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Vista restore requires reformatting hard disk?

by Lillysam / January 14, 2009 12:16 PM PST

My daughter's 6 month old HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop won't boot (runs chkdsk, doesn't find any problems, tries to start Vista, cancels out and keeps looping the chkdsk).

Spent an hour on the phone with HP support trying everything they could think of, and nothing worked, so now they've sent recovery disks that require a complete reformat of the hard drive. Of course, she doesn't have a current backup. Her files include some photos that we'd really like to save.

1) can I make a boot disk (either from my laptop running Vista, or download one?) and boot with that so at least I can recover her files before the format/reinstall, or

2) how hard is it to take out the hard disk and put it in my laptop (also HP Pavilion, but dv9000)and backup her data, or

3) is there another solution to salvage the data?

I'm very grateful for any suggestions.

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You could try
by Jimmy Greystone / January 14, 2009 12:38 PM PST

You could try making a bootable Linux LiveCD which would let you boot the system and access the drive so you could copy files onto a USB flash drive or some such.

Otherwise, laptops generally don't have the internal space for a second drive, so you could potentially take it out and put it into an external enclosure designed for 2.5" or 1.8" drives.

Ultimately though, this should be a lesson in the value of regular backups. Once you get the data off the system, be sure you then immediately set about setting up some kind of system for making backups.

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by Lillysam / January 14, 2009 12:50 PM PST
In reply to: You could try

Thanks much. And yes, I need to get her to back up more regularly and reliably! I had her laptop set up for a regular web backup, but somehow it was "disabled..." Rest assured, my other machines are backed up, and hopefully now she knows.

I really appreciate your help.

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How to take apart HP Pavilion dv6000 laptop
by Jonmor68 / January 14, 2009 12:42 PM PST
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As mentioned a Linux Live CD would help or you ...
by Edward ODaniel / January 15, 2009 8:35 AM PST

might be more comfortable using a Vista Boot CD that Provides you with the Vista Recovery Options (do NOT use the "Install Now" option but rather the "Repair your Computer" option in the lower left.

You could then try the System Restore option to restore to an earlier date and time before the problem and if that doesn't work you can make use of the Command Prompt to copy all data files to a USB drive or flash drive.

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