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how to make vista boot CD Tried to understand


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#1 whatsanike

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 02:40 AM

I tried to make a CD to boot vista or something to rescue the corrupt NTFS. So far I have read various instructions but the step-by-step process eludes my understanding. It all looks like written for/by engineers to me. What I think crashed my drive was I wanted to deleted a lot of videos at once and inadvertently pressed "Enter" instead of delete. Anyway now the chkdsk C: command from DOS window will not start. It ran halfway one time and stopped in the middle. With restore disk from gateway for my desktop PC I can't do much. I can look at some files on the C: drive but it won't boot. What are the steps please using my other computer and CD burner to fix my HD? Maybe too complicated to explain to non-engineer?

#2 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 10:33 AM

What are the steps please using my other computer and CD burner to fix my HD? Maybe too complicated to explain to non-engineer?

No, the problem is not that it is too complicated, it's not rocket science (or brain surgery) rest assured. :)

The problem is that without a clear idea of WHAT caused the problem the "fix" may be either "wrong" (and cause further damage) or "ineffective".

It is possible that - for any reason - your C:\ partition filesystem is beyond the capabilities of CHKDSK to fix it.

The standard procedure in these cases is to image the hard disk, sector by sector "as is".

Then, attempt fixing it. (this way if the fix is "wrong" you can go back and re-start from scratch).

To do this you will need some hardware that you might have not right now:
  • another hard disk - surely working and with no data (i.e. that can be wiped) bigger than the problematic one or a much biggger hard disk with enough free space on it
  • possibility to connect both the hard disks, the "source" and "destination" ones, to a working (desktop) machine

The alternative is trying a "blind fix" that may cause the data on the disk to be UNrecoverable by *any* means if it fails. :)

What I would do if I were you would be to:
  • get parted magic:
  • http://partedmagic.com/doku.php
  • burn it to bootable CD/DVD
  • have a look at the problematic disk partition with TESTDISK (which is included in the distro)
  • if the actual data is accessible from testdisk, save it to an external (USB) hard disk before doing anything else

TESTDISK home page here:
http://www.cgsecurit...g/wiki/TestDisk

It is possible that TESTDISK can "fix" the filesystem enough to allow booting again BUT your priorities should be:
  • salvage all the data you can
  • only after you have the data safe, go on with any attempt to fix the filesystem

If you want a "normal" Windows Vista Recovery Environment, you can get it here:
http://neosmart.net/...-disc-download/

Please BEFORE doing anything to that disk, make sure you have "a plan", if you have ANY doubt, ask about it BEFORE doing anything that you may later regret.

Some questions for you:
  • Which OS are you running on yur "other" PC?
  • How big is the problematic partition/filesystem?
  • Can you get a hard disk big enough to hold an image file of the problematic HD?

:cheers:
Wonko

#3 sambul61

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 02:26 PM

whatsanike

Did you try to RESTORE a previous system snapshot?

#4 whatsanike

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 03:26 PM

most of the data I don't need. i have a backup on a HP simplesave USB HD, but all I really need now is to save my emails located in appdata, so I think I can put that folder on a backup. i could buy a SATA drive and run it off the same motherboard, and transfer the little that I need. How to mount the USB drive I am not sure. Very frustrated about Windows Vista crashing from updates and so I might very likely put Fedora or some linux distro on the second SATA drive. I don't want to reward the maker of the inadequate OS by buying the latest distro, which may even prove unstable. Anyway I have a nice Dell Inspiron laptop pre-loaded with Windows 7 if I need to run apps for that OS.
So all I want to do is rescue my emails. it would be nice to be able to boot Vista again, but lost confidence in it by now having spent hours trying to revive it. I would be willing to give that a try, but need a road map that seems possible. So I will try your kind suggestions, Mr. the Sane.
Of course HP Simplesave will not save your Windows mail by default since appdata is a hidden folder.
For your amusement I will say that I went to Best Buy and bought a desktop with Win 7 as the clerk said the SATA drive would run Win 7 on my existing machine. I took the HD out and put it in my Gateway but it would not load all the drivers. Finally Acer Live Chat guy in Far East said it won't load on other kind of machine. Put the Acer EMachine back together and returned it still functioning to Best Buy the next day. Did not tell them I had it apart, only that I could not use the parts like I wanted to. If the Win 7 HD would have run on the Gateway machine, I would have saved 40% on all the parts including the OS. The whole is cheaper than the sum of the parts, if only they were more fungible.

#5 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 03:49 PM

So I will try your kind suggestions, Mr. the Sane.

Actually there was very little of "kind" and NOT any "real" suggestion in my post. :)

There are however 3 (three) questions, numbered from 1 to 3, for which I would like to have an answer (actually 3 of them) from you (exactly in order to give you some "real" suggestion - not ntecessarily "kind" :cheers:)

... , Mr. the Sane.

