Advice needed before buying Easy Recovery Essentials


I'm new to the forum, I found the Neosmart website as I was looking for an alternative to leaving my machine at the repair shop, where the technician had told me that the diagnostics and rescuing the data would cost around 230 euros, and fixing or replacing the hard drive an additional 150.
My Toshiba Satellite worked well for the past six years, no hardware problems whatsoever. It came with Vista, I immediately downgraded it to Win Xp. Last December I took out the recovery disk with Win 7 upgrade, which I had asked Toshiba for, and upgraded because the support for Win Xp had ended. At the time of upgrading to Win7, the machine notified me that the old Win XP would be kept on the disk and marked "old". I was able to make a "clean installation" (there were 2 disks, one for new installation, the other for the upgrade, depending on the serial number of the machine). I don't know if this is relevant, but after installing Win 7, I noticed that I was unable to set a system restore point. That did not concern me much at the time, as I regularly backed up my data and was content to reinstall the OS if something went wrong. I was ill for the past month, so did not pay as much attention to backing up and the proverbial disaster struck. Win 7 actually worked well until one month ago I had to reinstall from DVD after the machine had difficulty starting. For the past few days however, the machine will not boot into Windows at all. After I press the power button, the Toshiba logo appears, disappears, the Windows logo appears, it looks as if the machine is half a minute or less away from completing the start-up, but the screen gets black afterwards and the cursor is visible on the screen. The machine makes no odd noises, such as the hd clicking.
I tried to boot into safe mode with F8 to no avail. Then went into setup, F2 and F12, selected the default option, booting from DVD (there is no option in BIOS to change from UEFI to CSM; I found out on the Toshiba forums website that this "feature" is peculiar to models sold on the EU market). On the screen that came up after pressing F8 after that, there were two options, one to start Windows normally, which did not work, and the other one to repair the system, which also did not work. After connecting an external optical drive and putting the disk in it, however, the "Advanced boot options" appeared on the screen, although none of those options worked - the machine would start, the Toshiba logo screen would appear, then the Windows logo and the little flashy bar showing Windows starting, but the process ended up with a black screen, sometimes with the white cursor on it.
I am hoping that I have found the solution with Easy Recovery Essentials. I would be grateful for your input - will this solve the problem or not, and the steps to go about it. I'm not a techie, all I know about computing I have picked up, bits and pieces, as I learned how to use the machine. Will Easy Recovery Essentials work? Is my hard drive dead or are the Windows files corrupted? Might there be a problem with the Bios (I don't recall having updated it since buying the machine, do not know how to do it) and if so, would this prevent easy Recovery Essentials from solving my problem?

All your advice will be gratefully received.


If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
In your case I doubt EasyRE would help. I would spend that 230€ or get a new machine. It sounds to me that some hardware is worn out, probably the hard drive, that can happen. I've replaced 2 in my big tower. But you could try a clean install of 7 using that upgrade disk, there's a tutorial here: Clean Install with a Upgrade Windows 7 Version - Windows 7 Help Forums but I hope your upgrade is a Windows 7 SP1 disk as you'll need to be at SP1 in order to receive updates from Microsoft via Windows Updates afterwards. Any questions about that should be posted in that thread.
the machine notified me that the old Win XP would be kept on the disk and marked "old"
That only means when upgrading you will find a "Windows Old" folder on your drive after it's all done. That's in case you need to reverse the process, but is not a complete operating system in of itself. If you decide to keep the upgraded Windows then you can do an Extended Disk Cleanup which will give you the option of deleting those old files, tutorial here: Disk Cleanup : Extended - Windows 7 Help Forums
Hi Peter,

Many thanks for responding. Your response gave me the push to be a bit more enterprising. Thanks.
As I am writing this, I am transferring data from the Satellite to a USB drive. I booted the machine with a Knoppix iso file burned on a DVD - surprised at how fast the transfer is, faster than in Windows. I came across three options during my search: SATA to USB adapter to transfer data, Easy Recovery Essentials, and Linux on a DVD, which proved to be the fastest and cheapest solution. I have probably been lucky, too, as I didn't quite know what I was doing.
I realise that working six years without a problem is a long time indeed for a laptop, and I appreciate it and am grateful that it has accompanied me through many hours at the desk in my "home office". I am going to get a replacement hard disk (and install it myself, now that I have overcome the fear of doing something I have never done before! or I'll just have it there for peace of mind, so as not to be unprepared for the the next time this happens). It could be a Windows problem or a failing hard drive. I'm now motivated to learn and find out :smile:

As a friend of mine used to say, we all keep each other's wings up. She was right.
Thanks, and all best.


If you're going through hell, keep going
Staff member
That's very courageous of you and to be applauded. Yes it just takes that once getting over the fear of delving into the innards and then one feels good about replacing parts.
In my case 2 HDD's, 1 case fan and 2 optical drives. Of course with a laptop one has to be more careful as everything is so compact, but I remember years ago I added extra memory to a small Netbook (which I've since ditched as it was so slow), but that was quite intricate, to put it mildly.