How can I recover data from a PC that won’t boot?

Shah Rishi June 3, 2012
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When I start my PC in safe mode and regular mode it shows me a blue screen error. I would like to recover some important data from my hard drive but I can’t get Windows to load. What can I do?

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  1. aelaos
    October 2, 2012 at 4:00 pm

    Download a live cd with Ubuntu OS , and boot with it . If the hard drive is ok you should be able to copy whatever you want to external Hard disk . I always keep a Live Cd in place for such tricky situations

  2. Kernel Recovery Tools
    September 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    You need to attach your pc hard drive on any other pc. Make it secondary hard drive and check is your pc detecting your secondary hard drive or not. If it works you can take the backup of your data.

  3. Saina Nehwal
    September 21, 2012 at 9:53 am

    Detach your hard drive from your computer and connect it to some other computer using IDE, sata to usb connector, then the drive will be used as an external storage device and you can access your data directly.

  4. Amit Sinha
    September 5, 2012 at 11:29 am

    the another way is that just take out your hard disk and plug it into another computer which is working and you will be able to copy all your data

  5. Igor Rizvi?
    July 31, 2012 at 10:59 am

    put the hdd inside a friends pc, boot ,backup using some software.. simple as that

  6. Fran Staniec
    July 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I have had this problem in the past. Purchased a hard drive enclosure for the drive, connected to another computer via usb and was able to get any data from the drive that I wanted. This is assuming that the drive is not the issue. If the drive crashed then you may be able to retrieve data by sending it to a data recovery service, however that is expensive.

  7. Michael
    July 12, 2012 at 9:42 am

    You can remove the hard drive and put it in another computer as a second hard drive. Perhaps your computer can be fixed, Can you boot up in safe mode (F8 key).

  8. Shri Krishna Maharjan
    July 11, 2012 at 9:23 am

    try hiren's bootable cd from and recover ur files and data and keys and other stuffs.
    And format ur windows drive after u done.

  9. Dany Bouffard
    June 11, 2012 at 5:56 pm

    Boot from a bootable USB or CD that have a live XP or ubuntu get the data you need and copy it to an external drive. As said by someone else on good tool to have is a disk with Hiren Boot CD. You can also try a fixmbr after recovering your data. also a sfv /scannow if windows let you at least boot in safe mode.

  10. Bill_Bored
    June 9, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    To the OP: It would be nice if you RESPONDED, no? You have several excellent suggestions and many unanswered questions. :) Have you resolved your problem? If so, how?

    Jus' my .02 cents. :D

    • Dalsan
      June 12, 2012 at 2:33 am

      I agree with you, and giving as much info as possible helps leaps and bounds over knowing that you are using Windows and Chrome. Could be as simple as the networking cable is bad or has a bad connection, all the way to the cable company is choking your access speed.

  11. Himanshu Singla
    June 6, 2012 at 4:29 am

    Simple and best option will be just purchase a hard drive converter kit..which has a usb support..simple take out the hard disk from the pc and get it attach with the another pc or laptop and it will be done..i think this is the best possible solution..

  12. harnek
    June 6, 2012 at 3:39 am

    just insert your HDD into an other system and try to get ur data....

  13. Shehan Nirmal
    June 5, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Dear Shah,
    It will be so much easier to recover your data if you like to use a linux os distro.
    I always use Ubuntu Live-OS for that kind of work. So try to find a mini version of Ubuntu and use it to recover your data from the hard disk.

    • dksg
      November 8, 2012 at 6:43 am

      ubuntu on a usb worked beautifully! thanks a ton!

  14. Dave Rimmer
    June 4, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    You say start it in safe mode, if you can get to the screen that shows safe mode you should also see the option "Last known good configuration" choose that option and restart your Pc. You should not have a BSOD in safe mode as it usually halts before it boots into safe mode on some driver that will not load preventing safe mode from starting.

  15. Giuseppe Calamita
    June 4, 2012 at 8:34 am


    there are many applications that claims to be able to recover your hard disk when it crashes.
    I suggest you to follow these two strategies:

    1. try to fix boot problems (you may use this free application:;alsoDlScroller)
    2. if the point 1. did not work, try to recover the data from the crashed disk (use this great and tested by me application:;6)

    May be with first free applcation: Rescue kit free, you may do the data recovery too; I did not test it. The second application: Easeus data recovery wizard professional do the job; i test it!! It is simply great!

