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Hard drive Blues

Ok, This will be a long story, but at the start there were will be a few points that summarize my questions/problems, and the the long story.

1. What is wrong with the drive? -- is it really dead? Device manger, and Bios still see it.
2. would purchasing a converter to make it a USB drive work in retrieving files?
3. if no, what will work

The computer in question is my girlfriends, well ex-girlfriend now. It was an old gateway, about 3 or 4 years old. I am not sure if it is Fat32 or NTFS. i assume it is NTFS because windows XP was installed on the computer. Simply, one day I came home from work, and her screen was blank and she was laying down, I move the mouse to receive a "PXE-E61: Media test failed, check cable" at the boot screen which would continue every time I booted it up. I understand what that means.

and while the bios still saw the hard drive I knew the hard drive was not dead, so I changed the jumper settings threw in a spare 60gb I had (the old one was 40gb) and reinstalled windows xp, and set the old drive as a slave. Except "My computer" does not notice any partitions, but device manager sees it.

Next, i have tried moving the hard drive into another computer, and again bios sees the drive but does not boot from it. I figure there is a problem in the master boot record as I've even tried using different IDE cables. So I guess my question is does anyone have any other ideas for me? and if my hard drive is damaged how can I recover my files I there are a lot of pictures on there from travels we took, and what not (we were together for over 2 years, and there are a lot of memory's on there which we should've backed up)

anyone questions ask, and I will try and offer more explanation. I am not a computer expert, but I am by no means computer illiterate.

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In reply to: Hard drive Blues

Look up Zero Assumption Recovery. If it works then you only need to decide if the files are worth it.


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In reply to: Try ZAR

ZAR looks to be about what I need, but there must be a manual way to get the same information.

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I'm confused.

In reply to: ZAR

If ZAR shows your files, why not use that?

Or did you just reveal the files are not worth that many dollars?


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yeah, but

In reply to: I'm confused.

well reading about ZAR the program claims to do about what I need it to, but there is about a $80 licensing fee. All it does is provide a GUI to a process that must be able to be preformed manually. Follow?

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Sorry to read that.

In reply to: yeah, but

It appears to me that you didn't try the demo or...

The files are not worth the 80 bucks.

Good luck,


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faulty logic

In reply to: Sorry to read that.

Comeon Bob, don't throw that logical fallacy on me. Now the demo doesn't do to much. Furthermore, no nothing is worth 80 dollars when I know it can be done for free. I understand you don't have an answer for me, and I appericate the help you offered. if anyone else has advice I am all ears.

Afterall, I am still only speculating that the problem is a damaged MBR, how do I rule out other problems, what are other problems. If the problem is a damaged MBR, then I will be focusing my time now on understanding the function and properities of the MBR to manipulate it to give it what I want. I don't need a GUI. It obviously can be done without it.

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The MBR is easy to fix.

In reply to: faulty logic

And widely documented. I may have missed it that you wanted this fixed for free.

Sorry, best of luck. Look up PC FILE INSPECTOR. Second place to ZAR but free.


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thank you.

In reply to: The MBR is easy to fix.

Thanks, I'll look into this more tomorrow.

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