Can't access broken Vista OS drive as an external drive on XP

Discussion in 'Windows Vista Hardware' started by mynameisstolen, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Hi.
    My notebook hard drive (Vista Home) was failing (I botched the install
    of SP1) and I was unable to backup my files before it wouldn't boot

    I hoped I could use the drive externally on my XP P4 desktop to
    transfer the files over. XP sees the drive as D & E (main partition and
    recovery partition). But when I try to access the drive, it just runs. I
    guess its trying to boot the disk. I am wondering what steps I need to
    take to be able to get the files off the disk.

    1. How to remove the MBR or otherwise stop the drive from trying to
    boot Vista. I thought about using jumpers to make it a slave. But I have
    no idea where they would go or if I could use them.

    2. Can I use another method to get the files?

    I am strictly software and not really too familiar with the inner
    workings of the notebook components. This is my 1st one after many many

    Anything that could potentially delete the user files is not an option
    (pictures, videos, etc.) Okay if the system files don't work anymore. I
    have recovery disks to format another hard drive.

    Thanks so much.

    I posted this in General, but I guess this is the appropriate forum. I
    am going to delete that other post.
    mynameisstolen, Aug 22, 2008
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  2. mynameisstolen

    N1K Guest

    You can fix the MBR, by booting from Vista DVD and choosing repair option.
    There you'll find the option to fix the MBR.

    Can you try to connect the disk to another Vista machine, where you could
    possibly have more luck?
    N1K, Aug 22, 2008
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  3. I don't have the Vista Install DVD, I only have the system recovery
    disks from HP. As far as I know you can't do a repair from the recovery

    I do not have access to another Vista machine. I have a P4 XP machine
    and a 98 iMac running Tiger (kids machine).
    mynameisstolen, Aug 22, 2008
  4. mynameisstolen

    Malke Guest

    I very much doubt that the laptop drive is trying to boot Vista since Vista
    will not boot from an external USB drive. Therefore, the drive has already
    failed. The only way to get data off it now will be to send it to a
    professional data recovery like Drive Savers (my preference) or Seagate
    Data Recovery. General prices run from $500USD on up. Drive Savers
    recovered all the data on a failed laptop drive for one of my clients and
    it cost $2,700. He thought it was worth the money; only you know what your
    data is worth. I understand that some insurance companies are now covering
    data recovery charges so check with yours.

    Drive Savers -
    Seagate Data Recovery Services -

    Malke, Aug 22, 2008
  5. The tech at HP Support told me that it was probably trying to boot and
    would have to set it as a slave. Pfft

    I am going to make some cookies and deal with this later. Dropping of
    the drive at California Data Recovery later this afternoon
    mynameisstolen, Aug 22, 2008
  6. mynameisstolen

    R. C. White Guest

    Hi, mynameisstolen.

    Is that you, mariaceleste?

    Did you see my response in vista.general?

    Too bad I don't live in California anymore. Those cookies sound like A Good
    Thing! ;<)

    R. C. White, CPA
    San Marcos, TX

    Microsoft Windows MVP
    (Running Windows Live Mail 2008 in Vista Ultimate x64 SP1)
    R. C. White, Aug 22, 2008
  7. Yes RC thanks. I got the message in the other thread. I had posted that
    through google newsgroups then I found the vistax64 site. I thought I
    deleted the other thread but it didn't actually delete it. The cookies
    were good. Zucchini chocolate chip. Anything to get the kids to each
    their veggies, right.

    I am going to try that software solution. My friend suggested SpinRite
    as well. Will post on the outcome.
    mynameisstolen, Aug 23, 2008
  8. I tried to use SpinRite and I got an "Unable to read drive sector 0

    So I am not sure what to do next. The IT guy at my office said the onl
    option is to take it to a data recovery service

    mynameisstolen, Aug 27, 2008
  9. mynameisstolen

    Malke Guest

    The IT person is correct. Your hard drive has died and the only way to get
    the data is by sending the drive to a professional data recovery company.

    Some insurance companies cover the cost so it is worthwhile to check with

    Malke, Aug 27, 2008
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