TestDisk can't find problem

Using TestDisk to repair the filesystem
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DaveI
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 00:07

TestDisk can't find problem

#1 Post by DaveI » 28 Mar 2013, 00:26

I have a Thinkpad T60 with 100GB Fujitsu HD running XP Pro. Single 60GB partition and the rest unallocated space, has worked fine for years, no new hardware or software. Windows fails to load in any mode, HD isn't seen by Windows when connected as slave. Can't repair it with an XP Pro cd. I have tested the HD with 3 separate tools and all report 100% ok, no bad sectors.

I have Testdisk on a UltimateBoot CD and it reports nothing wrong with the hd. Everything appears normal in Linux. In fact I used the File Manager on the same CD to copy all my data. The only discrepancy it reports is the heads/cylinder mismatch (240 NTFS != 255 HD).

Is there a way I can use TestDisk to diagnose and repair the fault? Is there a chkdsk somewhere in TestDisk? I couldn't find it. Thanks for any help.

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DaveI
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 00:07

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#2 Post by DaveI » 29 Mar 2013, 08:21

Follow up:

I tried a new unformatted hd and same problem. The Windows CD (full retail version XPPro) boots up, loads a bunch of files and then stops at the "Starting Windows" screen. So apparently not a hd problem. What else can fail on a computer so that I can run Linux but not Windows? I get no errors or messages during POST.

Lito
Posts: 83
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 06:58

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#3 Post by Lito » 31 Mar 2013, 10:10

Before you boot your machine with the Windows XP Pro installation disk, you will have to get into your laptop BIOS setup
and check that the machine is set to boot from CD/DVD.
Open your CD tray. Load the installation disk and leave there without closing the tray.
Exit your BIOS saving your changes. The machine will reboot.

Next you should see something like this in your screen:
Attachments
win_setup_one.jpg
When you see this screen do as it says...
win_setup_one.jpg (7.26 KiB) Viewed 2599 times

Lito
Posts: 83
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 06:58

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#4 Post by Lito » 31 Mar 2013, 10:27

Next you should see similar screens to this:
win_setup_two.jpg
Windows is loading stuff...
win_setup_two.jpg (17.15 KiB) Viewed 2599 times
win_setup_three.jpg
This is the Starting Windows you should see
win_setup_three.jpg (24.15 KiB) Viewed 2599 times
You should get here if your Windows CD booted properly.

Lito
Posts: 83
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 06:58

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#5 Post by Lito » 31 Mar 2013, 10:47

In the following screen you will have some options to choose from:

Press R to enter Repair if you intend to repair the boot sector, using FIXMBR and or FIXBOOT.
Windows will ask you for the Administrator's password. If you do not have one just press enter.
When this is done, type EXIT . Reboot your machine. This time let it boot from the HDD.
With a bit of luck you system would be fix. Remove your Install CD and keep it safe.
win_setup_four.jpg
To exit without doing anything Press F3 two times...
win_setup_four.jpg (32.3 KiB) Viewed 2599 times
The other options in the screen are: Install the OS or Exit.

If this does not work, for whatever reason, you could try the Backup CD's to Return the laptop to Factory Defaults.
This should not be too problematic because you already said that your data has been saved.

Best of luck

DaveI
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 00:07

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#6 Post by DaveI » 31 Mar 2013, 18:46

Thank you Lito. Unfortunately I cannot do that.

I do have the BIOS set to boot from CD and it does. But the Windows CD starts, loads a bunch of files and stops at the blue screen with "Windows Setup" at the top and "Starting Windows" in the white band at the bottom. It then freezes there. It never gets to the screen in your last picture, so I can't press R for repair or do anything else.

I can't get anything other than Linux to run, so no, I can't use a recovery CD or anything else. The only CD that works is Ultimate Boot with TestDisk on it. This is true with both the original HD and with a brand new unformatted HD fresh out of the box.

