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#254403 12/28/11 09:35 AM
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Boot to a Windows boot disk that has copy of Ghost 7.0 - basic small version of todays Ghost, image your hard drive to a image file on an external hard drive. Then slap in a new hard drive and restore using the same steps.
I actually carry a bootable thumb drive with Ghost on it and carry all my images on a external hard drive, but you can also setup the external with Hirens and do it that way too.

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#254404 12/28/11 10:21 AM
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Before you waste any more time with imaging follow the steps I suggested and copy as much data as you can. You posted that this was a Compaq so Id imagine the COA is still attached to the case. Even if its not you can still install a Compaq OEM XP and not have to use the key at all. Very easy to find on Ebay for a few bucks. Once you've saved as much data as you can then you can try to image the drive. As far as recovery I use ddrescue but this is definitely not a beginner level tool.

#254405 12/28/11 10:35 PM
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Media is readily replaced if you have the COA sticker. If not you can still buy unused XP copies with COA stickers on eBay. You can recover your existing OEM CD key using free tools. Hard drves are very scarce right now. You may have to get a used one with low mileage. I'd get my hands on one ASAP, mount it as the primary boot device and install XP. Then copy as much as you can from the old drive. It is failing and is not long for the world. No amount of testing will fix it. A clicking/clunking sound is a bad head positioner. Once that sound starts the end is near. We call it the click of death.

#254406 12/29/11 05:20 PM
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What Tito, Jack and others have said is 100% correct. Every minute that you allow that drive to run makes it less likely that you will ever extract any data from it.

Forget saving the OS installed on that drive. OEM Windows XP disks are everywhere, as long as you have a valid registration number you will be fine.

If there is user data that you wish to recover, there is a little trick that may help. Remove the drive from the machine and set it on a stable surface, hooked up and ready to go as a SLAVE drive on a working machine. Then blast it with a stream of liquid freon. "Freeze Spray" is good if you have it, but any freon type substance will work if you can discharge it as a liquid. Use adequate ventilation and no smoking or open flames - freon degrades into very nasty things if exposed to extreme heat.

It may be necessary to freeze the drive continuously while extracting the data. A helper makes the job easier.

If it works, you will know right away because the death click will stop as soon as you freeze the drive. If the click continues, then it is not going to work.

Some people claim that you can put the drive in the freezer. Don't do it. You need the intense, dry cold of freon.

I successfully recovered about 4 gigs of user data from a violently clicking WD hard drive using this method.

Good luck to you! Hope this helps.

Jim
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Speaking from a secure undisclosed location.

#254407 12/29/11 05:31 PM
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I don't think the data is quite as valuable to purchase industrial chemicals. If the OS disks are had as easily as you say they are, (I will check after I post this), then I will just look online and go from there. I will ask around to neighbors as well. Why pay when you can get it free, as I say.

I've since shut down the computer and I haven't touched it since early this morning. I can always reinstall 3CX Phone System. I don't really have any other VERY valuable data on it. It'll just be a huge pain the posterior to re-configure it.

Thanks everyone! I will post an update when I get the thing up and running A-Okay again!

Happy New Year 2012! (that sounds ominous)


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#254408 12/30/11 06:33 AM
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Pull drive out. Grab some bags of desicant (comes with a lot of electronics now adays, those packets with the little beads in them), put drive and dessicant into a ziplock bag (or 2), then place drive in the freezer for 20-30 mins max (less time needed for laptop/2.5" harddrives). You don't want the drive 0F (don't want drive dripping wet w/ condensation), just chilled down enough

Pull drive out of freezer, plug into a working clean computer, and image the drive with whatever tool you want to use. You shouldn't hear the clicking noise, at least initially. Once the drive warms up, you may get the issue again.

I've done this several times for clients who have harddrives that are clicking on start up (initial power sent to drive, you hear drive motor start up, then keep hearing a repeitive clicking, which is the drive head trying to find Track 0 on the drive and slapping against the head limiters). If your symptom is not clicking, then this will probably not work.

I would only do this if using an official harddrive recovery company is out of the question (not in budget, etc).

#254409 12/30/11 09:08 AM
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If you wind up losing it, I can provide you a copy of Windows ME.

BTW, I pride myself in being the only human on the planet to have NOT had a single problem with that version of the operating system.

Oh, and my copy is specific to Compaq Presario (there are exacting drivers for the volume-control-on-the-monitor, the onboard audio card and all the other weird Presario junk.

The truth though is that it will take some digging in one of three drawers for me to find it, so do your best to recover what you've got. But I'll look and send you a copy if I have to, me brudda.


"Carry others as you climb" -- Tim Alberstein
#254410 02/01/12 07:37 AM
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If you need a legal copy of windows XP, OEM disks with keys are available from computer rebuilders, call a computer recycler in your area and get one, they are pretty cheap actually.


Jay, a recovering IT guy
#254411 02/01/12 11:54 AM
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If you have a valid key, just find somebody with a XP disk matching your version (Home SP2, etc), and have them make you a copy. As long as you use "your" key you'll be fine.

#254412 02/05/12 11:22 AM
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yep it's clutch cargo time.
take that drive out, throw it in the freezer over night. when You put it back in get anything and everything you can off it, System Files included. It should be easy enough to recreate the environment with a fresh copy of the OS on a new drive. Merge relevant registry entries etc for settings from old applications.

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