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Old 07-11-2005, 04:07 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Unable to boot from Serial ATA HD that was working fine before

I have a SATA HD (that when working was my boot drive with XP Home on it) that will not boot. When I plug it into my computer (also tried on a friend's) the PC will not boot, even if the boot drive is NOT the corrupted one. In other words, I have a new HD that will boot, but the mere presence of the corrupted HD causes XP to fail to boot.

So, since SATA drives are hot-swappable, we tried booting in XP without the drive connected, then connecting it, then in the Device Manager hitting the "Scan for Hardware Changes" button. The Device Manager recognizes the drive, but after maybe 30 seconds, XP freezes. This is the case for both my own and my friend's PC. So, I created a bootable diskette with FDISK on it, and FDISK was able to recognize both my new, functioning HD and the old corrupted one, though I don't know enough about FDISK to tell which is which, but it could read 2 HDs, so I know one of them is the bad one.

Anyway, my question is what should I try next to see if I can repair the drive to recover some of my data? Is there a diskette I can use to force XP to boot with the bad HD connected? How can I run CheckDisk on a drive I cannot get XP to even recognize without freezing up?

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!

Thanks!!!!
Brian
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Old 07-11-2005, 04:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Plug in the corrupted sata drive into sata 0. Use a windows 98se or ME floppy boot disk containing fdisk and format.exe. If it is an ntfs formated sata, simply delete the non-dos partition. try to reinstall windows on the sata hd. if you are sucessful, you can put the sata in as a slave in sata 1 slot and run a data recovery program like getdataback www.runtime.org/gdb.htm recovery and you will be able to recovery most of your data even if you re-install windows. If you cannot reinstall windows you can still try the above program to recover data if the corrupted drive will be seen as a slave without crashing windows. If not, the drive will have to be sent out to professional data recovery if you want critical data back. If you do not have data on the drive that is critical...buy a new drive and forget about it.
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:26 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks Rico! Your post along with some advice I got from a friend got me thinking (his advice was to try attaching the drive to a PC running Linux): try running good but old DOS on the machine and see what info I could get out of it. I got a program called NFTS4DOS and it creates a boot disk that gives you the basic DOS environment for NFTS formatted drives. Now I can view my drive and copy files over to my other HD. The only problem is whenever I type DIR, DOS crashes at the line where it usually gives you the amount of space left on the HD. Of course, I can just use DIR/B, and DOS lists the directory without crashing, so it's good. The only thing is DOS takes forever to move large files and for some reason copy *.* only copies the first file in a directory, not all of them.

Any of my critical files, I'll move over this way, then I'm going to try your advice Rico and see if I can get everything back with a reinstall. Thanks again!
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Old 07-12-2005, 01:32 PM   #4 (permalink)
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*.* will only copy the files visible in that root. You need to use the call directory command using the entire path: ex:

C:\Dos\inventory\files

copy *.* in C:\dos
copy *.* in C:\dos\inventory
copy *.* in C:\dos\inventory\files
these are just examples but I think you see what is needed: Wow, running old dos copy commands..how nostalgic!!
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