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How to restore an unbootable hard drive
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 11 Aug 2011

How to restore an unbootable hard drive


It may appear a disaster when you discover that your computer will not start. There are a few things you can try that may get that machine booted. All is not lost until you know, with 100 percent certainty, that the drive will not boot — and even then, you can possibly recover your data. Here are some tips that can help you to get that drive booted and your machine recovered.
Boot from a restore disk
With many operating systems, restore disks can be created and used to deal with such disasters. The problem with this usually arises because the user hasn’t made a restore disk. The first things you should do when you get a new computer or install a fresh operating system is create a restore disk and keep it somewhere safe. That disk can really save your time and your data — especially in cases such as an unbootable drive.

But even if you didn’t create a restore disk, you can just download the same release that’s installed on the machine and use that as your restore.
Use the install disk
If you didn’t create a recovery disk in Windows, but you have the full installation disk, you’ll be okay. Those disks include recovery tools that can be accessed by pressing R at the Welcome To Setup screen. The tools let you fix boot problems, restore the hard drive from image, diagnose memory, and perform system restore.

Note: The system restore typically can work only if the system restore partition is intact.

Use special tools
One of such tools is is BartPE. BartPE is a eal challenge to set up. But once you have it, you have a serious tool for fixing serious problems. Bart E creates a complete, preinstalled Win32 environment on your hard drive that allows you to use many of the tools available for repair.

Rebuild the master boot record
In many instances, the problem is a corrupt master boot record (MBR). If that’s the case, the MBR needs to be rebuilt. This process will vary, depending upon the operating system you use. With Windows 7, the necessary tool is Bootrec.exe, which can be found in the Windows Recovery Environment. If the operating system uses Grub 2 and the boot loader was lost after a Windows installation (with the intent to dual-boot), there is a tool called Grub4dos, which can certainly be a lifesaver. If no Windows environment is on the machine, grab that Live CD and you’ll have all the tools you need to rebuild your Grub boot loader. The specific tool you want is grub-install, and to rebuild the grub menu, update-grub.

Remove the drive
If all else fails, pull out the drive from the machine, attach it to a machine known to run, and see if the drive can be seen at all. It is possible that the reason the drive will not boot is due to physical damage. If the drive can be seen but not accessed, most likely the partition table has gone corrupt. But if the drive can’t even be seen, especially using a Linux machine to view it, the drive might well be physically damaged. If the drive can be seen and accessed, the problem is probably the MBR. In such case, you copy your data over to another drive.

  More similar links:

Tips how to increase your laptop’s/notebook battery life

How to restore an unbootable hard drive

Virtual hard Disk. How to.

Hard drive optimization tips.

How to protect your hard drive from failing

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 Tags: SoftFern Tutorials, SoftFern free Tutorials and Article, SoftFern Windows and other Operatin, Windows, Hard drive, recovered hard drive, systems disk, computer, boot
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