Totally dead in the water, what do I do?

Discussion in 'Acronis True Image Product Line' started by Lunaray, Mar 24, 2009.

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  1. Lunaray

    Lunaray Registered Member

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    To make a long story short, I tried transferring some video from my Nikon digital camera and something bad happened! Now, after trying lots of things my computer won't boot at all, no boot choices, nothing, just a black screen! I have my entire system backed up on an external drive using True Image but I have no way to access it, I can't even get a DOS prompt. Can I somehow download and create a TI boot CD that will allow me to recover my 'C' drive and OS?

    I have a homebuilt PC that was upgraded to Vista Home Premium from WinXP.
    Can someone help me? I realy hate the thought of reinstalling XP and doing the upgrade all over again when I have a 500gig hard drive sitting there with everything on it, but no way to use it. I'm desperate! :'(

    Thank you, thank you, thank you,
    Ray
     
  2. shieber

    shieber Registered Member

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    You will need to find another PC, install ATI and create the Boot Cd if you haven't already created one.

    Assuming, then , the your PC will start up and try to boot (and the BIOS is set to boot off CD first) and that your hdisk still works (no harware failure of ghe hdisk), then you have a good chance of being able to restore your backup to a healthy hdisk.
     
  3. Lunaray

    Lunaray Registered Member

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    Well stupid me! Unfortunately I purchased the download version of ATI and it is stored on another drive in my dead computer, so there's no way for me to get to it to install it on this computer, to create a boot CD for my dead computer.

    Can I reinstall WinXP and the Vista upgrade and then install ATI again so that I can restore my system from my backup drive? This may be the only choice I have, short of buying another copy of ATI to install on the PC that I'm using now.

    Thank you for your help,
    Ray
     
  4. djjazzy

    djjazzy Registered Member

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    Try this...
    Pull your hardrive,( the one with the DL software install ) put it in an external USB enclosure, do the install on another PC, and create your bootable CD from that PC.

    maybe evev DL the trial version, and create a bootable CD from that? Might that work?
     
  5. jmk94903

    jmk94903 Registered Member

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    If you registered your copy of TI on the Acronis web site, you can download the latest build from there. If you have the Serial number / installation code for your copy of TI, that's all you need to register it on the Acronis site.

    If all of this fails and the excellent suggestion of putting the drive in an external drive case fails, you can install the trial version of TI 2009 on another PC and create that version's Rescue CD. It will boot and restore your backup even if it's from an earlier version of TI.

    When you restore your backup image, all the information on the hard drive will be overwritten, so if you have data on the drive that isn't in the backup, you need to protect that before doing the restore.

    Although the drive won't boot into Windows, you should still be able to make an new backup image of it when you boot from the Rescue CD for your version of TI. You can then recover the important files by mounting that image after you have your system running again.

    The TI 2009 Trial Rescue CD will not make new images, only restore images.

    When you boot your dead system and go into the BIOS setup, is the hard drive still listed? A failed drive can sometimes be listed, but if you don't see the drive in the BIOS now, it's almost certainly dead.

    You would only have to install XP to do that. After installing TI, you should be able to restore the backup without even burning the Rescue CD although it would be smart to make one.

    Alternatively, if you have access to a machine that has a burner, you could create a Linux boot disk for Ubunto 8.1 by downloading the 790MB ISO file for the Ubuntu live CD and installation disk. Boot from that and copy the Acronis file to a CD or flash drive. Here's a link to the Ubuntu download site:
    http://www.ubuntu.com/getubuntu/download

    Let us know what works.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  6. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Before you do anything drastic. Do the following, use a windows installation disk and get into the command prompt. Type in (chkdsk c: /f) only what is in the parenthesis.

    It looks like you have hard drive file corruption. chkdsk will usually fix it, it has never let me down. If you had an abnormal shutdown (hard shutdown) that probably cause your problem. Hard drive corruption has many symptoms (unallocated/raw/no bootdisk/flashing cursor etc). If chkdsk doesn't work, then you can move to more drastic methods.

    http://forums.afterdawn.com/thread_view.cfm/758725
     
  7. Lunaray

    Lunaray Registered Member

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    Thank you for your help! I tried what you suggested and I was told that the volume appears to have one or more unrecoverable problems. Guess that's why I couldn't format it and reinstall Windows and also why True Image couldn't restore it from the boot CD that I created from my backup computer. Thanks again, I hate when this happens and it's all Nikon's fault!:ouch:
     
  8. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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    Lunaray,
    Many photographers make it a practice of never ever attaching their camera's to their computer. Instead, they insert their memory card into a card reader or printer or computer and retrieve their images--which is now as simple as transferring a file from one drive to another drive. Yours is not the first instance of a computer being hosed via the transfer with a camera connected. Don't let it happen to you again. It is preventable.
     
    Last edited: Mar 24, 2009
  9. Lunaray

    Lunaray Registered Member

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    Thank you so much for the tip, I've never heard that transferring images via the USB cable was a problem, but I cerainly know now. Thanks again!
     
  10. Lunaray

    Lunaray Registered Member

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    Re: Totally dead in the water, what do I do? (Update)

    Well I'm totally stumped again! o_O

    I received my replacement hard drive today so that I could reinstall Windows XP and install TI to try and get my system back, but now I have a new problem. Just before opening the case to swap out hard drives I went into setup to make sure that it was set to boot from the CD and everything looked good so I cut power and replaced the bad hard drive with a new Seagate SATA 160gig. I hooked everything back up and turned on the power switch on the back of my tower and all of my fans and lights came on? Hey, it's never done that before, the fans and lights have never come on until I pressed the start button on the front of the case, now they come on instantly as soon as the power is turned on, but they don't stay on and nothing happens when I press the start button. Now it's more dead than ever, now I can't even get into the BIOS.

