Windows 7 Hard Drive Recovery
Windows 7 users (of all editions) have an ace in the hole in case their hard drives crash. It's called the Windows Recovery Environment (RE), a bundle of automated and manual system tools that can repair a corrupted hard drive to recover data or make the drive bootable again...
Hard Drive Recovery Tools in Windows 7
There are several ways to perform Windows 7 hard drive recovery, depending on what sort of damage has been done. The easiest Win7 hard drive recovery technique is to check the drive for errors and repair them using the CHKDSK utility. Here's how that works:
First, click the Windows Start button, then click on Computer. Right-click on the hard drive's icon. Select Properties, then Tools. In the "Error-checking" pane, click "Check now." Check the box to "automatically fix file system errors." If you have lots of time, also check the "scan for and attempt recovery of bad sectors" box. You will have to restart the computer in order for CHKDSK to do its work before Windows loads. If CHKDSK doesn't solve the problem, try these more advanced Windows 7 hard drive recovery techniques:
If your computer will boot up from the hard drive, press F8 during the startup sequence to load the startup menu options. "Repair your computer" will be the first menu option. Select it and press Enter to load the Windows RE.
If your hard drive will not boot, you will have to boot from your Windows 7 installation DVD or a System Recovery Disk. Both types of disk have the "Repair your computer" and Windows RE on them. If you haven't previously taken the time to make a Recovery Disk, see my related article Recovery Disc for Windows 7.
If you have neither a Windows 7 installation DVD nor a System Recovery Disk, there is a third (but awkward) workable option. Remove the non-booting hard drive from your computer; install it as a secondary drive in a working Windows 7 computer; reboot the computer; and run "Repair your computer" from that machine's hard drive. You can select your non-booting drive as the one to repair.
Windows 7 Recovery Options
After selecting "Repair your computer" you will have to choose your keyboard input method and language (if you've installed multi-language support), then enter your username and password to gain access to the Recovery Options menu.
"Startup Repair" is an automated diagnostic and repair program that attempts to analyze and fix corrupted startup components on the specified drive. Choose it if your hard drive won't boot or Windows will not load.
"System Restore" returns your Windows 7 installation to a state saved at an earlier date, called a System Restore Point. System Restore Points are automatically created at various times, and you can always create one manually. The idea is to roll back your system in time to a point where it was working normally.
"System Image Recovery" uses disk images created by the Windows Backup and Restore to replace corrupted data and/or system files with backup copies. It is different from System Restore in that the latter does not make backup copies of user document files or application programs. With System Image Recovery, you can restore any of your applications and data as well as just Windows 7 system files.
Have you used any of these Windows 7 hard drive repair tools? Post your experience here, or post a comment or question below...
This article was posted by Bob Rankin on 28 Jan 2011
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Article information: AskBobRankin -- Windows 7 Hard Drive Recovery (Posted: 28 Jan 2011)
Copyright © 2005 - Bob Rankin - All Rights Reserved