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Possible to access a bad hard drive?


Ive got a Dell inspirion 2200. Its having some sort of issue. I took it in to repair and they said it looks like windows is corrupted or maybe the hard drive is failing. He said I could still access my information. I decided to replace this computer, but I still want to get old information off the old computer. When i try to start it, i get an unmountable boot disk error message. Is there a way to get the data back? Thanks for your help!

4 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    There's a big difference between a corrupted operating system and a failing hard drive. When you first power up the computer, immediately start clicking the F2 key. You'll be taken to an options menu where you can access the BIOS. Make sure your CD/DVD-ROM has the number 1 in front of it. Save that setting.

    Now open the CD/DVD-ROM tray and insert your original install disk. Close the tray and restart the computer. Since you changed the BIOS to make the CD/DVD-ROM the first device the computer tries to read, it will read the install disk and you'll get an option to do a repair install of the operating system. I'm guessing you have XP Home or Pro installed. These instructions and screenshots will walk you through a repair for either version. You won't lose any personal settings or programs on the machine but you will have to reinstall all Windows Updates, Hotfixes, etc. NOTE: Twice during the repair you will get a prompt to "press any key to continue". DO NOT PRESS ANY KEYS!! It will take a minute or so but the computer will automatically re-boot on its own.


    If the repair install is successful, and you reinstall the Updates, etc., chances are you don't have a bad hard drive. But to be sure, you could run this free diagnostic utility. It can help to pinpoint any potential hardware and software issues:

    If the hard drive is failing, you might be able to retrieve your data with this utility from Gibson Research.

    It's not free but well worth the price. I've used it, recommend it, and so do these other reviewers:,117080-page,1/ar...


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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Yes the first thing you should try is to get a external hard drive enclosure and try to use the hard drive as and external hard drive. If that doesn't work you could try some data recovery programs but be careful for they may do more damage then good. And of course if you want to spend some money you could use a data recovery service. If you do want to go a head with using the data recovery service try this place,

    They only charge $299 which is the lowest I could find, they have good ratings and they dont charge if for some reason they cant recovery your data. Good Luck!

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  • 1 decade ago

    there are couple of softwares offered a feature to get data back, even from deleted of formated harddrive. Some of them are Get My Data Back and Recover My File.

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  • 4 years ago

    No. It will not affect the other parts of the computer.

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