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Computer meltdown: local expertise?

Home computer has given up, starting with Blue Screen Of Death and now refusing to boot at all. (Almost four years old, Windows XP.)

I guess we'll just have to get a new one, but wondered if anyone has tips for how to retrieve data from the old hard disk? Especially if there is reliable expertise not too far from Leuven...


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Nov. 4th, 2012 03:45 pm (UTC)
Local? Not hardly.

Retrieving data? Have you access to another, different computer & an external drive (USB hard disk or memory key) big enough to store all the stuff you might have to recover?
Nov. 4th, 2012 04:26 pm (UTC)
Unless it's your hard disk that has given up the ghost, your computer might not be as dead as you think. If you have a computer shop, it should be able to extract your data, reformat the drive (I suspect that just a part of it is corrupted, which is a bit holding the important boot-up code) and put the old data back. Whether it's cost-efficient to do so is more of a debate. Mending it is greener. Buying a new one is better for the economy!

Nov. 4th, 2012 04:51 pm (UTC)
You're OK using linux aren't you?. If so make yourself a Ubuntu live disk (do you have a CD/DVD burner at work?). Boot the PC from that. Once in copy all personal files from your (hopefully not dead) HDD onto an external USB drive to retrieve your files.
Nov. 4th, 2012 04:56 pm (UTC)
Once you done that, as peterbirks says it's probably just a dodgy boot sector on the HDD.

You have two options:

1. buy a big, new and fast HDD and reinstall windows and your software.

2. bite the bullet and upgrade your PC to new hardware/ buy new PC. We reckon 5 years is a good uselife for a PC, so 4 years is a marginal call on replacing vs upgrading.

Copy your old files back onto whatever option you chose.
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:35 pm (UTC)
When you turn it on does it ask you to FI F11 or F12? Did you password protect you adminstration? You should be able to run scan disc from there and order the computer to do safe mode or recovery mode.

This will be the black screen before it goes to windows. Turn on the computer and go to F11 or F12 which ever lets you by pass windows or give you a prompt. Type in "Run" or Indext and you should get a list of commands that you can run. Do a one line or they will just wihiz by. Type in the Command for C: Recovery-- or whatever it is in your program.

Edited at 2012-11-04 05:39 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:46 pm (UTC)
Also did you create a start up disc or did it come with software? Dig out your Window's XP disc/cd if you have it and try starting with disc in drive.


Edited at 2012-11-04 05:52 pm (UTC)
Nov. 4th, 2012 05:56 pm (UTC)
There is someone who might help you out. His name is Paul Eeckhout, (website: here). he's fixed my previous laptops on multiple occasions, especially when I had a similar problem to deal with as yours. That is, even if it cannot be fixed as such, he is very good at retrieving data. Coincidence or not, I'll have to contact him soonish because my laptop battery is dead. I get a message when I boot up saying that it needs to be replaced so that's pretty serious then. But yeah, my laptop is now almost 3 years old & batteries are HP's weakness I've been told.

Anyhoo, he lives pretty near me (Trolieberg, that's inbetween Kessel-Lo & Boven-Lo) Very small house, not a lot of parking space, FYI.

Edited at 2012-11-04 05:57 pm (UTC)
Nov. 5th, 2012 07:26 am (UTC)
This is not helpful, but my top tip is "of course you were backing up daily, weren't you?" And one of the reasons I am (still) evangelical about Macs is that this process of rescuing the data from dead hard drives is now trivial for Mac users and still, so far as I can tell, not trivial for everyone else. Possible, even easy, but not trivial - so people still don't do it. It's sort of the computer equivalent of flossing.

Otherwise, the classic approach is to stick the hard drive from your old machine into an external drive housing and grab it that way.

When you get your new machine, also get a large external HD and set up a backup solution and use it.
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