Issues with a laptop running Vista

Discussion in 'NZ Computing' started by misanthropiccurmudgeon, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. Gentlefolk,

    Some help please, for someone whose not really had to much to do with gutting/configuring machines since Windows 3.1.

    I've aquired a laptop running a genuine version of Visa Business, and the laptop has sentimental photos the former owner would like to get back.

    The problem is that the laptop wont boot up past the blue 'Welcome' screen:it sits on this screen for a good 30 seconds, and then goes black with an active working cursor but nothing else. I can hear the hard drive working/searching.

    The machine has one hard drive and memory tests seem OK. It boots in safe mode OK, and I've run AVGs standalone antivirus whcih found nothing amiss. Naturally I have no window-based write-access to the RW-CD or the USBs so that makes recovery of the photos difficult. I have copied the photos out of the 'personal photo' folder of the user profile and into a directory on the hard drive.

    As part of getting around the lost password for the profile, I ran Ophcrack, which seems to run/set-up a unix-esque OS that seemed to work OK and allow me to navigate around the place.

    It came with a couple of copied disks marked 'Vista 1/2' and 'Vista 2/2', which I'm relctuant to try and reinstall at this stage for fear of losing the photos: If I have to reinstall an operating system I'd rather try something other than Vista.

    So, any hints/guides/suggestions for me. Anyting to check? As I said its been 20-mumble years since I was doing this sort of thing for a living, andI'm quite rusty!
    misanthropiccurmudgeon, Jan 9, 2013
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  2. misanthropiccurmudgeon

    Malcolm Guest

    On Tue 08 Jan 2013 06:18:41 PM CST,
    Download the Trinity Rescue Kit, it's linux, but has an easy menu
    system, check the drives, mount them and see if you can browse?

    I would only try that once, pull the drive and use something like
    photorec to see if you can recover.
    Malcolm, Jan 9, 2013
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  3. misanthropiccurmudgeon

    Gordon Guest

    Okay let us do some gutting.

    Look, this is good advice. There are *many* Linux live CDs, which will allow
    you to check out the HD on the machine without writing to it.

    Now PhotoRec, at least that what I think it is called recovers photos.yes?

    Finally, may I ask, Where are the back ups? Dumb arse.
    Gordon, Jan 9, 2013
  4. On Tue, 8 Jan 2013 18:18:41 -0800 (PST),

    Get hold of the Free Kaspersky rescue CD.

    Dnload it here and burn it onto a CD you will have full support to all
    you files and even USB no drivers required is all in the CD.

    Select the File manager when its loaded..
    Frank Williams, Jan 9, 2013

  5. Keaspersky Rescue CD 10 is ten times better Full GUI and simple to use,
    fully supports USB and no drivers required.
    Frank Williams, Jan 9, 2013

  6. Just get this

    Keaspersky Rescue CD 10 is ten times better Full GUI and simple to use,
    fully supports USB and no drivers required.
    Frank Williams, Jan 9, 2013

  7. This is the Only thing to get

    Yes uses Linux but its a Full GUI and made for idiots like me

    No need to learn Lunix laws or how to stand on you head
    Frank Williams, Jan 9, 2013

  8. Sorry that was spelt wrong it should read Lunix..

    Its even in my spell checker -:)
    Frank Williams, Jan 9, 2013
  9. misanthropiccurmudgeon

    EMB Guest

    Pull the hard drive out. Drop it in a working machine. Browse it for
    the photos and copy them off.

    And after the event, don't reinstall Vista.
    EMB, Jan 9, 2013
  10. misanthropiccurmudgeon

    Dave Doe Guest

    I wouldn't be going down the "pull the hard drive and run photorec" path
    before trying a few other things first. And, photorec, IIRC, will not
    recover original filenames - although perhaps it will, if the filesystem
    is intact, which it sounds like it is.

    I'd boot up again in Safe Mode and run msconfig (Start, Run, 'msconfig'
    (no quotes), Enter).

    In msconfig, click the Services tab and then the hide all MS services.
    Clear all of them, and then carefully re-check the ones you think will
    be safe and will need re USB, CD/DVD support.

    Then on the Startup tab, clear all of them. Again, you may want to
    check some of the ones you know to be good and safe but most
    importantly, necessary.

    While in Safe Mode, set the disk to check itself on re-boot. Go Start,
    Run and type cmd - press <Ctrl><Shift> <Enter> - and you should be
    prompted to run the command prompt window in elevated privilege mode.
    The window should have "Administrator:" ... in the title bar. In the
    command prompt window type 'chkdsk c: /f' <Enter>. You'll be prompted
    to enable a checkdisk on the next boot, as it won't be able to run on
    the system disk currently in use.


    A checkdisk will run and any filesystem errors will be fixed. Then it
    will auto-reboot again and since you've disabled nearly all the startup
    services and programs, one would hope it will boot through normally, and
    then you'll be able to copy the files you need.
    Dave Doe, Jan 10, 2013

  11. What a Total waist of time and effort, to me not good advice at all.

    Just do this Tool Nice GUI and its simple to use, no stuffing around
    and you don't have to lean any ting about Lunix or how to speak Spanish.

    Keaspersky Rescue CD 10 is ten times better Full GUI and simple to use,
    fully supports USB and no drivers required.

    Never ever run checkdisk until you backup the hard drive

    Would it be far better to boot into Safe mode and used the Vista
    restore/repair features or the CD if it has one.
    Frank Williams, Jan 11, 2013
  12. misanthropiccurmudgeon

    John Little Guest

    I don't understand that. Safe mode should let you copy stuff to USB, or
    plug in an external hard disc and copy the lot.

    If not, then a Live CD like the one I presume you ran ophcrack from should
    be able to copy the data. I like systemrescuecd, from, for these purposes. It has a variety of tools some
    of which might appeal to you.

    In principle, you should be able to at least try a "Repair Install", which
    would not lose the data, but I would copy the data first.

    HTH, John Little
    John Little, Jan 11, 2013
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