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My Vista Stopped Booting, Cannot See Hdd In Gparted?


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#1 jonbey

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 04:22 PM

I rebooted my PC today and it failed with a Grub error (15 or 17, cannot remember). I attempted to Repair Windows but that failed.

I booted from an Unbuntu disk and cannot even see the HDD.

My main HDD had 3 partitions, Vista, Data and Programs.

I have a 2nd HDD which I use to backup data (although been slack!). This I can see in Ubuntu and Gparted.

Any ideas what I can do to at least be able to view and extract data from my main drive?

Needless to say, very stressed and concerned. Cannot beleive the whole drive just died completely, but a big worry right now as I have not backed up in a while.

#2 iamlost

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 06:08 PM

The one good thing about this experience is that you will never ever forget the odd number rule - found at webdev rules 1, 3, 5, 7... - back up your data frequently, regularly, multiply.

I know you tried an alternate boot disk but to dot the i's and cross the t's I'd also try it as secondary HD in another computer. If this fails you are into treacherous or expensive ground.

There are two basic failure reasons:
* mechanical. Listen carefully; if you can hear a clicking sound it likely means it is trying to read but something is physically broken. Go directly to a data recovery expert with hundreds to thousands of dollars depending on damage with no guarantees.

* logical, i.e. corrupt file system. Check out data recovery sites as several (used to) offer free demo diagnostics tools.
Note: typically means hooking it to working computer as secondary HD. And enough room on primary HD for all the data on the damaged HD.
If the free diagnostic leans to probable recovery then pay out some money (used to be 50-200$ range) for data rescue/recovery software.
Note: this is not a fast process, it typically takes days of operation. The old rule of thumb was an hour a GB, may be better these days.
Note: do not expect the results to look like your old file structure (unless things have changed) as typical behaviour is that of a data dump grouping similar file extensions together.
Note: the file names are likely to have been changed to some alphanumeric sequence variation so you will have to open, check content, rename each individually (again, unless things have changed).

If you simply send out the drive to a professional data recovery firm I'd expect the cost to be at least a thousand dollars (usually varies by damage and amount of data).

#3 jonbey

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 06:18 PM

Not looking good then.

One forum suggests testdisk, but although I have downloaded an iso file so far been unable to copy it. Need to fire up another pc for that.

No idea what data I have lost. Problably mostly emails, although also some photos.

Got some backups on the backup drive, which I cen see ok in gparted.

Such a bummer. There is a local computer chap, maybe if I mention testdisk etc he may be able to help out on a bettee rate

#4 DonnaFontenot

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 06:52 PM

Put the drive in the freezer for a while. It might make the thing work just long enough to get data off of it. Here's some extra info on how to do it - http://lifehacker.co...r-freezer-redux

#5 jonbey

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Posted 24 July 2011 - 07:18 PM

Have run testdisk and still no drive visible.

Maybe an overheating issue! Lets hope so.

The only hope I have for now is to buy a new HDD and install Windows and start afresh, and just wonder what I have lost... the only positive is in October 2010 I did reinstall Windows and saved all important data to a 2nd HDD. And I have been lazy with photography and most photos since then sitting on cameras. Emails is the biggy, but for a while all important mails are bounced to gmail too, so should be OK.

Um..... maybe the only thing not backed up are my ebooks !!!!! backside.
Oh well.



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