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I need to re-install Windows 7 Pro x64 - can anyone help with backup stuff??
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Hi Guys,

I hope someone can help:

A week or so ago my pc died in the middle of a freelance project. It was an overclocked Scan machine, and my local PC place determined that it was either the CPU or MB that had failed, but as it was nearly 2 years old I couldn't get a straight replacement. I explained that I needed all the data and programs on the HDD (it's not networked so no cloud backup etc. - silly me). Anyway, I've just spent over £400 on a new CPU / MB / PSU and getting them fitted by the pc place. I went to collect the machine yesterday and was told that the machine needed a completely fresh install of windows that would lose all my data and programs!! To say I'm gutted is an understatement - I've also seen Scan are selling a pre-built 8 core system for only around £600 so would have got this if I'd known.

As the machine wont boot into windows is there any way I can backup anything from the HDD (programs and data) so I don't lose it all? I was about to push my freelance business so have all my portfolio stuff and marketing info on there.

Can anyone help at all please?


CAD Monkey

Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 443 times
1/26/2014 10:16:44 AM (last edit: 1/26/2014 10:16:44 AM)
show user profile  Lazmo67
Better qualified people on here to answer this but when something similar happened to me I used another hard disk to install windows on, plugged my previous disk in as a second drive and accessed the data that way.
read 440 times
1/26/2014 10:52:29 AM (last edit: 1/26/2014 10:52:29 AM)
show user profile  TiMoN
If you are unable to get into windows even in safe mode, then you are kinda screwed, otherwise, it would quite likely only be necessary to change the Disk controller to a standard driver, and you might be able to boot again, after doing a quick windows repair from the CD.. This has worked for me on several occasions. Admittedly though, sometimes the mobo chipsets are just too different, and a reinstall is required.

I am assuming this is a Desktop computer we are talking about. If so then this would be a good time to get a SSD drive for your C: drive. And then use your old disk as storage. That way you aint gotta do squat, and I almost guarantee that you are gonna be glad that you got a SSD drive..

But otherwise, you probably aren't going to get very far with this, unless you have a second drive of some sort. Or unless your main drive is partitioned with a System drive and a storage drive. In which case you just need to reinstall on the System drive.

Edit.. Also, backups.. make them...

Terribly boring signature.
read 430 times
1/26/2014 12:00:56 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 12:01:48 PM)
show user profile  LionDebt
Just chipping in:

Always... always partition your main drive and install your OS into a separate system partition. Keep the separated partition for all your files and data. I personally split it into 3, installing programmes into a second partition and storing data/files on the third.

Backups? Always. Although I'm lazy and don't do it as often as I should, I have a 1TB external hard-drive with USB3, I try to save everything important (finances, tax related, project files, assets, textures, portfolio work etc) onto it.

Not really qualified or able to give much perspective into solving your problem, CADMonkey... As I've never run into any PC failures beyond what my current setup doesn't prevent.

edit: I also read somewhere that the first ~30% of a harddrive is considerably "faster" than the rest of the space. So partitioning serves an added bonus in that regard. Also, larger HDDs tend to be faster in general with best overall speeds in the 1TB range. So if you're doing any intensive writing (say, for fraps recording or similar), it's best to write to a separate drives' first partition.

SSDs are the future. I'm waiting for their prices to drop and their sizes to increase a little bit more before splashing out. I'd install 3DS Max, zBrush, Photoshop and my Operating system directly to the SSD and if budget allows, use a secondary SSD as a scratchdisk / write-to for screen recording.
read 423 times
1/26/2014 1:16:35 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 1:19:55 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
>> I went to collect the machine yesterday and was told that the machine needed a completely fresh install of windows that would lose all my data and programs!!

that is total bull, if they were competent to any degree this wouldn't be the case. In fact there is a very good chance you can just boot the old windows without any trouble at all, if thats not the case we can help you get it going or if you're in a hurry, you're better off finding a better computer place.

I'd recommend threatening them with whatever government institution deals with consumer rights since at least in this country you'd have a valid case to get your money back, more likely though they would drop the act and get your pc fixed properly.

read 416 times
1/26/2014 2:48:24 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 2:48:24 PM)
show user profile  TiMoN
Keep in mind Stabby, that the larger/faceless companies do not give a shit about your data, and will do nothing to try and protect it. If we send a laptop in for repairs, we always do backups of the data. Even if its for a faulty monitor, which has nothing to do with the HDD, the disclaimer always states that the HDD may be wiped during the repair faze.. This is probably standard routine in order to establish that the user did not mock about with the drivers/winstallation..