Mr. the Sane, I like it! :)


:w00t:
Wonko

#6 whatsanike

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 09:24 PM

The other PC runs win 7. It is a Dell Inspiron laptop and I am still waiting for my inspiration.
The files are about 50 to 100 gigabytes. The partition size is I think the size of the HD about 200 Gig. I can't easily access it now. Could load DOS from the gateway repair disk and look again.
Yes I can easily buy a SATA drive big enough for everything, and I already have a SimpleSave terabyte USB drive.

#7 whatsanike

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 10:41 PM

In reply to Mr. Sambul:

I did try to find a restore point. What was interesting perhaps, about the history of the problem, was that Vista more than once lost its ability to boot due to Windows Update not completing on startup. There was a time when I could get a restore point January 27, 2010, and use that date with the Vista restore disk.
there was a time when I was in email contact with Microsoft tech support, and there were fixes suggested by them that did not work at all to get updates. As many are aware, Vista has a tendency to crash from trying to get updates from the "Mothership". I have a less polite name for it.

#8 sambul61

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Posted 26 December 2010 - 11:05 PM

whatsanike

It looks like you just want to recover an email archive from your Gateway PC with Vista preinstalled? And you already have Dell Laptop with Win 7?

Since you already paid for Win 7 with your laptop, it might be an option to MIGRATE your Win 7 install from it onto the Gateway PC. If you look around the forum, you may find some advice on how to do it after you image the Vista HD and recover your email. It may be less straightforward than a usual Word install, but feasible. :) I bet, at the end you may want to become a software engineer.

#9 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 12:15 AM

After having burned PMagic and booted, loaded the program into RAM, and mounted My terabyte USB drive, I find that I can see all the data on my Vista 400 GB HD and can copy it to the USB drive at will. So my drive is only not able to boot into Vista, and not able to get a reinstall from the Vista reinstall disk, which I did once already before, but now can't, and also can't run disk repaiir from the DOS window on the Vista CD.
Any suggestions as to what the least complicated solution to try first might be, anyone? That is to try to get the HD to be able to boot or reinstall Windows. If I can't get Vista to boot, I will have to spend big bux if I want to run WIN 7. I wonder if my previous abortion of the plan to run WIN 7 on the HD from the new Best Buy cheap emachine would have worked on my Gateway, if I had tried to use a Win 7 repair disk downloaded from the internet to change the drivers from the emachine. That machine was only $320 and standalone install of Win 7 would have cost $200, and then to keep my data on the old HD I would also have had to buy a NEW SaTA drive and cable another $80. Then I would have tried to copy the old Vista data to the new SATA drive, taken the old Vista drive out and run it in the new computer using Fedora OS or something. Compared with buying the new drive and WIN 7 for $280, I would have gotten a new computer for the $40 difference.

#10 sambul61

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 12:32 AM

Your best bet is try using Vista Recovery CD.

Migrating OS install to another PC is not only about drivers - there is moooore to it, including some skills and learning curve. :)

#11 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:11 AM

now using TestDisk on the sick HD with trying not to screw it up. If I write from this program a boot sector onto it, dya think the Vista recoverhy disk might boot it or it might boot into windows. Symptoms are it will only do one thing on its own and that is Start in Safe Mode and last driver loaded is crcdisk.sys and hangs all night and all day. Will not recover using Vista recovery or install Windows from the D: drive no matter how many times I try. Before this condition, it voluntarily tried to run its own disk repair, without being asked, just after it crashed, and found a lot of cross-linked files but it could not finish the repair. These tons of damaged files may have been created when I highlighted a lot of video files, like at least several gigabytes, that I wanted to delete, and hit "Enter" by mistake instead of "Delete". I don't think a virus caused it, as I had been running good AV and regular scans.

#12 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:17 AM

Used to be, you could do "fixmbr" from a DOS window, but now, I doubt if it would be so easy. Microsoft has kept changing stuff. See, all I think this disk needs is the boot sector to work and the recovery D: partition be recognized by the Vista recovery disk.

#13 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:52 AM

Well, I guess I asked the wrong question, and maybe even the wrong group. TestDisk says the boot sectors match and are good. Now all I need to figure out is why Vista disk won't work and why I can't do chkdsk.

#14 sambul61

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:58 AM

If it boots in Safe Mode, its MBR is good. Try Windows Repair option from Vista Install DVD. If you can't repair it, and don't have its backup, you may want to either reinstall Vista and other soft, or migrate Win7 from your laptop, or download Win7 from the web - haven't you checked MS & sister sites for a download link? Once trial expired, you may need to ACTIVATE Win7. Checkdisk & TestDisk will NOT help to recover damaged system files.

#15 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:58 AM

here's the play-by-play. Read further the TestDisk help file fixed the MFT from mirror. Now thinking to restart and hope for best.

