Trying to fix friend HD. Invalid Sys Disk yay, need advice! - Techist - Tech Forum

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Old 08-22-2006, 10:13 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Trying to fix friend HD. Invalid Sys Disk yay, need advice!

Okay here's the deal:

He said one day it stopped working. It's an older IBM 8.4GB IDE hard disk. It doesn't run an OS and was just a secondary disk for files like family photos etc, which he's trying to recover off the thing.

He said he could see the physical drive when it was hooked up to his PC, but he couldn't access it. So he brought it to me and for the last hour I've been trying to work on it some. Here's what happens though!

I get an invalid system disk error everytime my PC boots up. It's setup as a slave drive to one of my controllers and my OS HD won't even let me boot up. My BIOS picks up the IBM drive as a slave on my primary channel, but the PC cannot boot period and keeps saying invalid system disk. Only thing I can do left is to reformat it and dump it.

What I wanted to do though was go in and C: Prompt the thing with a CHKDSK /r command and try to fix it in case it had invalid sectors or anything which was causing the issue, but now I can't even boot up my PC with his drive even as a secondary. Is there anything I can do to get into the **** thing and try to grab what files off of it that I can??? I tried going safe mod, but F8 does nothing at splash screen...any advice? Any way to get to the C: prompt and scan the disk? I can't boot it itself sadly because there's no OS on it...but anything else I can do besides what I already know/have tried? Thanks all!

-Chris
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:29 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Yea you go old school and get yourself a DOS disk and run chkdsk in dos. um hard ware does have a lifespan tho i havent seen an 8 gig drive since like 1995 i think lol. it might just be dead, there is only so many hours a hard drive can spin and your friend might have reached that. but use dos.
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Old 08-22-2006, 10:45 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm trying to find DOS but I cant find it anywhere lol. I'm gonna hafta put an A drive in my PC also if I wanna use that lol. I dont even run an A drive currently hahaha. I got a spare though, will take 2 secs to put in heh.
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Old 08-22-2006, 01:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You can make a DOS boot CD, too. That will work just as well. Actually, you can even use the Windows CD, I think, if you use the repair console.

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Old 08-23-2006, 11:14 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Well I got my hands on a win98 boot disk and am using DOS to scandisk.exe the hard drive, however it keeps getting stuck at a certain bad sector early on and cant get past it. It fixed a few, at least 2 or 3 early on, then at about 3% and 60k clusters in the check it freezes up and can't fix any more issues. I assume this drive is beyond saving now perhaps...I may try to use it once more, and boot my system up with it slaved if it will let me, but if not should I just crap the drive out and tell the guy, no can do to save his stuff? Or I can reccommend professional tools help to save his info, but thats really expensive...unless I can "find" that software somehow if anyone knows anything on that.

Thanks guys!
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Old 08-24-2006, 07:37 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Boot to the repair console using the XP CD, run the command "chkdisk /f" once thats complete run the command "fixboot [drive]" then the command "bootcfg /rebuild".
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Old 08-24-2006, 08:23 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Well finally just found out.

The drive is a FAT16 file system. My guess is XP cannot read anything less than FAT32 anymore heh. I'm going to try putting the disk in an old machine I LUCKILY have here, just need to add a PSU to her and hopefully if I slave up the drive, the PC will pick it up since it's a 98 windows version I'm pretty sure and that way I can snag the stuff off of it.

I did the commands in XP R console like you said above and I think it helped some because the disk before said unrecoverable problem, now it lets me see the size of it etc. and I can access it on DOS, so that's good news. I'll just hafta test the file system in my older mahcine I luckily got like 2 days ago for free haha.

Thanks for all the help so far guys, I may yet save his stuff!
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