Laptop fails to boot. How can I salvage the hard drive?

Inspiron 1420 running Vista

Today, I started it up and it stopped at a black screen with only a cursor. After a couple tries it would also hang at the Windows boot animation. I ran the diagnostics (smartdrive IIRC) and it returns read errors.

So is the drive toast or can it be repaired?

If it’s toast, can I boot from a CD and get my data? For example put a Linux Live CD (Knoppix – http://www.knoppix.org ) in the optical drive.

ps weeping for my itunes
Would it be possible to just repair the OS or is this the sign of imminent failure anyways?

5 Responses to Laptop fails to boot. How can I salvage the hard drive?

  1. megasparks0101

    yeah try linux like ubuntu live cd, if it wont install = bad drive, there is a company that can do this but its kinda expensive

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  2. oleanderann

    Wow..my friend has the same exact problems and him too weeping for the thousand songs he has in his itunes..what we trying to do it installing linux on the drive..i mean have the comp have a dual os, then using the linux we can get to the drive.

    But yeah this drive fail thing seems to be common, it has happened twice now, the first time not as fatal as the second time..Vista Sucks!! I really hate it.

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  3. A Live CD is a good answer. If you have another computer you can get a 2.5″ external enclosure and hook up to the drive via USB, eSATA, etc.

    I got a program on BitTorrent called File Scavenger. It saved a ton of my files, only some of them were corrupted by the time I got around to salvaging them.

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  4. if you have a xp cd and you have another partition then install it, and then take the files from the corrupted partition, or you can install xp on the same partition and decide to leave the current data and then just look for your data after the installation finishes

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  5. People don’t think when they transport their laptops about.. some think it is a tank.. and throw them around. When handling laptops care is needed at all times.

    If you know what make of hard drive you have then go the manufactures website and download their utilities disk.. follow the instructions on making a boot able floppy disk or boot able cd,

    Once you have done that reboot the system with the disk. and do a disk check and repair of bad sectors . this will take up to or over an hour to do.. depending on the size of the drive.

    if the mbs (master boot sector) is corrupt then windows will not boot up at all. but the data is still on the drive ..

    Has for linux yes that will work. go to a large book store and buy this months (June) Linux Pro Magazine there is a dvd that comes with the mag… it as the latest version of Knoppix 5.3 it is mind blowing to say the least… if you have a Intel cpu system…

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