Windows Vista - Hard Drive/OS file corruption - recover without nuking?

saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
Hey all,

I've got a friend's laptop in my possession which has been having random lockups and just general problems lately. Found out that his hard drive had a fair amount of bad sectors, and that was affecting things. Ran chkdsk, and that fixed up a bunch of stuff.

Unfortunately as a result, some OS files seem to have gotten corrupted in the process of fixing up those bad sectors. I've been trying to coax the laptop to run "sfc /scannow", but unfortunately I'm met with the following problems:

1) I cannot for the life of me open a Command Prompt with Administrative privileges. Start Menu is unresponsive, Windows-R gives me a run window, but the "type in cmd, then ctrl-shift-enter" approach to run an elevated command prompt doesn't seem to be working
2) "sfc" can't be run from Windows Recovery, as the service has to be running
3) Safe mode does not boot. At all.

Any other ideas other than nuking the OS from orbit and re-installing?

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Posts

  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Of course as soon as I post the above, listing things in a logical order, I get an epiphany:

    Windows-E will launch explorer, go to C:\windows\system32\cmd.exe right click, run as administrator.

    Running "sfc /scannow" now, here's hoping it works.

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  • Great ScottGreat Scott King of Wishful Thinking Paragon City, RIRegistered User regular
    edited December 2012
    Bad sectors on a HDD are usually a sign of a growing problem. It sounds like you're on top of the problem with running SFC, but check and see if the number of bad sectors are growing over time. If that's the case, the drive is getting ready to fail and you should try and get all the data off ASAP.

    Note that Defraggler freeware version has a tab named "Health" that gives SMART info in a readable form inside Windows. The value you want to check is "Reallocated Sector Count". Ideally, you should see nothing in the Real Value column for "Uncorrectable Error Count" as well.

    Great Scott on
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  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Yeah unfortunately, we're into "re-installing Vista (that's right, Vista)" mode. I'm going to recommend to my friend that they may want to look into a new hard drive, or more appropriately, new laptop.

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  • LoveIsUnityLoveIsUnity Registered User regular
    You should be able to save the data, though, even with the bad sectors. I've had good luck grabbing data using an external usb inclosure for hard drives that have unfixable boot errors. Just pull all of the important data off of there and put it on a hard drive that's in good shape, and you will have a backup for him once you reinstall. This is, of course, assuming that there's data worth having on the messed up drive.

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  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    You should be able to save the data, though, even with the bad sectors. I've had good luck grabbing data using an external usb inclosure for hard drives that have unfixable boot errors. Just pull all of the important data off of there and put it on a hard drive that's in good shape, and you will have a backup for him once you reinstall. This is, of course, assuming that there's data worth having on the messed up drive.

    Yup. Hooked up an external hard drive and copied user directories over, re-installed, and now in the process of copying back. Fun times.

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  • AiouaAioua Ora Occidens Ora OptimaRegistered User regular
    Please tell me you're saving your copy of that data. Because that drive is going to be unrecoverable sooner rather than later.

    life's a game that you're bound to lose / like using a hammer to pound in screws
    fuck up once and you break your thumb / if you're happy at all then you're god damn dumb
    that's right we're on a fucked up cruise / God is dead but at least we have booze
    bad things happen, no one knows why / the sun burns out and everyone dies
  • saint2esaint2e Registered User regular
    Aioua wrote: »
    Please tell me you're saving your copy of that data. Because that drive is going to be unrecoverable sooner rather than later.

    Yup. I'm advising that they get a new laptop, but giving them back the old one in the short term until they pull the trigger on a new one.

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