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Folks,
I could seriously use some help. I have a Windows 2000 HP Laptop. Life was fine until a couple of days ago when I got a message indicating a virus detection. A few minutes later I got a blue screen kmode exception not handled ............... and thats all she wrote.

If i try booting into safe mode, it just hangs, if I try safe with networking, Im back to the blue screen....

The worse of it is I really really need some of the files off the system (not at all concerned about the computer or the software as I can turn it in - its a work computer - but I need to get my personal files off first. Work will simply format the darn thing or replace it.

Please please say there is a chance for me to get my personal info.

Thanks

Griffy

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Last Post by Chaky
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Off course there is a way to retrieve your files.. simply put the hard drive into another laptop, or a desktop, if you have appropriate connector (like this one).

There also is an ISO file on the net called ERD50.ISO (google it) which, when burned on a CD, can be used to boot the machine from the CD/DVD device so you can access files on a hard drive that won't boot.

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Chaky

thanks for your input. I don't have the kind of connector your talking about but I did try the ERD files.

It ran ok, but then it couldn't find any operating system to work on ....

Sorta blows my mind as this happened in the middle of my working wtih files.

Any other routes I can take to get my files off the system?

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ERD is supposed to boot from CD independent of operating system on HD...

Anyway, you can take the disk out and put it in another laptop (as a 2nd HD, since that one isn't bootable any more) or you can install a copy of windows over the existing one (without formatting first!). I had similar situation with my PC and setup program would crash the moment it would scan the hard drive for installed OSes. I bypassed it by disabling the hard drive in BIOS. It did install a new copy of windows over the existing one, but it didn't try to detect it first.

You mentioned that someone from work would format it? If there are tech guys at work that deal with broken laptops, I'm sure that they would be capable of retrieving the files you desperately need without any trouble at all.

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Chaky,
maybe if I explain the whole thing. This is a work laptop. I work for a large corporation. They system itself has all kinds of password protection - at least two request for name and password before getting to Windows. First, one comes moments after turning it on, the second comes when its attempting to log into windows.

If I turn the computer in, they will not bother retrieving my files - its format and move on time.

With ERD, there is a question as to which OS to search or look at or something like that - but none is listed in the available menu.

And as to installing Window 200 again, well, I just don't have a copy .... and its as you say, the system seems to crash as soon as it attempts to boot the OS

Please understand, I know squat from beans about computers, so Im really digging in deep just asking these questions....

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The password protection you describe is BIOS password (before any kind of booting) and usual log-on password. Those are not needed if you take the drive out of the laptop and put it in other machine. Only potential problem you could have with file access (in case you put the hard drive into another machine) is if they were encrypted on the disk, but disk encryption is not on by default (read: you would have to pick the file(s) manually and change it's attributes), so I'm pretty certain that it is not the case.

For the ERD.. Since you are working on Windows 2k, I suppose that it is normal for ERD to report no installed OS, since it is XP based and it looks for installed XP. Simply select "None - Do not attach to a Windows installation" and go from there. I'm not sure if USB port would work in ERD (for storing those files on the USB stick).. if not, you would need local network (anther machine that is connected to your laptop via ethernet) in order to retrieve the files.

.. or you can use floppies, if that is an option.

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I've tried F8 with each of the boot options, but unlike when I normally log on to the system, it doesn't recognize my name or password.


"For the ERD.. Since you are working on Windows 2k, I suppose that it is normal for ERD to report no installed OS, since it is XP based and it looks for installed XP. Simply select "None - Do not attach to a Windows installation" and go from there."

Thing is once I go from there, the only listed access is the cd with ERD on it. Would it help if I tried getting a copy of XP and installing it and see if ERD works then?

"I'm not sure if USB port would work in ERD (for storing those files on the USB stick).. if not, you would need local network (anther machine that is connected to your laptop via ethernet) in order to retrieve the files."
Ok, now you went completely Greek on me ....

The thing is I had a finalize copy of my book on this laptop, and no no no, I didn't back it up!

After this I might just go back to a type writer!!!

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By all means, try getting a copy of XP.. (and forget about ERD business)
If you install a copy of XP on it, make sure you DON'T format the hard drive. That's all.. If all goes well, all you need to configure during setup is your keyboard layout and regional settings.


Even if the hard drive is completely busted and beyond usage, there is a way of retrieving the data from it. There are companies that specialize in data retrieval and they charge money for it.

(This article describes such case)

And me going geek on you.. well, your current situation suggests that you should go geek too :-)
Edit: oops.. you said Greek..

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Chaky,
I'll try the XP route as I don't even have a clue how to remove a harddrive from a laptop.


I hate the idea of having to send the system to someone else to retrieve the files as I want to say, this file, and this one, nah not that one...etc

Ohh I don't mind you going geek on me, thank God there are some folks who know what the heck they are talking about, but yes I said Greek, as you are fast approaching too techincial terms and means for me to follow ...

I'll try with XP and see how it goes. I officially hate computers now ....!!:(

Thanks for all your time

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Chaky,

I have to ask .... just attempted to install xp ... got a error message that says no hard drive was found ....

how could this be?!

Is this a lost cause?

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Looks like it, I'm afraid.. Looks like your hard disk is dead. Your only hope is to send that hard disk to professionals to retrieve the data... if the data is worth the expenses..

However, there might be a chance that you could do something (a last shot), but you'll have to get very technical and fast.

1. Listen to the laptop when you start it up.. You probably heard it's noises millions of times before and you should notice if HD noise is missing.. that would suggest that the HD is not spinning at all..

2. Hit the "del" key on startup to enter BIOS setup (before it crashes.. might be some other key like F10 or F2) and browse trough the menus and find one that deals with IDE/SATA devices. There you will see if the hard drive is being detected at all. You'll see it's technical designation like WD250ST, capacity in Gigabytes and transfer mode.. It will probably be displayed beside the CD/DVD drive's name and 2 more empty slots. My guess is that it will not be detected, otherwise you would get different kind of error during windows setup.

3. If I was you, I would open the laptop myself and reconnect the hard drive cable (plug it out and back in). It might be a simple case of bad contact on one of the pins. Hard drive should be accessible on the bottom of the drive.. probably with it's own lid.

If this last step works, you will be back on the track with no loss whatsoever.

Last, but not least.. the problem might be with the laptop, and not the hard drive (very, very slim chance). In such case if you take the HD into another laptop it might be functional... but I wouldn't bet on it.. usually, if your machine can't read from a HD any longer as a result of faulty IDE/SATA Controller (chip that works with hard drives and CD/DVD drives), then it wouldn't be able to read from the CD as well.

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