I left my laptop on and unattended for a while and when I came back into the room my cat was sleeping on the keyboard. I moved her off and my keyboard was not responding. I had to force a shut down (held down the power key) and restarted the computer. Everything was fine, except my computer was running really slow. So, I shut down the computer via Ctrl + Alt + Del and restarted. This time, however, the computer was very slow to restart and before the Windows logo screen appeared I got an error message:
PXE-E61: Media test failure, check cable
PXE-M0F: Exiting PXE ROM
Operating System not found
Dell tech support said that I had a missing or corrupt File Allocation Table. They suggested I reinstall my operating system but there was a good chance I would lose my files on the computer.
So, I tried recovering my files using Knoppix Linux Boot CD but it would not recognize the hard drive.
I pulled the hard drive and put it in an external dock and it would recognize the hard drive but I could not access it. Additionally, the hard drive was not showing up correctly. It is a 640 GB drive but it was only showing up as a 600 GB drive.
The hard drive is now back in the lap top and it is still showing Operating System Not Found. The drive is showing up in BIOS Setup Utility. I just tried Hiren's Boot CD using their Mini Windows XP option but I kept getting the automatic shut down "Blue Screen of Death."
Unfortunately there are files on this drive that I really need to recover and I cannot really afford to take the drive to a data recovery specialist. So, what options do I have? How can I go about recovering my files off of this hard drive?
Thank you for any and all help!