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URGENT PLEASE ! will installing xp on a not working vista laptop help recover files?

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joko | 00:26 Thu 23rd Oct 2008 | Technology
10 Answers
my vista laptop harddrive has been switched off.. but cant get into comp to turn back on...

i have just put my xp disk in an it tried to install - and it recognised the extra space on my lap top - but was viewingf a partition as c drive it can see the rest of the hard drive, but appears to be seein it as empty.... (im kind of sure its not empty tho..i think somethin i di to it is making it read as inactive - because of an message that came up after i used some reboot software....)

it asked me if i wanted to install xp on that drive... or creat a partition in that extra space to install it......should i do it?...

might it help me recover my lost files etc...?

or will it just balls it up even worse... or write over whatver may be left on that bit of the drive?

thanks for your replies....keen to do it if it will work



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by the sound of it it's very likely you've already pretty much lost everything on that drive.

Carrying on with the XP setup will delete everything on the drive for sure!

Your best bet for any possibility of recovering anything off that drive would be to remove the drive and install it in a working machine as a second drive.
Question Author
would it wipe even if i just installed in a partition? or would that contain it to the amount of space in the partition?
sorry just noticed laptop...

So you can't really "install" your drive into another computer, Get a USB hard drive caddy and put your hard drive into it and plug into another computer that should have read
it depends on what the spare space used to be!

it's likely to have been the partition your data was stored on and it's been deleted so installing onto that will overwrite the data your trying to recover.

If you really want to get anything off that drive do not do anything else to it at all!!

Remove it and get a usb hard drive caddy (about 15-30quid) install it in that and plug into a working computer, then there is a good chance of recovering it.

The more you change anything on that drive from this point on decreases your chances of easy data recovery.
Question Author
the partition of 10gb only contains my recovery stuff - to reset to factory settings

the other 100gb is the rest of the asks if i want to create a new partition to put xp on...

trouble is, its still in warranty - by 2 weeks - so im reluctant to remove the drive, just in case it voids it...

i have leads that will turn any desktop pc drive into a portable drive.... i managed to clone the 10gb recovery partition onto it... but the software wouldnt read the rest of the drive... do you know of a way i could get it to copy the othe 100gb?

many thanks for your help
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one of the LINUX live cd's might enable you to do it and copy the data to either a networked computer or a memory stick roup_id=99853

is my preference, make the CD and boot from it and it will take you into a basic Linux operating system that lets you do data recovery.

Question Author
thanks chuck

do you mean i burn a cd an use as a boot disk?

is there another way? usb etc? as i dont have any other disk burner..except the one in the broken laptop...sods law eh?

or could i even connect the 2 comps?

or can i buy a disk with it already on?

thanks for your help
If your laptop allows it (you may have to alter some BIOS settings), you can get versions of Linux (and other disaster-recovery systems) that will boot off a USB key.

I'd contact whoever manages you warranty and find out if removing the hard drive for data recovery would void the warranty (it shouldn't).
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