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Very poorly laptop

jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Very poorly laptop

On Wednesday my laptop screen froze.......... so switched off.  When switched back on the Windows XP screen just kept "looping".  So switch off again, next time it said I had switched off and offered normal start up, last known config, or safe mode.  Tried first 2 and still looping.  So tried safe mode and got into that, so did system restore and part way through that it went to blank screen then came up "disk error cannot read"or something similar.
So took it to vets, sorry PC man in Worksop.  They tried re-installing windows but kept having this error message so surmised that hard drive was broken or something.  So offered to put in new drive, re-install windows etc and would cost by time finished about £100.
I decided to not get this fixed but since I have had it just over 4 years [since in fact my Packard Bell Desktop hard drive died after 2 yrs!] thought I would like a new laptop that had a better spec nowadays.  Not sure what to get - comtemplating a £400 Acer or going mad and getting an Apple!
My friend who has an Apple has kindly lent me this Acer for the time being.
However, whatever I get I have one major problem.  I have not backed up on to flash drive for some months [naughty - yes, I know - it is sometyhing I kept meaning to do!!] and the PC Man said that he was not able to retrieve anything from hard disk?
Is there a way I can get the data off the disk if it s broken?
Any advice very very very welcome.......................
39 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,229
Thanks: 1
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

suspect local PC man speak with forked tongue.
try booting a linux and see if you can mount the hard drive ... if so, you ought to be able to suck data off it easily
jmd
Grafter
Posts: 2,933
Thanks: 2
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

Quote from: paulh
try booting a linux and see if you can mount the hard drive ... if so, you ought to be able to suck data off it easily

thankyou but sorry can you put that in English please [like how do you "mount" hard drive!]
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
Posts: 10,647
Thanks: 206
Fixes: 9
Registered: 01-09-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

Download a .iso file - I suggest http://www.ubuntu.com/GetUbuntu/download  Grin
Burn the .iso file to CD in the appropriate format - not as a data file etc.
Boot this CD on the laptop.
(Suggest you use CD rewritable).
If it works, await further instructions.  Grin Grin

N/A

Re: Very poorly laptop

Have just chatted with jmdlp on the telephone and suggested she try a Linux live CD to retrieve the data (I read it in a computer magazine a good while ago).
I have several here so can try later. Presumably you just boot into Ubuntu, select System and the documents should be visible? Not sure about the emails though.
Community Veteran
Posts: 1,850
Registered: 11-08-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

a friend rang me today with a tale of woe concerning a four year old vaio laptop that has done something similar to jmdlp's laptop.  he's getting the c:\ prompt.  i gave instructions to attach an external drive, boot the pclinuxos livecd i left with them some time ago, haul up the konqueror file browser and decant the desired files to the external drive.
i haven't heard anything further, so i surmise that they probably succeeded.
jmdlp, if you have a desktop computer, you could take the drive out of the laptop and put it into a 2.5" caddy.  these are cheaply available on ebay and can be a handy way of rescuing files and making backups.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

If you get access to the drive using Ubuntu live cd you should be able to browse to  the email client pst file or mail profile.Save it to a usb drive. Then they can be copied into the new install of Windows at your convenience
N/A

Re: Very poorly laptop

Thank you for that Santiago. I am currently on my Linux computer but can't actually find the file that you refer to so please could you tell me exactly where to look so that when I get jmdlp's I will know where to go (if I get access)?
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

Which email client does she use?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,608
Thanks: 209
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Very poorly laptop

I have always found that a live cd doesn't auto mount the hdd, or is it different for windows drives? (Not used one for so long forgotten about it  Wink)
If it doesn't show, just open Places/Computer and it should show something like 20Gb (if the drive was 20Gb) just click on that then copy the whole Documents folder over to a pen drive or usb drive.
Of course if the pcman didn't speak with forked tongue you will find the drive is empty (very using Partion Manager from the System/Admin menu)
N/A

Re: Very poorly laptop

Outlook Express (it's XP). I will try the live CD on my own Vista later on but IIRC I didn't have access to stuff last time I did it.  Biker - can you explain the last sentence please?
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,608
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Registered: 16-02-2009

Re: Very poorly laptop

If they tried to re-install windows, dependent on how they did it, they may have wiped the drive, hence no data to recover.
I haven't (ever) used that type of service but I have a mate who worked in one, and they tried to backup the data then wipe the drive.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,291
Thanks: 2
Registered: 10-08-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop

If you can access the drive look in C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Local Settings\Application Data\Identities\<GUID>\Microsoft\Outlook Express
(GUID will look like similar to this {5FA90ED2-F81F-41C1-86FF-874CA7B036C9},
Inside the "outlook express" folder you will see the all the OE data files.
Copy the whole Outlook express folder to a USB drive.
This guide explains the process in detail http://www.novatone.net/mag/OEMSGCopy.htm
N/A

Re: Very poorly laptop

Got it santiago - thank you very much indeed. Am on Ubuntu live CD now and the path is slightly different in Vista but can see everything - e-mails and documents.
As has been said, they might have wiped everything so if she brings the computer over it is just a case of trying  it out.
She is busy looking for another laptop at the mo and has difficulty logging into this forum on the borrowed one so no doubt she will be here later when sorted out.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Very poorly laptop