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#1 Soni

Soni

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 26-February 06

Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:16

Having to type from a smartphone.

Hi all, I'm appealing to anyone that can help me out on a serious issue I have with my pc.

I've tolf my daughter's NOT to play a game named Fresh on my main pc, due to a few issues I had a few months ago which I pit down to this site, however kids will be kids and they have and now my pc is completely knackered.

My MAIN CONCERN is that I have hundreds of family photos that are VERY precious to me and the thought I could lose them annoys me greatly.

I know how to reformat a pc and have done this countless times in the past, but I've never had a problem whereby I can't access my files to backup.

Here is the problem:

Pc boots up to login screen, will either freeze whilst inputting password or will not allow to click the username to login.

I've tried accessing safemode and the screen goes black and nothing happens after about 30 seconds of login in.

I've tried f8 and reinstalling a previous configuration, but that still freezes.

I have a dell xps 420 and have removed all connections apart from.keyboard and mouse, have tried another mouse but still same problem, but don't have another keyboard to try.

I have the black dell disk that states windows vista reinstallation cd but don't want to lose my family pictures.

I've just looked up at the login screen and ALL of the login account names have now vanished! What's going on?

Please can somebody help me this evening?


#2 azspeedbullet

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:20

pop the drive out and hook it up to another pc to back up the data then format the drive and reinstall windows

#3 X@vier

X@vier

    x4v13r

  • Joined: 24-September 02
  • Location: Toronto, Canada

Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:23

you need a livecd, boot from it backup your files, once you are done backing up your files format and reinstall windows.

#4 pierrej

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:29

Download Windows 8 preview or evaluation from Another computer and put it on a usb stick using windows 7 usb tool, enter the usb stick or dvd, boot from dvd/usb, install... it will simply put all of your files in a windows.old folder while installing windows anew. So you will be able to keep all content! :)

#5 skilithead

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:34

+1 on the previous posts ,also you can re-install without formatting and your "old"system will be placed in a "Windows.old" file.You can accsess the old user data from there .

Added: Provided the disc isn't too full .

#6 +AJerman

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:47

Hah, glad Neowin does the "new posts since last refresh thing". Saved me some time since everything I was going to say has been said.

So yeah, you can reinstall Windows without issue as long as you don't format prior. If you think there's a drive failure, then I suggest not doing that to minimize additional disk use that could make it worse. If you have another computer, tossing the drive in there is the easiest way to get the files off, or a live CD, but you'll need some kind of other storage to move it all over to.

Depending on what kind of reinstallation media it is, you could attempt repairing Windows as well.

#7 OP Soni

Soni

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  • Joined: 26-February 06

Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:48

Thank you for all your replies, I'm on the windows 8 preview we site, but it has 2 options 32 and 65 bit?

#8 zhangm

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    Just bitter.

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Posted 10 October 2012 - 19:48

You don't know what's causing the problem, and you have critical data to recover, so assume that it is a hardware issue until you know otherwise.

First, stop. Don't turn the machine on. Don't try to use it. Just let it sit there until you're ready to recover your critical data. After that's done, you can do whatever you want to try and bring the machine back online.

Buy one of these if you don't already have one; it is pocket change.
http://www.newegg.co...N82E16812232002

Take out the hard drive. Plug it into the adapter and mount the drive on a new machine to pull your data. Once that's done, then you can come back and try talking us through the troubleshooting/recovery of the hardware/OS.

Also. Back your files up in the future. This should never have been an emergency in the first place. All it takes is a free cloud sync account (Skydrive, Dropbox, etc) or a USB thumbdrive.

#9 OP Soni

Soni

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  • Joined: 26-February 06

Posted 10 October 2012 - 20:17

Hi, I've got an external hard drive that I use for backups but haven't done one for about 3 months during which time we've taken loads of photos.

I tried to copy the files from my pc over to the external in safemode earlier tonight before realising it crashes, and it crashed, do you think I could have lose anything off the external as well?

The Windows 8 enterprise is downloading but states 8 hrs to go.......

Can those adaptors be purchased in the UK?

If I was to take out the hard drive, I have another 10 year old xp machine but how would I connect the hard drive up whilst running that machine from its xp hard drive and access my vista hard drive from the knackered pc?

#10 skilithead

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  • Joined: 05-October 12

Posted 10 October 2012 - 21:56

You could also boot a Live Ubuntu cd , and see if you can copy the files onto a thumbdrive or disc .

#11 vetDirtyLarry

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  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
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  • OS: Win 8 | OS X 10.8.5 | Android 4.2.2
  • Phone: Galaxy S4

Posted 10 October 2012 - 22:00

If I was to take out the hard drive, I have another 10 year old xp machine but how would I connect the hard drive up whilst running that machine from its xp hard drive and access my vista hard drive from the knackered pc?

This is actually along the lines of what I was thinking.

If you have another PC, just put in the hard drive from the current computer. It should just show up as another drive. Should default to whatever the next letter is you have available, like E:\\ or something along those lines if your old computer has a optical drive as well.
Copy over your important files to the old computer, put the newer drive back in the other computer, reformat with a fresh install of Windows.
Copy files over from older PC to external drive, hook external drive up to newly formatted computer, copy files back over on the newly installed version of Windows.
Should be relatively easy, albeit it a bit time consuming, unless I am missing something painfully obvious.

#12 OP Soni

Soni

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  • Joined: 26-February 06

Posted 10 October 2012 - 22:34

The only problem I have is I recall its a RAID drive and there are 2 x 80gb (think they are 80 but may be more) hard drives therefore I won't be able to swap them over to another pc would I?

#13 vetDirtyLarry

DirtyLarry

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  • Tech Issues Solved: 1
  • Joined: 31-August 03
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  • OS: Win 8 | OS X 10.8.5 | Android 4.2.2
  • Phone: Galaxy S4

Posted 10 October 2012 - 22:54

The only problem I have is I recall its a RAID drive and there are 2 x 80gb (think they are 80 but may be more) hard drives therefore I won't be able to swap them over to another pc would I?

If they are actually setup as RAID drives, chances are it is probably setup as RAID 1, which should just mean they are mirroring eachother. Again someone can correct me if I am wrong, which I may be as I have personally never used RAID, but I see no reason why you would just not need 1 of them since the same data should be on both.
The only thing I just thought of is perhaps one will not mount because it is setup as RAID. I really am not sure.

#14 +warwagon

warwagon

    Only you can prevent forest fires.

  • Tech Issues Solved: 2
  • Joined: 30-November 01
  • Location: Iowa

Posted 10 October 2012 - 23:07

Hook the hard drive up to a computer in a linux live or PE enthronement to backup the files if you can. Then I would recommend running a program like spinrite on the drive to make sure there are no bad sectors.

#15 OP Soni

Soni

    Neowinian

  • Joined: 26-February 06

Posted 11 October 2012 - 05:30

Thank you all for your replies.

However, altgough I know how to reformat hard drives and install software etc., and basic networking tasks, my pc skills don't extend beyond that!

Can you talk me through the EASIEST solution bearing in mind it is a RAID drive?

I did have my daughters Windows 7 laptop wirelessly networked with the broken pc (when it was working) and tried the other night connecting up to drag the files accross whilst the broken pc was on the log on screen buy it wasn't seeing it, so this is a no go idea either?



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