woodchip 09:20 27 Oct 2008

You have to change the privileges, I think its a right click Properties then check the changes you need to make so you can get at them

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