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  #1  
Old 27th February 2008, 01:23 AM
thesun Offline
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Using a Live CD as a Windoze recovery tool?

My wife's computer (Dell 1150 laptop, XPsp2) has just blue screened (pretty sure it's a virus) and is coming up with a "boot error, cannot find boot device 0" message. It's a Dell XP laptop. I've been using Linux so long I've forgotten what it's like to have that happen -- is there any way I can use Grub or a F8 Live CD to view and copy info from the Windows partition...assuming it is still readable? Barring that, are there any other suggestions people have? (Aside from the obvious -- install Linux to the hard disk and never look back. Unfortunately she needs XP for a program at her school.) I'm loathe to dash off and buy a recovery program if I can do something similar with Linux-based tools.

Any and all help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.
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  #2  
Old 27th February 2008, 02:14 AM
stoat Offline
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Hello thesun,

I recommend the Ultimate Boot CD for Windows. I think everyone that uses Windows XP should possess one. It's sort of an "XP LiveCD" with lots of utilities such as file managers, partition managers, partition recovery, file recovery, anti-spyware, anti-virus, etc., etc. (the list of tools). It used to be somewhat difficult to build one, but nowadays the UBCD and Bart's PE (Preinstalled Environment) are merged together making the creation of the CD much simpler. But you do need to possess your own legal copy of Windows XP SP1 or SP2.

Last edited by stoat; 27th February 2008 at 02:16 AM.
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  #3  
Old 27th February 2008, 02:18 AM
homey Offline
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It might be just a good ole drive failure which might also not be complete. That is to say, a linux livecd may just show everything.
Problem is, laptops, arent all that easy to plug in a second drive and copy from one to another. Therefore, you should try to make an image and put it onto a networked machine.
I find the clonezilla livecd to be perfect for making network images and restoring them.
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  #4  
Old 27th February 2008, 02:20 AM
thesun Offline
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Thanks for the info, Stoat, but I'm actually trying to see if there are Linux tools that I can use instead, either on the F8 Live CDs or elsewhere. For example, can I install Grub onto the master boot partition without messing around at all with the data on the other partitions, and then use Grub to boot to XP?

Last edited by thesun; 27th February 2008 at 02:28 AM.
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  #5  
Old 27th February 2008, 02:29 AM
stoat Offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thesun

For example, can I install Grub onto the master boot partition without messing around at all with the data on the other partitions, and then use Grub to boot to XP?
Well, to me this sounds worse than a boot loader problem. But if that is what you want to try to repair, why not use the XP Recovery Console on your XP CD? The Recovery Console commands fixmbr and fixboot can rewrite the boot code to the master boot record and the volume boot record of the XP system partition.
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  #6  
Old 27th February 2008, 02:31 AM
thesun Offline
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Using the tools on the Live CD, what can I do to diagnose a failed drive? Can I use Fdisk? (I know how to do things if it's a regular install, but I don't know if the Live CD is locked out of certain parts.)

For example...if I wanted to access the Windows partition and look at it, what commands would I use? Where should it appear in the filesystem? What /dev or mountpoint? How can I take a look at the partitions?
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  #7  
Old 27th February 2008, 02:37 AM
thesun Offline
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Stoat, I have an (genuine, official, yadda yadda) XP disc somewhere in my closet but then I've got to deal with the SP1 and SP2 crapola. If it comes down to it, yes, I'll work on recovery via Windoze tools or check out the links you've provided, but before that, I'd rather use Linux-based tools if they're available since I'm far more familiar with the Linux OS. Prior to slogging through that, I really just need to check and see that A) the drive works, and B) there's data on it. Let me come back to you in a bit if I need XP help, okay? (And if it comes down to it, I will surely need the help!) Thanx.
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  #8  
Old 28th February 2008, 03:05 AM
mgd Offline
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I see that thesun is asking,

> what can I do to diagnose a failed drive? Can I use Fdisk?

NO.

In an earlier message, thesun asked,

> For example, can I install Grub onto the master boot partition
> without messing around at all with the data on the other partitions,

NO.

> and then use Grub to boot to XP?

NO.

Whenever you are trying to diagnose a failed HDD ... you NEVER try to
install anything on that drive.

In your case, try to find out what kind of drive is instaled on the notebook

The Dell support website can give you this information based on the
Dell service tag.

When you know the drive manufacturer, go to the support website
for that manufacturer ... usually, you can download a disk diagnostic
program to do a NON-DESTRUCTIVE test of the drive.

--
Martin
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