Tip & How-To about Computers & Internet
Have your Windows CD handy as it will
ask you to place it in the tray.
Use a driver saver tool to avoid all that cruising the internet for the motherboard drivers your computer came with. This will save you from hours of frustration and fix any lost drivers that windows or malware have destroyed or corrupted. I use (Driver Backup 126.96.36.199) Which is
available at Cnet's download.com. Copy the files you save to a flash drive or CD and you will never regret it!
The DEAD Hard Drive! Or is it?
If all else has failed and Windows no longer starts up as it should, you will have ended up here in the Uh Oh area!
By now your local PC shop has told you that you have a virus and you need to format your hard drive because they are too incompetent and lack the skill and education to remove the virus with a standard Antivirus that any moron can buy at the local Costco, Walmart Target store or mall.
You didn't think they actually used anything you can't buy yourself did you?
The sad fact here is, that most people can do everything most every PC repair shop does on a daily basis in their own home with very little effort. Most PC shops simply Start your PC and if it won't start Windows properly, they will tell you that a hard drive wipe or (Format) is the only
way to save your computer.
Nothing could be further from the truth!
Using the basic methods I have described above you can solve most of these problems yourself.
If you have a virus, just refer to my Article titled (Virus Facts and FYI).
Remember that almost no PC shop will care one iota about your personal data, or how long it took you to scan those family photos you use as a screensaver, or the Long reports you wrote for the Boss, or that novel you have been working on for the past 3 years.
There are some exceptions of course, and there are some genuine Computer Techs who will go that extra mile just to see you smile. But most of these guys have messy hair, work at home or smell like last nights Pizza. These guys are the ones you want. Not all of them are as wise as they should be, and some have Ego's the size of Dallas, while others will unscrupulously swap parts with your PC to upgrade their own PC hoping you will never find out. I know of a large computer firm near me that does this routinely and they have the whole town fooled.
But they DO exist, and have a head full of knowledge that will benefit you tremendously should you find the right one. So if you feel inadequate to use the steps provided so far, find a guy that has no shop, but everybody knows and trusts with their PC,
Back to the dead drive, (sorry I wandered)
So here you are with a hard drive that no longer boots or runs windows.
What about your data? You can save that with a USB to IDE/SATA connector.
This little device usually sells for under $20 and can be attached to any hard drive you care to place on it except for the SCSI variety.
To use this device, you will need to:
1. Remove your hard drive from your PC
2. Find a PC with enough free hard drive space to store your data on.
3. Scan the drive for viruses and malware with this other PC.
4. Scandisk and Defrag it to speed up data transfer and eliminate errors.
How do I know where to find the files I want to save?
Here is what you need to do first:
1, In XP go to (Tools), then (Folder Options) then (View) and uncheck anything that says hide.
2. Then go to (My Computer) and open your main drive, Usually C:
3. Open a folder called (Documents and Settings)
4. Look for a folder with your Login name and open it.
5. Do not drag these folders to your computer (Application Data, Cookies, My Recent Documents, NetHood, PrintHood, SendTo, Start Menu,
Templates, or Windows) as these will be useless on your newly formatted drive. If you have to format! and we really DON'T want to do that!
6. Create a new folder on the desktop of this other PC and call it anything you want and drag the rest of the folders there.
Take care to not delete or move any of these folders since we will be trying to restore your computer to as close to the pre-crash state as we can without losing data. If all goes well, your desktop will look the same, your (My Documents) folder will be intact, and most, if not all of your original programs will run as they did before your PC crashed.
Now you have a backup copy of your crucial files and can safely try to revover your hard drive and windows installation.
What if I use Outlook or Outlook Express!
(This will only work if you can still access windows)
This is usually only a problem on PC's where the email client is based on the ISP's settings and local mail delivery system. Saving your Emails is as easy as clicking one email item, going to the Edit tab and selecting all, then copy and past the selected Emails to the folder of your Choice, Obviously you should name it My Email or some such thing. Do the same for any Folders you created with your email client by opening them, select all, then copy and paste. When your new windows installation finishes (if you end up reinstalling) Simply drag and drop them right into the email clients inbox window and you'll be good as new.
Now you can reinstall your hard drive to your original computer and begin the data recovery, or reinstallation process. This will require you to use your original Windows CD and Product key.
On To The Real Fun Now !!
# 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.
Posted by Bob Sloan on
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