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I woke up this morning and my Vista64 desktop boots, but blue screens right before it gets to the desktop. I've tried all the boot modes, and safe mode shows it stopping on crcdisk.sys which I've heard is the last library that gets loaded before the desktop shows.

I've tried all the repair options in vista. Interestingly, I can get to a command prompt and access the disk. chkdsk /r complains about the disk being in raw mode.

If I attach the disk to another working computer that computer crashes in the same spot on the vista bootup (and I'm positive I'm not booting off the bad disk).

If I try to install Vista or Windows7 both crash before it asks me for locale settings. If I detach the disk the installer will go all the way through until it asks for a install location.

I'm downloading Knoppix to see if I can copy files to an smb share to get the files recovered.

I'm still confused on what's actually wrong with the disk.. but more importantly I'd like some ideas on how to recover the files.

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migrated from Aug 25 '09 at 8:12

This question came from our site for system and network administrators.

neat - I didn't know about – itchi Aug 25 '09 at 17:54
If at all possible, please post the white text that is printed on the blue screen. This is, not (If the computer reboots immediately after getting the BSoD and you don't have time to write it down or take a picture, then oh well.) – bk1e Aug 26 '09 at 2:58
up vote 1 down vote accepted

You may have a broken hardware (hdd) in this case - it happened to me once but you should try to recover the files using a Linux. Here are the steps I would take:

  1. Try to recover the files using linux boot disk (recover them on a different media than the bad one)
  2. Mount the disk using an USB-SATA (or IDE) cable or a portable hdd rack on another computer after this computer booted up.
  3. Try to use a different data cable for the hdd
  4. Try to see if there is a firmware update for your hdd and try to install it
  5. Try to find an identical HDD and switch the board with the defective one.

From your post it looks that there is a high probability to have a defective disk.

BTW, I just hope you did not activated BitLocker.

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usb-sata is a great idea. I also had never heard of bitlocker. Interesting. – itchi Aug 25 '09 at 17:54

Getting your data is the easy part. You can either boot from an ubuntu livecd and copy to an external drive or plug it in as a second drive to any other machine and copy the data that way. It sounds like there may be problems on the disk so you may not be able to retrieve all your files if they are stored on the damaged part of the disk. If you do connect it as a secondary disk it might be worth trying to run chkdsk from the existing os after you've copied your data off.

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If the data is important enough, you may want to give SpinRite a try. It's a little pricey, but they will refund your money if your not happy with it for any reason, so it can't hurt to try.

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I believe there's bad sector on that drive might be causing that booting problem. Do you have another working computer? if so to determine if that's the case run this program call hdd regenerator 2011 it actually will tell you if there's any bad sector and regenerated so you can try to get your data back. Hopefully your data is no where near the bad sectors. When that is done if you can access your data just grab it from there if not run a program call stellar phoenix I have more success with this program then others.

Hope that helps good luck.

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