System malfunctioning, help me backup files!

March 6, 2010 at 22:39:13
Specs: Windows XP Pro
I am in dire need of help here...

I'm using WinXP Pro edition SP2...
I have some major issues with my system that's stopping me from doing many things on it. I've been having lots of crashing issues with this machine since I bought it off a guy (note I am using another pc in another room at the moment, as internet on my pc is not working). Occassionally the "blue screen" in result of a crash with total memory dump. I'm assuming the man overclocked it and caused it to overheat.
Lately it has started to get worser and just the past week it did something with the blue screen crash that made the system begin to get buggy. Internet access is one, click-drag feature doesn't work, installing certain programs or hardware devices not working along with Windows Installer services... I just bought me a portable USB hdd to backup my important files that I need to save. I intend to totally reformat the current drive in which things are messing up on. I even reinstalled my WinXP to see if that would fix anything but everything's still buggy.
Driver devices are not working, sound and some video...
I have done ChkDsk various times, Disk Cleaning and a couple other simple things while other things I tried to do were not working (such as Defrag).

I searched for methods to solve my Click-Drag problem and found this:

A registry edit that assumingly fixes the drag file item issue when merged with registry. I merged it and nothing happened.

I was hoping it would be as easy as hooking up my USB HDD, dragging selected folders over to HDD and then reformat the bad drive... Unfortunately these things are in the way. When I connected my USB drive, the system brought back complex driver installation windows and errors when it should've been as easy as popping it in and go, as it has been with my USB Flashdrive, which even that now brings up 'installation errors' when i plug it in.
Strange thing is, my flashdrive reads and works fine when transfering files, but my USB HDD apparently needs to install as it has a Setup.exe inside (came with internal software for backup.) It reads as an existing drive when I now hook it up but I don't know if I can transfer files over or not, because drag feature doesn't work, and highlighting files to Send To hdd is not available because the HDD is not an available option in the Send To when right clicking.

This has been taking me nearly a week since this happened and while I've gotten some advancement, it's taking a long and slow time. I'm patient and will do whatever neccessary to solve the issue and backup my files so I may reformat my crazy drive!

Much thanks in advance to whoever may lend a hand!

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March 7, 2010 at 02:42:29
mmm - I have Maxtor/Segate external usb hard-drive; it didn't require any software to be installed so as to use it. It just appears as another usb device...' and is fully accessible like any other usb device. If you are using supplied "backup" software then possibly that's an item to discount (not use at this time) - and simply see if the drive is there as a usb device (like a usb-stick/flash-memory etc...)? And if so...

Presuming data etc. is OK on the drive...

Then boot into either safe-mode or full/normal mode (if possible) and the copy data straight to usb drive; and afterwards verify copied data is OK on another system. And to be really sure data is secure... copy it to optical media too; and likewise verify on another system.

If not possible to boot safe or normal mode... then...

Get a copy of Knoppix or Ubuntu - (Kinux variants on a cd/dvd); boot with whichever...

After-which access/copy data to optical-media; possibly you will also be able to copy to an external usb hard-drive too...

Verfiy copies are truly accessible on at least one other system; this to be sure you have secure/viable copies.... Then set about recovering a working system - and complete reformat/re-install may not be necessary...;

Both have downloadable freebie .iso images which save to a hard-drive; then burn to dvd and boot with that dvd...

Overheating (cpu especially) may be an issue with the system as described; likewise failing RAM; likewise a failing hard-drive...

I have a feeling it may be the HD... (Does it make any odd/unusal noises at all - especially when first booting up?)Determine its make and go to their website; find/download their disk checking utility/tools and run the complete series on the drive...

But first.... safeguard your data as above - one way or another.

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March 7, 2010 at 22:15:07
Another option if you still have trouble with all of the above, is to remove the hard drive and install it as a second hard drive on another computer (it will not be bootable) and copy your files using the running operating system for your copy/paste. Then check you copies, then move the drive back and use HD mfg's utilities as above and Memtest to check for memory errors. Replace which ever is bad. If it turns out that it was the RAM all of the time and your hard drive is Ok, then as above, you may not need to format/reinstall.

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March 7, 2010 at 23:13:00
Really a educative and informative post, the post is good in all regards,I am glad to read this post.

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Related Solutions

March 8, 2010 at 04:31:22
Incidentally... Mem test utils while they often "work"... then y do take qhile to run a complete test sequence... During that time one could go for a long walk (Great Wall of China, Hadrian's, Applachian Trail etc...)

One can also use this approach - prior to running a test util... Reduce RAM to a single stick (if two or more present and a min of 128Meg required at all times) and then see if problem persists with each/any of the (single) stick present... If it does with one or more - yet not all.. then logically those that continue to produce the problem are suspect? Replace any that appear to be suspect? Ideally test with a known to be good stick too?

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March 9, 2010 at 15:56:04
I have already fixed my OS problem. I had to install the OS to a new folder (same version) in order to access my harddrive files. Unfortunately my history files were seemingly deleted and there are no restore points before the installation in the new oS.
Thanks for your replies!

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March 10, 2010 at 05:16:12
mmm... A parallel installation is often a useful way to get to those important files... The knopppix/ubuntu path is of course another...

But most important is to of course make regular copies off the system to optical-media (and verify they will play elsewhere too...); and if possible to another hard-drive too. No medium is entirely rock steady/sure etc. in terms of failure; thus both to optical and another drive is a good way to go - if the data is really important...

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March 10, 2010 at 15:50:40
Excellent advice by Trvlr. Experience has taught me, and I have at least two backups of 'everything' in my system.

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