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Unable to Boot HP Pavilion Laptop - Suggestions for Recovering Boot Partition, MBR, MFT??

 
 
Dakota1775
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      08-28-2007
I'm new to this group, so if I make a "noob" mistake, please excuse
me.

I have an Unable to Boot HP Pavilion laptop, less than one year old,
running WinXP.

I have been running Diskeeper on it for a while now without problems.

Recently I ran a defrag on boot, including the Pagefile, etc...

After this the computer would go to boot up and running thru about
20-30 things it hangs on the on of the ".sys" files for a few seconds
then reboots. It does this again and again till I shut it down.

I've tried my original "recovery disks" that were made from the
recovery partition that HP puts on their laptops and these have some
kind of flaw in them and refuse to work. My recovery partition is
still accessible so I'm going to start working on making new recovery
disks via DOS - its somewhere on HPs website.

My external backup image of the C: drive are also showing as corrupt.
Yes, after researching this problem I now know to test my backups
after I make them!

I've mounted the problem drive in a USB external case and put in a
spare drive and reloaded windows but I'd like to try to recover the
original back to a working state as I have programs and data on there.

The problem drive shows up in the "Logical Disk Manager" and shows up
as an unformated "raw" drive with 100% free space. (I can post
screenshots if that helps.)

I believe there is a problem with the MBR or the MFT but I'm just
guessing.

I've tried to mount the drive with the free version of "Find and
Mount" and it shows the drive but does not mount or gives back an
error message - something about being it corrupted - if I recall
correctly. (I'm not sure this tool is all that helpful.

I'm hoping for suggestions on:

-- A good program for file recovery,

-- A good program for making repairs to the MBR / MFT,

-- various methods to attempt to recover the drive to a bootable state
or recover the contents/data.

Thanks!

 
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meerkat
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-28-2007

"Dakota1775" <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in message
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com...
> I'm new to this group, so if I make a "noob" mistake, please excuse
> me.
>
> I have an Unable to Boot HP Pavilion laptop, less than one year old,
> running WinXP.
>

Snipped
>

Have you tried starting up in `Safe Mode` ?.
Which key ?. I don`t know you`ll have to check in your
manual.


 
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Toast
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Posts: n/a
 
      08-29-2007
Dakota1775 <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote in
news:(E-Mail Removed) ups.com:

> I have an Unable to Boot HP Pavilion laptop, less than one year
> old, running WinXP.
>
> I have been running Diskeeper on it for a while now without
> problems.
>
> Recently I ran a defrag on boot, including the Pagefile, etc...
>
> After this the computer would go to boot up and running thru about
> 20-30 things it hangs on the on of the ".sys" files for a few
> seconds then reboots. It does this again and again till I shut it
> down.


Iíve heard of nasty problems being caused by Diskeeperís boot-time
defrag but have never encountered one myself. Youíve drawn the short
straw.

Itís a shame you are not getting any other clues like error messages
to work with.

Have you tried running Diskeeper on the HDD again when slaved to
another computer? This worked for me recently when a Diskeeper boot-
time defrag caused the MFT to increase in size such that it occupied
about 25% of a 10 GB bootable partition. When I ran the boot-time
defrag again it fixed the problem that it had initially created.

> I've tried my original "recovery disks" that were made from the
> recovery partition that HP puts on their laptops and these have
> some kind of flaw in them and refuse to work. My recovery
> partition is still accessible so I'm going to start working on
> making new recovery disks via DOS - its somewhere on HPs website.
>
> My external backup image of the C: drive are also showing as
> corrupt. Yes, after researching this problem I now know to test my
> backups after I make them!


What a rotten time to be let down!

What imaging software are you using? Iíve heard of problems restoring
system images made with Acronis True Image even when the image has
been validated by ATI. Evidently these are commonly reported in the
Acronis forums.

Iíve previously used Ghost 2003 and it seemed OK but it was never put
to the acid test. Nowadays Iím using Terabyte Unlimited imaging tools
(Image for Windows/DOS/Linux and BING) and have found them to be very
reliable.

> I've mounted the problem drive in a USB external case and put in a
> spare drive and reloaded windows but I'd like to try to recover
> the original back to a working state as I have programs and data
> on there.
>
> The problem drive shows up in the "Logical Disk Manager" and shows
> up as an unformated "raw" drive with 100% free space. (I can post
> screenshots if that helps.)
>
> I believe there is a problem with the MBR or the MFT but I'm just
> guessing.
>

[snip]
> I'm hoping for suggestions on:
>
> -- A good program for file recovery,


I recently went through a data recovery drama on behalf of a friend
whose HDD failed. I tried to recover bad sectors with SpinRite but do
not necessarily recommend it. If the drive is failing the stress SR
applies can use up the last chances you have to recover data. (If
youíd like to try it out then have a look for Hirenís Boot CD, which
includes SR and a lot of other good stuff.)

In terms of data recovery I had good results with GetDataBack (full
working version also included on Hirens Boot CD). This can be used to
image the raw data from the bad HDD to a second HDD. GDB can somehow
reconstruct the MFT to enable your data to be recovered. (It wonít
repair the MFT, not as far as I know.)

Restorer2000 http://www.restorer2000.com/ was also highly recommended
but I didnít get to try it.

> -- A good program for making repairs to the MBR / MFT,


Sorry, canít help you there.

You might try running fixmbr (I think thatís the name) from the XP
Recovery Console. Chkdsk might also be worth a try.

> -- various methods to attempt to recover the drive to a bootable
> state or recover the contents/data.


A repair install of XP sounds might help but you might not get very
far with that if the MBR and MFT have been corrupted. If you canít
get those fixed somehow you would appear to be staring down the
barrel of a format and reinstall. I wouldnít want to be in your
shoes!

David
 
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