Reading from a second hard drive

  Farleyjim 15:09 26 Mar 07

Something happened to my hard drive when I tried to access IE, with various messages (I cannot remember exactly what) saying certain Windows files were corrupted and therefore suggesting to me that I was in trouble.The machine froze so I had to turn it off at the mains. Sure enough, when I came to reboot,I got the message "could not find the operating system"
Rather than reloading Windows(XP Home) and risk losing evrything on the hard disk, I decided to put another hard disk in, load windows on the new one and try to salvage files from the old one, using that as the slave. The result is this: the pc is running OK on the new hard disk, but is now labelled "E". When I fitted the old hard disk, it was recognised (as "F")but Windows wants to Format it. Does this mean I have lost any chance of recovering my old files, or is there a clever get out? I don't know if there is any significance but the drive I just bought was a PATA one whereas the one which I now cannot read is a SATA. I was told that it wouldn't make any difference. Sorry this problem is so "wordy"

  Pamy 15:59 26 Mar 07

Farley Jim, I would put your original disk back in and then boot up from your XP CD. then do a "Repair". You should not loose any data and progs, but you will loose your Microsoft Updates. If you do not know how to do this proccedure I am sure others will point you in the right direction

  keef66 16:01 26 Mar 07

I'm not familiar with master / slave setup with a mixture of sata and pata drives, I have only ever done it with 2 ide (pata) drives on the same ribbon cable, one set to master and one to slave via the jumpers on the back of each drive.

Do you have anyone friendly enough to allow you to plug your old drive into their pc to see if it's viewed differently on another pc?

  Farleyjim 16:30 26 Mar 07

Pamy, that's the first thing I did but the Cd went straight into setup with no opportunity to "Repair". I stopped when I received the message "Windows cannot continue"(something like that). The old hard drive is exactly as it was. I have done nothing to install XP again or Format. That is why I was hoping to access the files.

  Pamy 16:32 26 Mar 07

Farley Jim, yes it does go to setup and as you continue you have the opertunity to "repair"

  Fruit Bat /\0/\ 18:05 26 Mar 07

Repair XP by install over the top of existing systm

1. Boot the computer using the XP CD. You may need to change the boot order in the system BIOS so the CD boots before the hard drive. Check your system documentation for steps to access the BIOS and change the boot order.

2. When you see the "Welcome To Setup" screen, you will see This portion of the Setup program prepares Microsoft Windows XP to run on your computer:

To setup Windows XP now, press ENTER.

To repair a Windows XP installation using Recovery Console, press R.

To quit Setup without installing Windows XP, press F3.

3. Press Enter to start the Windows Setup.

To setup Windows XP now and Repair Install , press ENTER.

DO NOT choose "To repair a Windows XP installation using the Recovery Console, press R", (you Do Not want to load Recovery Console).

4. Accept the License Agreement and Windows will search for existing Windows installations.

5. Select the XP installation you want to repair from the list and press R to start the repair.

6. Setup will copy the necessary files to the hard drive and reboot.

Do not press any key to boot from CD when the message appears.

Setup will continue as if it were doing a clean install, but your applications and settings will remain intact.

Repair XP
click here

  Farleyjim 15:08 27 Mar 07

Thank you Pamy and Fruit Bat. Having spent most of the day yesterday putting in a new hard disc and successfully loading windows and all my other applications and files,I am a bit nervous about risking a repair on the old disk if I can get the missing files off it without doing that. The present situation is this: I have both hard disks now installed. The one I bought yesterday is a PATA. It now has windows and all my applications on it. The other one(my old disk)which is a SATA shows up in Explorer but when I try to access it, I am told that it needs to be formatted before I can use it.This will wipe the data which is exactly what I am trying to prevent. So how can I get to it? For some reason(perhaps someone can explain) when I installed the new disk, it became disk E and then the second one became F. Any further help would be most welcome. Thanks

  johndrew 15:22 27 Mar 07

Why not check to see if it `Dirty`.

Go to `Start/Run` and type `cmd`. The Command promt box will open. Type `fsutil dirty query Z:` where `Z` is the drive identity letter. Hopefully it will tell you that `Z: is NOT Dirty`. If it tells you `Z: is Dirty` you can run CHKDSK to recover it as follows:

CHKNTFS /X Z: (followed by the enter key) - This will stop the disk check on the next reboot

Now reboot your computer: let it reboot an dopen up another CLI - type in the following:

CHKDSK /F /R Z: (followed by the enter key) - Let is scan and check your computer fully

Once it has done so type in the following again as in the first step

fsutil dirty query Z:

Be warned the scan/repair can take some time; my disk took about 5 hours so don`t be impatient.

  johndrew 15:34 27 Mar 07

I have just re-read your post and think the answer is in the fact that you now have 2 HDDS with XP on them. Go into `Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Disk Management` and look at the disks. The one you are booting from will say under `Status` `Healthy(System)` the other will probably say `Healthy(****)` where **** = another word.

You may find that to get the files you want, you will need to press `F8` during the PC boot to get to the boot select page. From here you should be able to boot from your `old` HDD and copy the files you want to an alternative location (CD/floppy?). the `new` disk may not be accessible for the same reason as above.

  Farleyjim 15:56 27 Mar 07

Johndrew Tried F8 on boot up and there is only one choice--Profile 1.If you read my first posting you will see that this is what started my problem.When my original hard disk failed, I received the message "Error loading operating system", so I couldn't boot from that.

  Pamy 16:09 27 Mar 07

the only other suggestion I can make is this...
1) make or get a bootup disk
2) put only your old disk back in as the master.
3) boot up with a bootdisk in your CD drive.
4) the bootdisk will get you into your computer from there you should be able to get your data off onto a CD

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