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Need Help Accessing Harddrive

by hexekatze / January 22, 2005 4:00 AM PST

Hello. I need some help accessing a hard drive that I have on an older computer (Compaq Presario, 20G HD, 2565 MB RAM, 800 MHZ Processor, was running Windows ME as OS). At any rate, the computer will not boot at all. I have tried to use a recovery disk (CD) and it will then go to the safe mode screen with all of its choices (normal boot, safe mode, restore, etc.) I have tried all of these options and all that I end up having happen is that the I lose this screen and get an error message stating "No operating system found..." I have not tried to reinstall Windows or put another version of Windows on this hard drive because there is some information on it that I would like to try and recover. Any suggestions on what to do? Any help would be appreciated greatly.

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Do you have a boot floppy???
by Ray Harinec / January 22, 2005 4:21 AM PST

If so boot with it. From the A prompt type C: and hit enter to get the C prompt. Then type Dir /p and hit enter to see if the drive can be read. The /p switch says to only show one page of files at a time.

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by Yew / January 22, 2005 5:36 AM PST

I'd suggest downloading a copy of the Knoppix Linux distribution. It's a version of Linux that will boot and run off of a CD, so there's no installation. Just pop it in the drive and reboot.

It will automatically mount your HDD, and then you can access it and should be able to back up the data. Be it via a CD burner, network connection, or even a floppy disk/tape.

Or, if you have another system, you can remove the drive and put it into the other system, and access the data that way. Either way, having a Knoppix CD around can be a really useful diagnostic and repair tool, and it might be behooving to grab. It's also a quick and easy way to learn a little about Linux with minimal fuss. If you like it, you could consider installing a distribution designed to run from the HDD. Worst case scenario, you're out a blank CD.

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Do you have a second computer?
by YrbkMgr / January 22, 2005 5:48 AM PST

If you have a second computer, it might be just as easy to add this HD to the other computer, as a slave drive. That way you can have access to your information without the requirement of the drive to boot, AND you can run a disk checking utility on it in an attempt to fix whatever is at issue.

Just a thought.

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