Need Help, Recovering Data

#1
Hi everyone, I have a family member who can’t boot into windows anymore, and they have very important data that needs to be recovered. I have had something like this happen before to my computer it wouldn’t boot into windows, im not sure if it’s the same problem I haven’t looked at it yet. Well anyway all I did was put an old hdd in it as the master and the one that wouldn’t boot I set as the slave, and basically I just pulled the data off it by using the old hdd. That’s what I suggested that we do with theirs, but I have been thinking about trying to use a gpart boot cd, and if I am not mistaken xp makes unpartionted space of about 8 mb, so I was wondering if I could just make that a secondary partion, shrink the current partion like 2 gigs and then put that on the 8 mb one then put a fresh copy of xp on the newly created partion. Then all I should be able to do is go into my computer see the old partion and move the data off into the new one, or should I just stick to putting an old hard drive in it then moving the data? Could something go wrong with gpart and make me lose everything? Sorry if this doesnt make any sense.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#2
Generally speaking, yes.
The only exception to this is if the hard drive is physically corrupt. Hard Drives have a very big failure rate, anywhere from 1 to 16% I believe the last study was.

Basically, if this happened as a result of a software error - he should be good to go with the steps you outlined above. However, if this HD is physically damaged, it is HIGHLY NOT RECOMMENDED to install or write ANYTHING on it - you *MUST* attach it to another pc or add another HD to the system (as you did) and recover the data manually.

Another option you haven't considered is taking your family member's HD, sticking it as a slave on another PC, copying the data over to the other HD, formatting the unbootable HD, and copying the data back to it.
 

mqudsi

Mostly Harmless
Staff member
#3
Damn, forgot to say: Welcome to NeoSmart Technologies, Tech777 :grinning: