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Windows 7: I used TestDisc - now laptop won't boot

26 Sep 2015   #11

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Ok, @ajschenk, that was bad luck. Nevertheless it was a knowledgeable suggestion by Layback bear. It worked for many. In your case primafacie TestDisk seems to have screwed up your system drive, for whatever reason.

Go ahead with what you want to do. That also gives you and us an opportunity to look at how the two drives appear in Partition Wizard. Remember SIW2's suggestion to view your drive with bootable Partition Wizard? Now we have a chance to look at the functioning and non functioning drive in the same screenshot.

Now no need for the bootable Partition Wizard. Just install Partition Wizard Free Edition 9.1 on your wife's laptop. And post a screenshot showing both the drives - the very first screen when you launch the application. ( Of course I may see it only tomorrow afternoon. I have a schedule in the morning.)

Now what exactly did you do with TestDisk? Can you elaborate? If you can remember and post the exact steps and the response from TestDisk, we may perhaps be able to pinpoint what could have gone wrong..

My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2015   #12

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit


Long time gone again, but I'm back. Inserting the HD into my wife's laptop wasn't as simple as I thought, so I ended up getting a SATA/USB adapter and plugging it in that way. Here is the result in the attachment. Any chance I can recover any files from the unallocated partition?

As to your earlier question, I don't think I did anything to deviate from the steps I posted in the link in my original post.

Attached Thumbnails
I used TestDisc - now laptop won't boot-disk-management.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Oct 2015   #13

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, a few questions first.
1. What is the exact model No of your Dell laptop and your wife's Dell laptop? I would be pleased if you can show it on the Dell website. Post the link.

2. Did both come with Windows Home Premium 64bit preinstalled?

3. Please read the label on the back of the laptop. Leave aside the Service tag No and express Service Code. Do the rest tally exactly and are the same?

4. Remove the battery and have a look at the COA stickers on both machines. Does it read Windows Home Premium OA. ( Now for your safety note down the product ID of both the machines and keep it safely. These will be required to activate a clean install in future if it becomes necessary.The sticker may become unreadable over time.)

Now what I see in the screenshot: the Recovery Partition on your HDD is 32GB as against 15 GB in your wife's laptop. If both the machines are same in all respects, what this means is a wrong partition table has been written on your HDD and that is why it became unbootable.( The starting LBA of your C: drive has been pushed up by 17GB)

Once you answer all the questions, I shall proceed with correcting the wrong partition table in your HDD.The right partition table will be taken from your wife's HDD.

EDIT: I also wanted you to install Partition Wizard and post the screenshot."Now no need for the bootable Partition Wizard. Just install Partition Wizard Free Edition 9.1 on your wife's laptop. And post a screenshot showing both the drives - the very first screen when you launch the application."

Please do it now.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

18 Oct 2015   #14

Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit

Hello again!

Thanks so much for the help. I apologize again for taking so much time between posts.

1. The model is Dell Studio 1737, purchased in 2009 (both are the same). Here is a link to the support page.

Product Support | Dell US

2. Both came with Windows Vista Home Premium, but we upgraded to Windows 7 once that became available.

3. The rest do match each other.

4. The stickers read Windows Vista Home Premium OEMAct.

Is this the screenshot you need?

Attached Thumbnails
I used TestDisc - now laptop won't boot-9.1-screenshot.jpg  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2015   #15

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, Now run Partition Wizard. On the left pane click on Partition Recovery Wizard > Next > Choose thhe working drive in your wife's laptop > Next > Full Disk > Next > Quick Scan > Next and post the screenshot of the window showing all partitions found.

I used TestDisc - now laptop won't boot-19-10-2015-08-42-46.jpg

Once you have captured the screenshot click on the Cancel button on that Window and close it.

Now run Partition Recovery Wizard on your faulty drive. Instead of Quick Scan select Full Scan, allow Full Scan to complete and post the screenshot of partitions found window. Once you capture the screen, click on the Cancel button to close that Window and close Partition Wizard.

So you will be posting two screenshots 1. Quick Scan results on your wife's drive and 2. Full Scan result on your faulty drive.


1. Full Scan is likely to take more time. Be patient and wait for it to complete.

2. In both cases you will only capture the screenshots and then cancel it. Do not do anything else until you get further instructions from me after seeing the screenshot.

Now answer this question: Why did you run TestDisk in the first instance? What was your problem?

My System SpecsSystem Spec

 I used TestDisc - now laptop won't boot

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