I am guessing there is a fault in the computer that prevents it from running Windows but not Linux. I was hoping I might be able to use TestDisk or some other Linux-based tool to diagnose it.

Lito
Posts: 83
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 06:58

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#7 Post by Lito » 31 Mar 2013, 23:38

In this review of a T60 they talk about the machine having a Thinkvantage button that gives access to a factory set of utilities. Might be that is stopping the process of setting up Windows. Have you tried that?

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1933653,00.asp

The Lenovo site has got some software to Recover or Reset the machine. The problem here is that Windows does not run. Creating your own boot CD to include that software, might be an idea. Google search for slipstreaming. But you will need to enlist someone else with a spare PC to help. There is also Bart's PE CD. You can include your own software before burning the CD.

http://support.lenovo.com/en_US/product ... MIGR-76225

http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc ... _016en.txt

In the meantime you could give this a go. With the laptop switched off and disconnected from the mains, remove the battery from the machine.
Now try booting the Windows XP Pro with the machine powered only by the power adapter connected to the mains.

You could also try swapping and resitting the memory modules.

If everything fails, might it is the time to email the manufacturers. Your machine loks like a very expensive piece of kit and it is no very old, so they should be happy to help.

You could also search for the Kaspersky Rescue CD, download and burn a copy and see if it finds anything lurking. It should run without problems because it is Linux based.

I have one question though: did Lenovo supplied the Windows XP Pro setup Disk, or you bought your own copy?
It may just be that the fault is in the CD. You can try borrowing another copy and see if it does boot like it should.

Best of luck

DaveI
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 00:07

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#8 Post by DaveI » 01 Apr 2013, 01:28

Thanks for your continued help.

Thinkvantage button simply takes you to BIOS during boot so you can (for example) change the boot order.

I have tried many tools including BartPE and Kasperski. They all boot initially but after a few selections they freeze to a blank screen. Apparently because they attempt to load Windows or something Windows-like. The only one that works is UltimateBoot CD, which is Linux and contains TestDisk.

I did swap the 2 memory modules and did extensive memory tests in both configurations. No fault found. I also tried booting with no battery. No change.

The T60 was indeed an expensive machine when new, in 2007. It is out of warranty and not worth much today.

The Windows XP disk I have is a Microsoft retail CD and is known to be good. It works fine on my desktop. I don't know if Lenovo supplied a recovery CD with this laptop, I never had one. I believe it was a "make your own" routine. I used Acronis True Image for recovery and their bootable CD also fails to work now. It boots, then freezes like everything else.

Lito
Posts: 83
Joined: 08 Sep 2012, 06:58

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#9 Post by Lito » 01 Apr 2013, 02:37

Sometimes it is possible to run the setup from an external CD drive (USB). Perhaps you can borrow one of this from a friend and try it.
One more thing you can do is update the BIOS of your machine. Make sure it is the correct one for your laptop.

I am surprised that Kaspersky's Rescue CD does not run as it is Linux based. The trick is chosing the graphical interface as soon as it boots (blink and you miss it). With a cable directly connected between laptop and router you can first update the signatures package. Then run the scan.

If you have a gathering of tools or utiliities you are likely to need in a USB pen or a CD, you could try running then with Wine. It can run some Windows programmes in Linux but your mileage may vary. Choosing a Linux distribution that includes Wine is tricky choice. I would choose Bactrack 5 R3 or may be Fedora 17 Security Spin. Both of them carry TestDisk. You can research the list of packages of different distributions before choosing yours.

Let's hope that you will find a solution, but the problem seems to be beyond my technical ability.

Best of luck

DaveI
Posts: 7
Joined: 28 Mar 2013, 00:07

Re: TestDisk can't find problem

#10 Post by DaveI » 01 Apr 2013, 02:47

Thanks again. I don't know how to verify or update the BIOS. Can you point me to a procedure?

The BIOS is Phoenix First BIOS Notebook Pro version 2.20 (79ETE0WW)

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