Now I dont know what kind of place CAD monkey is using, if its a little local place or a larger company... But if its a little local place, then they should at least offer some backup deal.. It does not take long to put the HDD in a different comp and copy some files.

Terribly boring signature.
read 404 times
1/26/2014 4:00:05 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 4:00:05 PM)
show user profile  Krogoth
That's a pretty crummy PC place. You should be able to use the Windows DVD and do a repair to get standard drivers on there. If that doesn't work, you can reinstall Windows with the DVD and choose the option to not format. That will move all of your files into a Windows.old folder on the C drive.

If you're still really concerned, you can buy a new hard drive, and install Windows on that and use it as your primary drive and use your old as a secondary, and you should see all the files.
read 403 times
1/26/2014 4:25:31 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 4:31:08 PM)
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Hi Guys,

Thanks for the replies - this is sounding more and more expensive by the minute, and I'm also nearly out of cash :((

I also forgot to mention that because the Windows 7 Pro disc I was given with the computer is an OEM version of windows the PC bloke and Scan are both saying I might not be able to use the disc to re-install windows with the new system - FFS This is ridiculous.

Not really sure what to do atm. As far as I'm concerned I paid for the system including Win and the system failed. I've replaced the bits that failed and now I'm being told I can't use the disc - WTF!!

Sorry chaps, I'm just so stressed with this. I've got clients chasing me to see when I'm back up and running, I'm out of money and I've got another child due in March, meaning I've got to start earning ASAP...

Thanks again,

CAD Monkey

Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 399 times
1/26/2014 4:43:40 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 4:43:40 PM)
show user profile  Mr_Stabby
Really the whole situation just reeks of either incompetence or greed
first the fact that you had to replace so many parts even though most likely only one of them actually needed it
second that they couldn't get a straight replacement for the part, 2 years old is no excuse, they are still manufacturing and selling compatible parts for things 3 generations behind (which is more like 5-6 years)
third the whole hdd wipe thing, it just makes no sense
fourth, oem windows is tied to the motherboard but the eula also says you can get it replaced if it dies, you just have to call the number on the license screen and get your serial refreshed

basically they are trying to fuck you over in any which way, go check it out

read 390 times
1/26/2014 5:54:08 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 5:54:08 PM)
show user profile  gogodr
you can buy a 40$ HDD put it in your computer and install windows in there, you will have your other HDD with all the data as a secondary HDD and keep all your info.

Hello there

beautiful ;3

read 385 times
1/26/2014 7:35:28 PM (last edit: 1/26/2014 7:35:28 PM)
show user profile  npcph
you can try a hard drive enclosure. that should allow you to see it as an external USB drive. I do this all the time.

read 360 times
1/27/2014 6:40:11 PM (last edit: 1/27/2014 6:40:11 PM)
show user profile  owtdor
Had a crash last week myself (Look at the thread entitled "Windows 7 Crash")
I was able to use a bootable Ubuntu (Free) CD to get access to my hard drive data. I am now wiping and will have the data available when I am ready for it. Major pain in the ass, but everything should be fine when all is done.

read 352 times
1/27/2014 7:41:26 PM (last edit: 1/27/2014 7:41:26 PM)
show user profile  CAD Monkey
Thanks guys,

Well, today I managed to get the thing running again thanks to our IT bloke at work and a redundant HDD. We installed the spare drive as the master, reinstalled windows and then connected the original drive as a slave so saved my data!! Just not my programs :(

My main challenge now is I've got to get a wireless network card that will fit my new MB and work with Win 7 - which I've heard people are finding it hard to do. I tried to keep the machine isolated so never got it networked, but now everything is on a download through a downloaded installer - Sketchup etc.

I won't use the local place in future though - need to find a decent alternative.

Thanks again for all your help.

CAD Monkey

Today is a gift, and tomorrow is not a promise, so love life!

read 344 times
1/27/2014 10:04:14 PM (last edit: 1/27/2014 10:04:14 PM)
show user profile  Mr.Burns
You can clone entire HDDs using a bootablr USB stick and Clonezilla or something. I did this a lot at work to set up a few PCs for a little render farm.
read 337 times
1/27/2014 10:53:43 PM (last edit: 1/27/2014 10:53:43 PM)
show user profile  TiMoN
Which mobo you have, should not have any effect on your Wifi drivers.
Your only issue may be finding a PCI-e Wifi card, instead of old fashioned PCI.. But if that is an issue, then get a USB Wifi stick..

Terribly boring signature.
read 324 times
1/28/2014 9:24:19 AM (last edit: 1/28/2014 9:24:19 AM)
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