I am currently trying to retrieve photos for an individual off of a dieing laptop. It was a Windows XP system and will not boot even in the “Safe Mode”.
My assumption is that the OS has become corrupted. Reinstalling Microsoft would require loosing all data on the hard drive.
I tried removing the hard drive and putting it into an external case and reading it via the USB port, but that would not work.
I reinstalled the hard drive in the laptop and booted up UBUNBTU on the CD drive. I have been able to copy some files before the system hangs. I have a long way to go, but given time maybe I will get the majority of the needed files recovered.
The point of this post is to remind everyone that PCs break. Hard drives fail. If you only have your photos or important documents stored on a PC and not backed up to another medium, you are at risk.
That reminds me, I need to back up my primary PC again. 🙂
UPDATE: I completed the process and recovered all of the files that were important. A couple photos would not copy. I would say that I copied 99% of all photos. I declare the exercise a success. Had I taken it to a computer repair place here, I am sure they would just have reformatted the hard drive.