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Old 28 April 2009, 02:48   #1
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PC Crash Help!

in the last week or so our main business pc has been displaying a few signs that all's not well, last evening my wife did a full backup of our bookings system (clever girl) and sure enough 15 mins later up pops the dreaded blue screen,
when we try to re-boot it will not get past the initial windows scrolling page, it then goes to power saving mode then re-boots again giving us the option of safe mode, restore point, normal boot etc. whatever we select from there makes no difference, it tries to boot but fails and restarts.
We've not added hardware or software of late so we're thinking virus? Problem is there's a lot of documents we need on there as well as photo's etc.etc. I assume we can send off the hard drive for data recovery but anyone any suggestions as to how we can successfully restart the machine?
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Old 28 April 2009, 07:52   #2
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Have you tried booting from CD? You may be able to access main drive after that. May need to change the boot sequence when the PC starts.

If you have another PC and original OS CD you can make a boot CD.

If you have a manufacturer's recovery CD, be careful what you do with it - could wipe the drive quite easily.

Might be a virus problem but could easily be 'just' a drive or other hardware problem. Worth taking the cover off and making sure all the cables are securely connected. Reseat the memory and give the BIOS chip a prod as well. Give it a (gentle) vac over while you're there!

There's probably quite a lot you can do before using a data recovery outfit - they're not cheap.

Depending on the disk maunfacturer, there's lots of tools online to check and repair disk problems. You would need to download the ISO file to burn a boot CD with the utility on it. The Seagate/Maxtor one worked really well for me with a bad sector problem. (Similar symptoms IIRC).

To avoid future sweaty moments, worth looking at an online backup system like Carbonite. Small resource overhead but cheap and reliable. I'd still make daily backups of 'time critical' files though, as the backup timing can be a bit random.
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Old 28 April 2009, 08:10   #3
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Could well be a faulty hard disk. Ideally you need another computer to connect it to.

You should be able to recover your data quite easily. If you aren't technical enough to connect the disk up inside another machine you could buy a USB disk adaptor like this one. It just plugs into your old disk and then you can stick it on any computer with a USB port.

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/USB-2-0-IDE-AN...3A1|240%3A1318

Just use windows explorer to find the files you want.

If you are totally stuck you could always post it to us - we seldom fail.
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Old 28 April 2009, 14:21   #4
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Agree with what has been said:

1) Get yourself a USB caddy thing
2) Get a NEW Hard Disk Drive
3) Install new HDD and load on Windows and other software
4) Copy data across

Kernow - you don't have a Van do you?
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Old 28 April 2009, 15:04   #5
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Thanks guys, it would indeed seem to be a duff hard drive
we made a boot disk when we first had the pc BUT put it on a dvd, read today can only do that for Vista and we're on XP, it kept asking for the next disk
Thanks for the link Codders,we've bought one, we can put an additional HD in but have got 2 or 3 old ones lying around we've been meaning to clear them for ages.
Thank for the suggestion Mike, we'll have a look at Carbonite.
Rad, no, no van. There's a whole tribe running around here with Kernow this and Kernow that in their business names.
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Old 28 April 2009, 15:35   #6
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If you have bought an adaptor then just use an old working disk for regular backup.

If your PC is fairly new(3 years) then you will have USB2 and the adaptors are nice and quick. If it seems incredibly slow then you have USB1 and it will be a pain. You can pick up a USB2 card to go in PCs for about 10 to give you USB2.
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