#1 Very bad day today von Matthias_L 07.12.2007 15:03

Hi All,

Since this week I have massive problems with my old computer and today I have the worst case scenario, because it seems that I have a hard disc crash. This sounds not really spectacular but I have no backup and I know very well that it was on my own risk.

For the BAe project this means that everything is gone. All photos, manuals and descriptions I got by mail, documents and, and this is really bad, all of my PSP paintings. This means exactly that when I decide to continue, I have to paint all graphics (not the *.bmp bitmaps) completely new which is really a lot of work.

This morning I bought now a new computer. I have an internet connection with it (please don't ask me why, because I do not know), but I don't have any access to my mails. I don't know why but I always get error messages when trying to download the mails. I think this could be solved as soon as I have a little experience with Vista, however I do not know when.

There are some computer specialists here which offers to repair defect computers. I wll bring my old computer to one of them and hope that he could do anything.

Please do not try to contact me by mail, because I don't get any mail at the moment.

Best Regards
Matthias
#2 Re: Very bad day today von Peter 07.12.2007 17:28

Hello Matthias,

I know very well what you are talking about. Loosing a complete harddisk is very frustrating. If you want to, you may come to me with your computer. I have repaired computers for more then 15 years. But remember you have to drive a lot of kilometers.

Peter
#3 Re: Very bad day today von dominicmahon 08.12.2007 02:10

Really sorry to hear of your problems Matthias. If there's anything I (or many other fans of your panels) can do please let us know in the Forum - I wish you good luck with recovering your data.

Best wishes,

Dominic
#4 Re: Very bad day today von Matthias_L 09.12.2007 17:34

Hi again Peter, Hi Dominic,

Peter, I'm not sure if it is really the harddisc. As you have some experience, I explain what happens:

Since six months it hapens that the computer didn't recognize my keyboard when starting. When I start the computer a second time, the keyboard works as it should. So for the following two or three monhs I always had to start the computer twice to let it recognize the keyboard. Two or three monhs ago the things worsen. When I switch on the computer with the main switch (back of the computer) and then press the start button on the front, absolutely nothing happens for more than 5 - 10 minutes (you could switch it on and off several times but nothing happens). After about 5 to 10 minutes the computer starts. Sometimes recognizing the keyboard, sometimes not. When he keyboard is not recognized, I shut it down from the first blue Windows XP welcome window (where you select which user wants to start Windows) and start it again. This works also for a while, or better until last Friday. Last Friday it happens that the computer waits about 10 minutes before it starts. It loads until the blue welcome XP window comes. I saw that the keyboard was not loaded and want to shut down the computer again for a second restart. Unfortunately now also the mouse was not working, so the only thing I could do without keyboard and mouse was to switch off the computer with the main switch. From this time the computer always starts until the window is shown where he asks me if I wan to start windows in the normal mode or in the safety mode. No matter what I select, the computer shuts down and starts again to this window.

The first thing I did then, was to start Windows XP from the CD, but this failed. Then I've started the computer with a special CD. This CD starts everything only from the CD drive without using anything from harddisc. It contents a windows commander and several tools which could be used for checking files on the harddisc, checking the installed windows and checking the hardware. But always when I select c:\ the win commander says that there no c: drive exists. Then I start the hardware checker from this CD and this program told me that it couldn't recognize any volume on this drive. That's why I thought it is a harddisc problem.

Maybe this info helps you a bit and you have an idea of what it could be.

When it is really a harddisc crash, I don't think that I pay the money for restoring the datas because I saw in a television report that this is not very cheap.

Best Regards
Matthias
#5 Re: Very bad day today von Joerg 09.12.2007 18:25

The fact that you actually get the chance to choose between normal and safe mode shows that the master boot record of your hard disk is working and that your hard disk has been recognized by the computer's BIOS. The hard disk should therefore also show up during the boot process or in the computers BIOS information (?).
I'd put the drive into another computer or into an external case, or use a recent Linux live cd (Ubuntu, Knoppix , ...) to boot from and check if you can access the drive. Maybe your special cd doesn't recognize the drive because it is connected by Serial-ATA rather than by IDE.

Good luck!
Joerg
#6 Re: Very bad day today von kremin 10.12.2007 13:10

Hi Matthias,

Sorry to hear about your computer malfunction - but it sounds like you may be able to get the data back so here's hoping.......good luck with the recovery.

best regards

Rick Canham
#7 Re: Very bad day today von Peter 10.12.2007 17:55

Hello Matthias,

As far as I can read in your reply, I think that your harddisk isn't crashed but rather your motherboard does. I suppose the computer has PS2 connections for keyboard and mouse (mini DIN connectors, no USB keyb and mouse).

First, I have these two questions :
- can you boot your computer with an old DOS diskette ?
- is your harddisk IDE or SATA ?

1. Motherboard and power supply

It can be that one (or more) databus(es) on the motherboard has failed which interfaces all the hardware connections. Do the following test to know if the motherboard is OK.
- Disconnect the harddisk first (both connectors power and data).
- Disconnect all internal hardware like CD-drive(s) and/or DVD-drive(s).
- Disconnect all USB hardware.
- Disconnect printer(s) if parallel centronics (LPT-port).
The only connection will be keyboard, mouse, vga and diskdrive. This way, you don't overload the power supply. (I've ever had a computer that ran very good in DOS but failed in Windows because the power supply was no longer strong enough because of the graphical load.)