    Let me know if you encounter difficulties;I'm @cypherinfo on twitter.


  16. Jenne Qing
    June 4, 2012 at 6:47 am

    you can try minitool power data recovery software and use MiniTool Power Data Recovery Boot Disk. very convenient and functional.

  17. Dalsan
    June 4, 2012 at 3:05 am

    Best purchase I made for this type of situation was an IDE/SATA hard drive adapter converter kit for $25. Just take the hard drive out, connect to the kit, then connect the USB cable to another computer and transfer any data you need. If you were able to make or get any of the mentioned live CDs to use for this instead, works great, too. Any of the suggestions will do the job, so long as you have a storage device or partition to move the data to.Hope you get it worked out.

    June 3, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    Hello, the first thing you could do is make a note of the error you are getting and post it here or there is the option of researching it online. You could also try software such as the following to troubleshoot the error:


    Now, you could also use a linux live CD to start your computer. Once live CD is running you can either burn the data to CD/DVD or copy data to an external harddrive. You could try knoppix:

  19. Mike DeGeorge
    June 3, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    If you have access to another computer, you can plug it into there.

    • James West
      June 19, 2012 at 8:42 pm

      I agree. You can get a hard drive enclosure for anywhere between 25 and 100 bucks. The only place i've found them for sale is

  20. Dalsan
    June 3, 2012 at 3:49 pm

    Giving the Windows version, i.e. Windows XP, Vista, 7, would help us out more, just as trying to give the BSOD error code would be. If it its Windows XP, then the settings in BIOS for the hard drive could be wrong or the driver could be corrupt within Windows, as the driver for AHCI or SATA is not included XP, but provided by the PC manufacturer.

  21. Susendeep Dutta
    June 3, 2012 at 10:27 am

    You can also use Redo backup to backup your data as well as this tool provides you to browse internet via Mozilla Firefox in which you can use it to access the web and many other useful things can be done.

  22. Bruce Epper
    June 3, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Since you are getting a BSOD, your hard drive is at least partially intact and I would assume there is a high probability that the drive itself is not defective or damaged.

    A BSOD is commonly a driver error (wrong driver installed, failed device, etc). You should be able to boot into the recovery console from your Windows CD and revert to an older restore point (one created before the BSODs started happening).

    You could also do a restore install which will install a new copy of Windows in place of the old one correcting any driver or Windows component errors. This will preserve all of your data, but it completely rebuilds your registry so most of your other software will need to be reinstalled.

    You can use a WinPE CD or a LiveCD that can load NTFS drivers to save all of your accessible data on the drive. The advantage of a Linux LiveCD is that it completely bypasses Windows file security and you can access ANYTHING on the disk (as long as there are not physical errors on the drive or logical errors in the filesystem).

  23. Kyem Ghosh
    June 3, 2012 at 7:22 am

    I would like to use any live disc of linux (ubuntu or fedora recommended) and see if you can get access to the HD. Store your important data to a separate partition and then install windows or else you'll loose your data you kept in C:\... And if the hard disk is crashed, you are gone...

  24. ha14
    June 3, 2012 at 7:20 am

    you should give your Windows OS versions, this can guide others to help you.
    if you have windows cd boot on it and choose repair or use restore point to revert back to earlier state.

    you can boot on live cds and backup your files
    hirens boot cd
    has a minixp in there included


    Trinity rescue cd


  25. Alan Wade
    June 3, 2012 at 7:16 am

    If your data is on a separate partition then just reinstall windows assuming that it is Windows that is at fault otherwise take out the hard drive and plug it into a working computer. From there you should have access to the drive and be able to copy or move data as you wish.

    • mandred powl
      September 24, 2012 at 10:27 am

      i am agree with you but file & folder corrupt due to improper system shutdown and virus intrusion or your data not open & collect after move in other system in such condition you must take backup in another hd also then check your file are corrupted or not for more detail

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