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win xp help

whiterose

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Location
Ebbw Vale
PC Experience
Some Experience
Right.I am hardware and electronics experienced but on a software learning curve.
My hdd is playing up.All kinds of error messages,slow to update and operate,freezing screen etc. hdd is making intermittent clunking noise while operating. Tried to do a full drive to drive backup with hdclone, Nero, True image and other software to a slave drive and then an external drive but got within 95% of success and stopped with a read error and bad sector problem. Is this, as i suspect,a hdd going south or minor problems that could be fixed with a scandisc sweep.I suspect the former..or are there files that cannot be accessed and read thus not allowing a straight full download ? Is it possible to just dump the whole shooting match down to a another hdd with the click of a button or is there more to it.

When this problem is sorted what do I need to be able to reinstall windows xp to be able to avoid having to go to the pc shop and pay stupid money to have a clean install as I dont have a recovery medium.

Any help most appreciated

Ps. Does Winnt/32 unattend do the job and ,if so,where can I find my source files to do it
 

Match

Free PC Help Tech Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
This sounds like an impending drive failure, My advice is to get what you can off the drive to what ever you can and use it as little as possible,

you will need a windows XP/Vista disk depending on Machine specifications and personal preference, ether an OEM disk that you should have with your machine or a Retail.

and hopefully a spare Machine so we can advise you further :)
 

Tootech

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Hi,

First thing that comes to mind - chkdsk - don't use it on a failing drive, it will makes things alot worse very quickly.

How many partitions does your drive have?

If there is a hidden recovery partition, and it is still intact, you can use TrueImage to clone just that partition over to a new drive, then install the new drive and run a recovery from it. That will get Windows up and running again.

Next thought, if you can't do that, you can try Paraben Forensic Replicator - you can get a fully functioning trial.

Install that on another machine, slave up your old drive. Make sure you have enough space on another drive to hold the full drive image and run Paraben. Tell it ignore the errors, and run off a full disk image in .pfr format.

Once you have that, hook up your new drive in place of the faulty one and write the image back to the new drive.

Fit it, fire it up to Safe Mode. Go to disk properties and request a full disk check and error scan - it will be scheduled next boot.

Hopefully your system will run ok from there

I've gone through that fairly quickly, if you need more info, don't hesitate to ask.
 

whiterose

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Location
Ebbw Vale
PC Experience
Some Experience
Lets leave chkdsk alone then.As far as i can see there is only one partition.i cant see any hidden but I am not sure I would notice one anyway.I only have so much software skill and can only dig so deep.
All I have at my disposal is my present machine,a spare hdd identical to the dodgy one and spare connections on the computer to slave the spare to it and 1 x external usb hdd to twice the capacity of the failing internal one so no probs with memory.
...and...this is where the problem lies.I have tried to clone... and ghost...and image but I get within 5% of success and comes up with a read and bad sector error.Whtever I do ,i dont think I can get past that point. I think I am stuffed either way!! Could my os have a bad sector that would defy a full dump but would not give any obvious day to day running probs unless really pushed..as my machine is doing at the moment.This is a strange one to me.
What would YOU say is the best and most economical way of solving this problem and having the facilities(back-up) to reinstall if the problem occurs again in the future.THIS as been caused by the pc supplier not giving me a RECOVERY medium...and me not having the experience (at the time ) to ASK for one! You live and learn.

regards,Chris
 

Tootech

FPCH Member
Joined
Oct 16, 2008
Match mentioned getting the data off your drive, and I think I ought mention it again, a faulty drive can work for ages, or just pack up altogether.

Can you can back up all your important data before you go any further. Last thing we want to happen is to lose it.

As far as i can see there is only one partition
Acronis would find it and identify it as part of the clone process, so we can take that as a 'no recovery partition'.

I guess you are using some kind of bootable CD to run a clone from one drive to another. Most normal clone tools with fail - they have no mechanism to ignore errors.

What I think you need is a specific data recovery tool or forensic clone tool - they can ignore errors more effectively.

The only way I can think to do that with the equipment you have is use the Linux Knoppix bootable CD, or a bootable floppy - do you have a floppy drive?

There is a useful floppy disc clone tool I havn't used for a while that will clone a faulty disk - its name escapes me now, I'll find it and add it later.

There is a tool on the Knoppix CD called dd_rescue which will copy a faulty drive, ignoring the errors.

Link to Knoppix homepage

KNOPPIX Linux Live CD

As far as a faulty drive running ok day to day - yes it does happen, they can be noisy, sluggish, not start up first 2 or 3 goes in a morning and just run. I guess there are so many possibilities with faulty drives, anything can happen.

At the end of it all, you may have to purchase a copy of Windows XP and licence to get up and running again. It doesn't feel right, but if your supplier can't supply you with the original disk (as he should have done by law), your options are limited.

Acronis TrueImage is a great program, and with a working drive you could easily make a full backup image. That could be used to image back to a good drive in the future.
 

whiterose

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Location
Ebbw Vale
PC Experience
Some Experience
Yepp.I think I am banging my head against the preverbial...I should have done all this before the the damned horse bolted. I did a chkdsk anyway. If it repaired anything it didnt tell me(doesnt give any report by looks of it) . tried the backup option but of course windows home doesnt HAVE the option,its only on PRO isnt it so forget THAT one!
I,ll just wait for the fateful day when it all goes pear shape and let the pc shop reinstall it all again on a new drive.I might try that Knoppix site though and get a bit more info.As I say,its a learning curve for me with the software.Its all knowledge.
Any more ideas though I,ll certainly give them a go
ps.What does a new xp pack cost these days.Is it silly money.If i could get hold of my own I can do it all myself and cover my backside to boot if it happens again!
 

Match

Free PC Help Tech Member
Joined
Jan 29, 2009
In some ways fortunately or unfortunately Windows XP is coming to the end of its life and so is fairly cheap.

When buying an Operating system from Microsoft they have two liecence types OEM and Retail, the OEM can only be Installed on one Machine and generates a Checksum which it registers with microsoft, when it activates. and so is cheaper than the Retail

The Retail does the same as The OEM but with a phone call to Microsoft can be re-activated on a different machine

LINK TO XP HOME OEM

Now for the above reasons of XP's age It might be worth while looking at Vista

Vista System Requirements

Again you have the same Licensing as XP (OEM and Retail)

LINK TO VISTA OEM

If you look around you may find them cheaper, but I was generally pointing you in the direction of what you need to be looking for.
 

whiterose

FPCH Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2009
Location
Ebbw Vale
PC Experience
Some Experience
its not too expensive for either option.I would have to increase ram on this and maybe look at the graphics to do a vista update but thats not too taxing.At least it gives me some reusable software of my own. Im getting to the end of my tether with this to be honest.Its now just cost me a new ext usb hdd. Its put something on it that is now corrupt and wont allow me to read the drive.I think Im going to cut my losses.

Thanks for everyones help.Much appreciated.Chris
 
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