Now, startup the PC with the DOS diskette. If the PC has a good first boot without keyboard failures, your motherboard seems OK (I don't mean it IS OK) and the issue can be the power supply because of possible overload or XP. Keyboard settings aren't important, it's only for test to see if it fails from the first boot or not. It will be in QWERTY (US) mode.

Second test, try to change the power supply. Reboot again in DOS and do the same test. If the keyboard is OK from the first boot, reconnect your harddisk and try to boot from XP. If XP runs fine, reconnect all other hardware, startup the PC and look if everything runs fine. Connect and disconnect (except USB) ALWAYS with power off !

If you aren't in possibility to do these tests, disregard everything and try to do the harddisk test, see 2.


2. Harddisk

Can you connect the harddisk as slave in an other computer ? If yes, do it and boot the PC. If your harddisk didn't crash, you'll see immediately in Windows your harddisk as D: drive (or other letter but not as C: drive). For all security you can now copy all your files on a CD-ROM, DVD AND memory stick. With that you'll have more than one copy. As hamradio amateur, I have five copies of my logbook, 2 times on (a different) harddisk, one on my Linux computer, one on CD-RW and one on memory stick. If Windows doesn't see your harddisk than he crashed. DON'T TRY IT YOURSELF FOR POSSIBLE REPAIR ! In that case, you may always send me your harddisk or we try to meet each other somewhere. I have some nice tools (hardware and software) for possible recovering of your files. Don't ask me for the price. As a good friend like you, I can't ask a lot of money. By the way I shouldn't tell it here but in a personal mail, . So, these are my first thoughts without having the computer itself.

I hope this information is usefull and that you are no longer helpless. I wish you a lot of succes with the recovering.

My best regards,

Peter

PS : if you want more information, PM or e-mail me if you still have my address.
#8 Re: Very bad day today von Matthias_L 11.12.2007 07:39

Hi All,

First of all thank you very much for the kind words and trying to help here. I got also some mails on my newsletter post. Most of them also believing that the HD is not the problem and it is still okay.

@Peter,
Thank you very much for your very detailled description of what I could do. Unfortunately I don't have an old DOS disc (well, I have one but don't need it for years and so it's not easy to find it ). But I got a good idea due to Joerg's and your second suggestion. My new computer has a SATA harddisc and my older one an IDE, so I could not put in my older HD directly. Nevertheless I know that my neighbour has an external HD case (I bought it for him last year ) This case mounts an IDE harddisc and could be connected with a computer by an USB cable. I will try this within the next days and hope it works. If the HD is really defect, I will inform you. This could mabe my first Belgium holiday then

I'll keep you informed.

Best Regards
Matthias
#9 Re: Very bad day today von Matthias_L 12.12.2007 11:23

Hi All,

Here is a small update:

Yesterday evening I've connected my old harddisc to my new computer via the case I wrote above. Unfortunately Vista started chkdsk directly after recognizing the external disc and I was not fast enough to stop it. After the checking and repairing (?) I had access to my old HD. My first pleasure changed a bit after I saw that some folders and files could not be opened. The computer says that those folders and files did not exist or are defect.

However still a lot of things are available . A lot of my BAe 146 and ARJ graphics and a lot of tools and manuals are back. Unfortunately all graphic templates and photos of the J31 and J41 are gone because they were in one of the folders which could not be opened.

Now I'm looking for a way to open my old Outlook Express archive (pst file). The file itself has no fault, but the new Windows Mail could not import the old mails from OE. I think I will install the Netscape Messanger which has a function to import older Outlook Express pst files.

I'll keep you informed.

Best Regards
Matthias
#10 Re: Very bad day today von Joerg 13.12.2007 14:22

I can't help you with the Outlook problem, but there are plenty of data recovery tools available that possibly can restore some of the data that seems to be lost. I could for example restore several GBs of data from a friend's external hdd, which fell down and after that was not even visible in windows file explorer.
If I recall correctly, I was using GetBackData Recovery. You can download a demo version from getbackdata.net/data-recovery.html . The demo doesn't allow you to recover the data, but it shows the files that can be recovered. Maybe there are also some good free tools available, at least it doesn't hurt to try them after you backed up all the data that you could access without additional software.
#11 Re: Very bad day today von Matthias_L 17.12.2007 09:12

Hi All,

Joerg, thank you very much for the tip. I've tried this and several other tools for restoring deleted and demaged files. Most of those tools have a preview window where you could see which files could be restored. Unfortunately I never saw the files I want to get back. .....BUT...... on Saturday I've checked the demaged folders once again and, if you believe it or not, I saw and could open all files. Only three files were really demaged in the end. As I've tried a lot of restore programs I could not say which one did the trick.

Finally I could also solve my Email problem. The import and convert functions of MS Vista didn't work at all. After three days trying to import my mails from Win XP Outlook Express into Vista's Winmail, I gave up. I've used the import function of the newest Netscape Messanger now and this works. I could open all mails including the attachment there and this is okay for me, because so I have the mails AND the mailaddresses.

Once again a big "Thank You" to all of you helping me with this problem.

Best Regards
Matthias
#12 Re: Very bad day today von Peter 17.12.2007 15:37

Hi Matthias,

My congrats that you could recover all your files (except 3) and your e-mails including the addressbook. Now, you don't have to come to me, . I hope that the three lost files aren't too important. It was my plessure to help you as good as I could without having your pc.

Merry Xmas to you and your family,

Peter
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