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windows won'y load

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bgreenage

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Post Posted October 28th, 2018, 5:29 am

I need to get data off a HDD that won't boot. I have a win 7 install disk but the only way I can install it will wipe the data. I was wondering if I used an HDD to USB 2.0 adapter could I then get the data off the HDD? Then install windows using the install disk. Does that sound feasible?

LIMPET235
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Post Posted October 28th, 2018, 5:35 am

Hi,
Do you have access to an external HDD enclosure or a Docking Station?
Both use USB to connect to your PC.
If so, use either one to read the data & copy whatever you want from it.
Ancient Amateur Astronomer
Win-7-HP/IntelĀ® DualCore-2.0GHz/500G HDD/4 Gig Ram/550Watt PSU/350WattUPS/Firefox-20.0-57.0-61.0-62.0/T-bird-2.0.0.24/SnagIt-v10.0.1/MWP-7.11.0.
(Always choose the "Custom" Install.)

tanstaafl
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Post Posted October 28th, 2018, 3:52 pm

I assume you had been booting off of this hard disk and its still installed in the PC. Another possibility would be to boot a Linux rescue disk (either CD/DVD based or via a USB flash drive) and then use its utilities to copy the files from the hard disk to (another) USB flash drive. Many of the rescue disks have utilities to solve problems with the boot track. I had to use that once when I was configured to dual boot XP and Linux, and Windows suddenly stopped booting.

You may have to change your system BIOS settings to let it boot from a CVD or USB flash drive. That's mainly a question of knowing what key (its usually manufacturer specific) to press when powering up, the hard disk is not involved.

http://www.linuxandubuntu.com/home/top- ... rescue-cds (various system rescue disks)
https://www.lifewire.com/bios-setup-uti ... ms-2624463 (System BIOS keys)

Also take a look at https://www.howtogeek.com/howto/32523/h ... -problems/ (how to repair windows boot loader problems).

bgreenage

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Post Posted November 5th, 2018, 7:45 am

LIMPET235 wrote:Hi,
Do you have access to an external HDD enclosure or a Docking Station?
Both use USB to connect to your PC.
If so, use either one to read the data & copy whatever you want from it.


I'm going to buy one from Amazon. It's listed as USB 3.0. I believe the USB ports on my machine are 2.0. Does it matter?

LIMPET235
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Post Posted November 5th, 2018, 7:50 am

No.
It should still function O.K.
Ancient Amateur Astronomer
Win-7-HP/IntelĀ® DualCore-2.0GHz/500G HDD/4 Gig Ram/550Watt PSU/350WattUPS/Firefox-20.0-57.0-61.0-62.0/T-bird-2.0.0.24/SnagIt-v10.0.1/MWP-7.11.0.
(Always choose the "Custom" Install.)

lasardo
 
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Post Posted November 5th, 2018, 10:59 am

When you get the old hard drive in the enclosure and plugged into a working computer, some folders may be hidden and some may have a different owner. If you log in on the working computer to the administrator account, and set it to show hidden files, then as you access the enclosure drive all you will have to do if you enter a blocked folder is click yes to a prompt that says "do you want to take ownership." Note - this modifies every file in the folder, so if you do it for a big folder like Windows, it can take a long time, maybe an hour. It is best to only do it on the folders you really need.

It sounds like you are planning to do this - let's call the hard drive in your broken computer drive A. You are putting drive A in an enclosure, plugging it into a working computer, copying your data over. Then you plan to put drive A back in the broken computer and install windows, hoping that will fix the problem and not delete all your data, but if it does delete it you have copied it somewhere.
I don't know what "broke" the computer in the first place - virus, bad shutdown procedure, human error, some kind of hardware error with either the drive or the computer. But, a safer way to proceed if money is not a huge issue is buy a new hard drive that will fit in your broken computer, call it drive B - I suggest buying an SSD instead of a hard drive. Also, enclosures are usually pretty cheap, depending on what you do you may need 2 so buy 2. Start the same way, put drive A in an enclosure, plug it into working computer, copy your obvious data over. In addition, if the working computer has enough free space, it is great to make an "image" of drive A into a file on the working computer. This requires special software. But then, instead of putting drive A back in to the broken computer, do a clean install on your SSD drive B in that computer - if your install disk will allow it. Then, copy your data over, but keep drive A in a safe place and as you find out that there is some data you forgot to copy, such as things like the Firefox bookmarks which are hidden in %appdata% , you can go back to that drive and get them. You can see why this is safer since at no point are you wiping or installing over drive A. Also, if your broken computer does have a hardware problem, as you are clean installing on a new drive you will know the problem is not software or the drive and you will be sure the cause of the problem.

bgreenage

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Post Posted November 6th, 2018, 7:50 am

So I was able to access the HDD.It opened no problem showing the files. So they all appear to still be there and intact. The problem is access. I was able to open the "users folder" There were no files in the local and default folders. I was denied access to the This PC\G\Users\Robert. "you don't have permission." I was directed through a series of layers ending up at "advanced security settings." It was there that I became lost as to what to do next. Concerned that the wrong move could lock me out forever I backed my way out. Any ideas?
Last edited by bgreenage on November 14th, 2018, 5:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

bgreenage

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Post Posted November 13th, 2018, 10:18 am

So I was able to access the HDD.It opened no problem showing the files. So they all appear to still be there and intact. The problem is access. I was able to open the "users folder" There were no files in the local and default folders. I was denied access to the This PC\G\Users\Robert. "you don't have permission." I was directed through a series of layers ending up at "advanced security settings." It was there that I became lost as to what to do next. Concerned that the wrong move could lock me out forever I backed my way out. Any ideas?

lasardo
 
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Post Posted November 18th, 2018, 6:54 am

Hopefully you have already done so but if you have not copied your files yet, google for the title or exact error message in quotes to try to find a page preferably with screenshots of what to do to copy other user's files. To copy some files from an external drive especially one that came from another computer in Windows GUI you need to be running as administrator. Alternative methods may be better. Booting from a Linux CD, especially one made specially as a "rescue" linux cd perhaps Gparted live might be easier? Or maybe run an administrator level command prompt or powershell to run the copy commands. Or maybe some kind of copy utility like a robocopy GUI such as eazycopy.

To extend the discussion of cloning before- when cloning be VERY careful what you pick as source and destination.
COMPUTER -> connected by USB to 2 enclosures, one with the old hard drive with your data, one with a new blank drive at least as large. Run a clone from the drive with data to the blank drive if you want immediate access to your files, or make an image if you are optimistic that your repair process will work. Many programs work well for clone or image but the most reliable I have found is Macrium Reflect , it has a free variant.

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