    I don't know what I could've done, all I did was replace the bad SATA drive with a new SATA drive.

    Any ideas? I think I'm about defeated on this one!

    Thanks,
    Ray
     
  11. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    Re: Totally dead in the water, what do I do? (Update)

    Sounds like a power supply problem or maybe a motherboard one. :(

    First - remove the power cable from the back of the PC and wait about a minute, before re-applying the cable.

    Second, check that you didn't knock any of the PC panel leads that connect into the motherboard - on/off switch, hard drive LED etc.

    Whilst doing this whip off the side of the case and double check that the power cables from the PSU are correctly and firmly connected. Depending on the type of power supply, you may have two or three connectors if this is a S-ata ready PSU. Do you use a power connector adapter for the S-ata drives or does the PSU already have these? If the former make sure it is firmly connected - if the latter, just disconnect it temporarily.

    When you connect the mains power cable back to the PC, observe if -

    any of the fans spin PSU or motherboard,
    if the MB has a onboard power ready LED see if that is lit,
    if you have a network cable connected, disconnect it from the PC.

    If the fans don't spin or the MB LED doesn't light, double check the PSU switch is actually on. Listen carefully to see if you can hear a high pitched squeak of whistle coming from the power supply - it may be quite faint.

    Then try switching the machine back on from the front panel.

    Again note if any fans spin or try to spin.

    If they try to spin and then stop, the following items in order of likelihood may be the problem.

    Front panel power switch is not making contact correctly, you can try shorting the pins at either the switch or at the MB end to see if this is the problem - use a small flat blade screwdriver - this end is low voltage (5v or so) - even better if you have an old CD/harddrive jumper you could use this at the MB socket.

    Power supply - this could be just a wire not making contact - the grey power on - or maybe even the power good wire. - More likely to be the power supply end especially if you hear a phtt sound as it tries to start and fails.

    Something is causing a short.

    The motherboard has died, check the large capacitors (round cylindrical standing proud of the board, will have a green or blue jacket and will be bare metal on top with a sort of 'X' type indentation. If these are bulging upwards and possibly have brown goo oozing or oozed out of them, then they have been heat stressed and should either be replaced or a new MB purchased.

    Note leave the disk drive disconnected whilst trying this out. If the machine bursts into life and runs (ignore the beeps you might get, when it finds no drive attached), switch off, re-attach the drive, restart. If it fails to start, then the PSU is cactus and you need a new one - double check this by bunging the old one back in, if it goes back to normal, then your new drive probably draws slightly more current at spin up, which the PSU doesn't like, so it sulks.

    Colin
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2009
  12. jonyjoe81

    jonyjoe81 Registered Member

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    Do you still have the old drive? maybe theirs nothing wrong with it. A while back I encountered a very similar problem where my computer wouldn't boot.

    At first I suspected the hard drive was corrupted, I restored a saved image onto it but it still wouldn't boot. Next I decided the hard drive was bad (hardware failure) and replaced the hard drive. I restored an image on this drive and it also wouldn't boot, I thought I had another bad drive. But I decided maybe my image was corrupt and decided to do a clean install of windows. This is when I started to get input/output errors when reading from the cd. I was thinking my dvdrom was bad, and used a different dvdrom with same results.

    By this time I suspected I had a bad motherboard and replaced it, that fix my problem. the original drive was fine after all.

    If you can check your original drive if you still have it, that can pinpoint whether your motherboard is bad.

    But if you have a cheap spare power supply you can probably swap it out to check that first.
     
  13. Lunaray

    Lunaray Registered Member

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    Re: Totally dead in the water, what do I do? (Update)

    Thank you so much Colin, you took a lot of time to offer many suggestions and I really appreciate that, I hope I can return the favor to someone else sometime. Fortunately though, the solution was an easy one this time, apparently when I put the back side cover in place, the start-button wires got sandwiched in and caused a short circuit which caused the fans to come on and the power supply shut itself down just like it is supposed to do. Now my system is totally restored back to the way it was before my Nikon accident. and now I have a card reader, so hopefully this will never happen again.

    The only thing wrong is that I replaced the bad 80 gig drive with a 160 gig, but when TI restored it, it restored it to the original single partition so I have a 160 gig drive but it is only partioned for 74 gigs. I suppose that I can create a second partition to make that storage useable but I'm not worried about that now, when I need the space, I'll figure out how to do that.

    Thanks again Colin,
    Ray
     
  14. bodgy

    bodgy Registered Member

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    Re: Totally dead in the water, what do I do? (Update)

    No problem - Hey Acronis I'm unemployed at the moment - wanna offer me a job :)

    Anyhow back on topic.

    Personally I'd be tempted to have a second partition, though probably with a different size to how yours has ended up.

    There are two easy ways to get your drive back to one partition.

    1. Use True Image.

    2. Download the trial version of Disk Director.

    Using option one. Make an Acronis Secure Zone to the size of your free space, but do NOT activate it. Then using the manage secure zone option, you delete it, TI will ask you what to do with the freed space and just select the option to consolidate it - after a reboot all is back in one.

    Using option two. Run Disk Director and choose manage partitions play with the slider bars showing how you can set up the size of the free space, press the checkered flag button, reboot and all will be back together again.

    Make sure that you still have an image of your drive, just in case something goes wrong.

    Colin
     
  15. GroverH

    GroverH Registered Member

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