emergency boot disk for laptop
October 8, 2009 9:19 AM   Subscribe

Any suggestions on an emergency boot tool that can see my hard drive?

My laptop won't boot all the way. Right when I should see three account icons I get an spinning circle and a "please wait" message. Circle and message eventually go away and I am stuck. Toshiba Satellite with Vista Home Premium 32 bit. I have tried booting from Knoppix CD (on USB) and Windows X-PE (on CD) but neither can see my hard drive. Laptop is just over a year old.

Thanks! (The Recovery Disks that Toshiba supplied with my computer are not compatible with it.)
posted by Wong Fei-hung to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Vista has some built-in startup options that might work for your requirements.

While you haven't actually listed them: what do you want to achieve? Repair Windows? Backup your files? What's your goal here?
posted by oxit at 9:30 AM on October 8, 2009

Sorry - My main goal is to be able to see my Windows Hard Drive for data recovery. Once I do that I can have the HD erased and start from scratch if necessary. I have ordered a new set of recovery disks from Toshiba and will try repairing windows with them.
posted by Wong Fei-hung at 9:33 AM on October 8, 2009

You might try this or this.
posted by blueyellow at 9:57 AM on October 8, 2009

Sorry, Hiren's can be gotten here.
posted by blueyellow at 10:03 AM on October 8, 2009

If you can't see the drive with Knoppix it's probably because there's no SATA driver for your particular chipset. More trouble than it's worth to fix this, really, so I suggest getting a USB-to-SATA adapter. Pull your drive physically out of the system and hook it to another machine to copy necessary files off, then perform the Toshiba restore procedure after putting the drive back.
posted by odinsdream at 10:18 AM on October 8, 2009

Spinrite will fix whatever hard drive problem you're having.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:33 AM on October 8, 2009

Download an Ubuntu ISO file from any major torrent site. Burn the ISO to a compact disk, then insert the disk and boot from it (don't install). You should be able to see all drives connected to the computer. Plug in a USB external drive,and you should be able to copy and paste your data from the installed drive to your USB one.
Best thing about this, is that Ubuntu is free.
posted by leftfooter at 6:37 PM on October 8, 2009

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