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Windows 7: Desktop not working: I need my hard drive back!

28 May 2014   #41

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Ok, thanks

Yes, the Win7 box will work, it will just be slow.

Yes, disconnect the external drive before booting with the PW CD - the fewer things connected will make the screenshots clearer.

Use the PW CD to boot the Win7 laptop with no external devices connected (kb, monitor, mouse are ok)
connect the 'faulty' drive
post the PW main screen shot

My System SpecsSystem Spec
28 May 2014   #42

Windows 7

Okay, something's off. I try to boot from the disc, and under F2 setup, I made sure that the laptop booted from the cdrom (actually bd/dvd room) as top priority, but all it did was show a black scene for 15 seconds, then it was back to the log in screen and normal. Nothing from PW showed up, and it is written on the disc, and I doubled checked that from both machines, but nothing showed up when booted.

Hmm, if this doesn't work, is there another way "The parameter was not accessible" as it said when I tried to access the old HD. I heard about something called Testdisk from a thread dated back to 2007. Old, sure, but is it possible, or another option?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2014   #43

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

This is frustrating.

Yes, there's always another way.

Let's forget the bootable Partition Wizard (PW) CD, it seems to be a bottleneck at this point. I'm sure it's something simple to resolve, but it is not worth chasing.

Since you probably want the data on your new machine, let's use that machine but instead of PW bootable, download PW and install it.

Download Minitool Partition Wizard onto the new machine, install it and then connect the 'faulty' drive and post a screen shot of the PW main screen.

Note: Testdisk is a very good utility, but the learning curve is steep. PW is nearly as good, if PW can't read the disk, neither will Testdisk. The other thing to note is that the best success with Testdisk is a bootable version, so you would be back in the "how do I boot this disc" scenario.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 May 2014   #44

Windows 7

Okay, we're getting somewhere. I can see my old HD; it's Disk 2, from Gateway

EDIT: Here's another one, with all of the Operations listed on the left:
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 May 2014   #45

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem


You're still in the investigation stage so please revisit post #33 and complete those steps

You really only need to explore (and post) the Gateway partition F:
If they can be read, that is good news.

check the file system (DO NOT detect and fix check only)
and post the partition properties
for all partitions

I'll look at the information you post and determine the next steps for recovery.

I need to research if a partition on a MBR disk can be copied to a GPT disk using partition wizard - that would make it easy. Theoretically it should work, but..... give me some time to make sure.


Create a recovery folder on the Win8 machine Hard drive (HD)

Suggested name: Gateway_HDdata

Download Photorec 6.14 (included the Testdisk zip file)
Dbl click the zip file and press Extract all files
- accept the default destination

Read the step by step Photrec instructions and ask any questions before you proceed
- don't be concerned by the Photrec name - it knows more than 400 file formats.
See the full list here

This will take some time so let it run to completion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #46

Windows 7

I had follow up questions to the last post, but I just wanted to let you know that I had to turn off the computer and go to bed, and the check file system scan wasn't done yet. It started around when you posted the last post, so it was scanning for 6 hours. I'll resume/restart when I get back. But for 6 hours, is that normal/expected?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #47

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Yes, it is normal on a faulty drive. You didn't have to, nor should you have, turn off your machine. A hard stop on a disk operation can cause more serious issues.

Fire up PW and see if the disk is still readable. Don't bother with the instructions in post# 45 now.

Let's just try and get the data.
  1. Create your RecoverGateway (or what ever name you choose) folder on the Win8 machine. This is the folder that will receive data from the faulty drive - hopefully it can be done with a straight copy instead of a recover data operation. That is your fallback option.
  2. Download Lucid Puppy (Ubuntu-Compatible Build)
  3. Download Rufus
    Main Rufus page: Rufus - Create bootable USB drives the easy way
    Rufus FAQs:
  4. Create a bootable USB thumb / pen drive using Rufus and the Lucid Puppy .iso file
    Be certain to select the correct drive in the Rufus utility, your faulty HD is now a USB device and you do NOT want to overwrite that!
    It is small < 150 MB so you don't need a huge drive
    The creation will overwrite all data on the drive, so save it if you need it.
    The only thing you should have to enter in Rufus is the location of the .iso file, leave all other fields at the defaults

    Desktop not working: I need my hard drive back!-rufus-lucid-puppy-linux.png
  5. When you have the bootable drive ready, try booting your machine with it. I know you had trouble with the PW bootable, but.... hopefully this will be painless.
  6. When the machine boots into Linux, see if you can read the data on the faulty drive. The idea here is to simply copy your important data over to a folder on the new Win8 machine.

Let's see how far you get... ask questions if you need additional information, but I think you can manage. The sticking point for both of us will be if the thumb drive doesn't boot.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #48

Windows 7

Rufus will create the USB, right? Should I already put the iso in the USB before starting Rufus?

Also, when I clicked Rufus, nothing came up even though it was working. I had to check it on, and end it from, Task Manager, which showed that it wasn't doing anything. I don't know, Rufus may not be working

Such a shame with PW, though; I can access my HD and I saw everything, though I just couldn't copy what I wanted, as the option is for the the whole thing, and the Gateway HD is larger in GB than my current one.

The folder, Gateway HD, is set up though on my desktop.

Okay, I forgot this to say this: I asked this on Eight Forums, and a member pointed me to Easus. I saved it, didn't install it yet, because I wanted to see how PW worked out before trying the other.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #49

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Yes, Rufus creates the bootable USB... or it should.

I think it's worth a shot having the USB pen drive in a port before firing up Rufus. I don't think it's required, but since you had an issue. I just downloaded and ran it on Win7 to see if it might be version related - no problem.

I just reviewed the FAQs - did you right click Rufus and run as administrator? Sorry, I didn't mention that before... that's why I suggest members read the instructions themselves and ask "Hey Bill, it says here that you need to run Rufus with elevated priviliges. Does that mean Run as administrator?" Basically I'm human too and write a lot of posts....

PW is a great first test to see if the drive is shot or data can be read. Lot os other great features, except.... the one you need data recovery. Minitool does have a free recovery tool but it only gets 1 GB of data - more data recovery costs money.

Easus might be worth looking into, I'm not familiar with the recovery features of that tool. Let's continue down this path for a while, then try Photorec, then if no joy, you can ask the member who suggested Easus for guidance.

You choice.

Good to know that the folder Gateway HD was created - at least that's something crossed off the list of things to do.

Thanks again for being patient, these are frustrating issues that keep getting in the way of getting to your data. Just to let you know, I worked on one drive for three weeks and we saved the data - I'm patient. I sure hope this issue doesn't take more than a day or two more once you get the Lucid Puppy pen drive created - then hopefully it boots without the issue bootable PW CD had. Man every turn we take....

My System SpecsSystem Spec
30 May 2014   #50

Windows 7

Okay, cool. Now, when I start the process, the iso is in the USB, but the process stopped and said "fail". Now, it can't even do anything with that USB. "shrugs"
Also, just in case you ask, nothing is on the USB now. When I did try again, I put the iso back inside, and the message was the same "please select bootable image or uncheck "create bootable disck using"

lol, this gets better and better
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Desktop not working: I need my hard drive back!

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