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Old 08-31-2005, 04:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Default Windows system file utility?

Hello all, first time on this forum.

I am a desktop support tech, and it doesn't happen often at my job (and when it does, it's usually easier to slave the HDD and just back the data up), but sometimes we get a PC that can't boot because a system file is either corrupt or has been deleted. We've often tried instructions from the internet about using the OS disk to copy the files, etc, but it hardly ever works out.

I've found a lot of utilities that if your computer doesn't boot, you can use the utility as a boot disk to recover data from the unbootable HDD and move it to another drive (like an external HDD, etc.). But I haven't seen one that specializes in recovering/restoring system files. Do you know of such a utility? Even better, is there one that recovers data and can recover/restore system files so the PC can boot?

The reason that this has become an issue is because more of the high level users in my firm are working from home more and are requesting us to fix their home PCs. Since it's not the firm's computer, slaving the drive, backing the data and reimaging the computer (or replacing with a standby computer) isn't an option. And traveling with a desktop so we can slave the bad drive is difficult if we have to travel by subway cause the user wants us out there now. Also, a lot of the time, the user has already thrown away their OEM OS disk and the firm doesn't want to have to pay for an additional OS license. To sum it up, it would be best for everybody involved if we are able to travel light, CDs, external storage device, etc., get to our destination, get the PC to boot, run some virus/malware scans, degrag all of that good stuff and walk away.

If you know of such a utility or have any advice on best ways to deal with this problem, it would be greatly appreciated it. Recovery console from XP works for us maybe 20% of the time, but a lot of the users have older OS for their home computers.


Solo600 is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 04:43 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2003
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somethign you might want to look into is WinPE. is used for working on systems from a CD with full system access. it's something you get with an eterprise lisenced version of XP and is pretty easy to configure. It gives you access to all the devises, as long as no special drivers are needed and a CMD based shell. It's something we use a lot when trying to fix problems like that. Usually, I'll have a USB thumb drive or external HDD with me, and then boot up with WinPE and replace the files from the drive. Also, running Checkdisk is the biggest savior for this kind of stuff. One of the most common problems I see is a dying HDD, which I imagine is something you will be seeing more and more. WinPE is inteded for setting up Preinstall configurations for enterprise systems, but works in both HOme and Pro.

Another thing to look at is winternals Erd Commander
as it's one of the best programs I have ever used for restoring systems. Alot of the time you still have to follow MS processes for some of this stuff, but these tools can get you there a lot easier.

Good luck

Inaris is offline  
Old 08-31-2005, 09:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3

Thanks for the tip on WinPE, Inaris. I read about WinPE and it's plugins during my initial search. I'll take a look at ERD Commander too.

Thanks again.
Solo600 is offline  
Old 09-01-2005, 01:12 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 11,861

you can use a linux knoppix cd to transfer file too.
The Ultimate Hard Drive Utility PowerMax 4.23. (It now has the ability to clean a Boot Sector virus on the quick erase option.)
The best browser Netscape 8
Have you accidently delete something? Look here (trial. the better one) and here(free)
EricB is offline  
Old 09-01-2005, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3

Thanks EricB, I'll take a look at that one too.
Solo600 is offline  
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