Vista won't boot - trying to retrieve data

Discussion in 'Recovery & Backup' started by 69_Charger, May 25, 2011.

  1. 69_Charger

    69_Charger

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    I have my daughters laptop: Dell Inspiron 1520 Vista home, running AVG free anti virus. It was acting flaky for her and then just quit booting. It said there was a corrupt file on C:\netio.sys. I read some info about booting from the installation DVD (which is Dell's "Reinstallation DVD") and copying the netio.sys file from it to the hard drive. I only attempted this after the auto repair feature did not work (through 5 or 7 attempts).

    Once I copied the file (to the root as well as replacing the same file name in the drivers folder) and tried to re-boot, I got a different error for TCPIP.sys being corrupt. However, the auto repair said it was able to fix that. Tried to reboot again after auto repair and it went right back to saying the C:\netio.sys file was corrupt.

    Next, I pulled the hard drive and used a caddy to connect it to my (Dell Latitude 620 XP Pro) laptop via usb. I could see the drive and it's contents, but several folders -- such as My Documents -- were opaque, and I was not permitted to view or copy the folder. So I tried to just do a backup of the entire drive, but it said I didn't have permission (my daughter did use a sign on password -- and there was just the one user account).

    I then hooked up the external caddy to my other daughter's Lenovo Win 7 laptop; it didn't even show the folders that showed as opaque on the XP machine. I put the hard drive back in the original laptop, downloaded Ubuntu and burned a CD. Booted from the CD (did not install) and it can see the hard drive. However, all the users' folders such as My Pictures have "no data", and I don't see anything for my daughter's user name. I tried to copy the entire drive to an external hard drive with plenty of space but Ubuntu said that it could not copy with some kind of "Can't open mountable file" error.

    My first question is did I mess anything up when I copied the netio.sys file from the install DVD? The next question is how do I recover the contents of the hard drive? I have already ordered a replacement drive, so getting the data back is my only concern for this drive.
     
    69_Charger, May 25, 2011
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  2. 69_Charger

    WAW8

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    You can copy off the user data using an Ubuntu Linux CD -- but you need to know where to look. The "My ..." are not real folders anymore; in Linux terms, they are now soft links.

    Instead, the user data is hidden away under c:\users\<username>\AppData\Local and ...AppData\Roaming. Look there for the data files you want.

    And, for simply retrieving data, you will have better luck using an Ubuntu Linux CD because it won't be bothered by the file permissions plaguing your attempts to recover the data using other Windows PCs.
     
    WAW8, May 26, 2011
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  3. 69_Charger

    69_Charger

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    That wasn't the info I got on another site; no wonder I couldn't find what I was looking for. Thank you, WAW8 for the correct info. I was able to back up all the files from your directions!
     
    69_Charger, May 27, 2011
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