#16 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:20 AM

Fixed the MFT and still can't use the vista OS disk as what it does is stops and doesn't repair the startup, (please wait all night and all next day)
and doesn't reinstall windows, and it still hangs on safe mode at crcdisk.sys
It might be a problem with the registry. I can do a regedit from the CD in the X: drive but no idea how to proceed.

#17 sambul61

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:59 AM

Recover files you need, format drive, reinstall Vista. :)

#18 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 05:09 AM

New play-by-play thing happening. After I seem to have fixed the MFT using TestDisk, I stumbled upon a Vista restore disk I earlier downloaded from the internet, and although it claimed that my Vista was incompatible with its Vista, I got a DOS window and am now able to run chckdsk C: now there is an error that it can not cont\inue in read-only mode. I am therfore executing the command C:>attrib -h-s-r /s and plan to run chkdsk again. So now there are a dozen or so files that attrib found unreadable and the error message is asking me to run chkdsk. meanwhile the attrib command is still running. i probably should also have added the switch /D

#19 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 05:15 AM

last play-by-play tonite. the attrib command i ran to remove the read-only so chkdsk wouldn't complain is finding a boatload of corrupt files attrib can't read from being corrupt/damaged.

#20 whatsanike

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 05:33 AM

Uno what? after I ran chkdsk /f /x a ton of files got fixed and windows booted in safe mode. Inexplicably it just loaded a SCSI driver and I don't even have a SCSI drive and then it asked to restart Now it restarted in regular mode. What a trip!

#21 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 02:14 PM

Uno what? after I ran chkdsk /f /x a ton of files got fixed and windows booted in safe mode. Inexplicably it just loaded a SCSI driver and I don't even have a SCSI drive and then it asked to restart Now it restarted in regular mode. What a trip!


The whole lot of your reports look a lot like a serious problem of failing hard disk.
If I were you I would check it thoroughfully with the Manufacturer utility.
That behaviour is rather typical of a "fored shutdown" (like power blackout) happened at a time where a lot of disk activity was in action or with lots of data to be flushed to the drive, the fact that you attempted to start together a zillion of videos should not be capable of creating such a deep corruption of the filesystem, unless you powered off the PC when it hung. :)
Then the only logical explanation is some kind of problem in the HD.
It may have been a single episode, but better make sure (better be safe than sorry) :D

;)
Wonko

#22 sambul61

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:05 PM

Now it restarted in regular mode. What a trip!

Remember, CheckDisk abandons many files otherwise recoverable. Now that you are back to Vista, it may be the right time to learn OS Migration techniques, backup Vista drive, and try migrate Win7 to it from your laptop. :D You may also want to improve your MBR update skills :) and next time try to service your drive by starting Service Images from it by reading Understanding MultiBooting Tutorial.

#23 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 04:28 PM

Remember, CheckDisk abandons many files otherwise recoverable.

Does it? ;)

Have you got any docs/reference about this misbehaviour of CHKDSK?

Now that you are back to Vista, it may be the right time to learn OS Migration techniques, backup Vista drive, and try migrate Win7 to it from your laptop. :D

Wouldn't this require an additional License for Windows 7?
At a mere 120 ÷ 220 US$ it may be a bit overboard. :)

;)
Wonko

#24 sambul61

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 05:22 PM

CHKDSK can check and display the file system integrity status, and can fix logical file system errors, some physical errors and recover some data if its still readable - not this case IMHO, based on your "abrupt shutdown" theory. :)

Ideally: "When CHKDSK finds an unreadable sector, NTFS adds the cluster that contains that sector to its list of bad clusters. If the bad cluster is in use, CHKDSK allocates a new cluster to do the job of the bad cluster. If you are using a fault-tolerant disk, NTFS recovers the bad cluster's data and writes the data to the newly allocated cluster. Otherwise, the new cluster is filled with a pattern of 0xFF bytes."

In practice: one would use CHKDSK for all data recovery needs if it can replace sophisticated imaging & data recovery soft.

Win7 trial is free and allowed to be extended - haven't you tried it yet? Then harry up, as Win 8 Beta is around the corner. :D

#25 Wonko the Sane

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 05:44 PM

I still have no idea about what you mean with:

Remember, CheckDisk abandons many files otherwise recoverable.

:unsure:

I mean, if a sector is bad, it is bad. :(

OBVIOUSLY CHKDSK, like ANY other filesystem "fixing" app should ONLY be used AFTER you have an image of the disk/volume, so that if really anything is lost (but as said I would be curious to see any evidence that CHKDSK "abandons recoverable files") you can try the recovery with another tool/method.

From your same MS source:
http://support.micro...b/314835/EN-US/

It remains vitally important that you protect mission-critical data by performing periodic backups or by using some other robust method of data recovery.


Or maybe you are referring to the fact that CHKDSK relocates a whole cluster if it finds a single bad sector in it?

But it does so only if you give it the /R switch :dubbio:, so, it's not CHKDSK "fault" it's of the guy/gal that invokes it with the parameter....:whistling:

:cheers:
Wonko




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