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Wednesday, 17 August 2016

How to Recover Data from Unbootable Laptop?

Summary: The Blog explains the methods for gaining access to data when the system encounters unbootable drive issue. It also identifies the third-party solution that helps to gain access to data by recovering the hard drive with advanced recovery options.


Have you ever come across the situation when even after too many attempts, your laptop wouldn't start? Probably every user irrespective of the platform they use (Mac or Windows) encounters this issue at least once.

All systems including laptops, computers, and iMac come with an un-partitioned volume. This is further divided into partitions used to store system data and user data. User data belongs to the user while system data includes bootable files responsible for booting the system. Sometimes, laptops fail to boot due to system files malfunction, and several other hardware and software issues. As a result, all the data incorporated in the system turns inaccessible. The simple resolution is to reinstall the Operating system and make the laptop bootable; however, this will result in losing all data existing on the system.

This is the worst scenario as all the data stored on the drive is at stake, and no immediate solution is available to gain access to files. As a matter of fact, this doesn’t happen all of sudden; in fact, you get several indications before the system reaches the unbootable state. The system may display error messages with a black background. Other symptoms include:


  • Performance may have slowed down 
  • Sudden application and program shut down 
  • Abnormal functionality of laptop while attempt to restart


What Causes System Boot Failure?

Laptop’s boot instructions incorporated in the BIOS ‘Basic Input Output System’ instructs the order in which Operating system must be installed on the system. It comprises complete information on the boot process. When the laptop is in an unbootable state, possibilities are that the boot instructions may become corrupt. Due to this, the boot process fails to complete, and the system won’t start.

In this case, several Windows data recovery tips can help to recover the laptop from an unbootable state.
Note: The methods mentioned in this post are provided keeping in mind the machines running on Windows Operating System. However, you can attempt these methods on Mac and Linux machines considering important information associated with respective platforms.

1:  Boot from Restore Disk

It is always recommended to create a restore disk whenever you buy a new laptop or reinstall the Operating System. In a case of a system failure, you can restore all the components on the laptop to turn it to running mode. However, based on the Operating System, all machines react differently to the restore disk.

2:    Restore from Installation Disk

If you have an installation disk, it serves the purpose. The disk includes recovery tools that you can access by pressing ‘R’ while you are on the Setup screen. The integrated tools assist in resolving unbootable drive issue that occurs due to boot problems. In addition to this, the installation disk can be used to diagnose memory issues, perform a system restore, and reinstate hard disk from the image.

3:    Rebuild Master Boot Record

A common issue that stops the system from booting is the corruption in Master Boot Record (MBR). In such cases, rebuilding the MBR may help in resolving the problem. The procedure to rebuild MBR may differ based on the Operating System laptops, and PC runs upon. If you are using Windows 7, you can initiate Bootrec.exe from Windows Recovery environment.

4:    Connect Drive to another Machine

This is undoubtedly the initial step we would like to take in such situations. Not only is this approach time saving, but simple to execute as well. Remove the hard drive from the laptop and try connecting it to another machine to check if it can be accessed.

  • If the drive appears but cannot be accessed, it is likely that there is corruption in the partition table. 
  • If the drive not even appears, it indicates that the drive is physically damaged. 
  • If you can access the drive, then the problem exists with the MBR. 


Tip: If you can access the drive on another machine, it is recommended to copy the entire data contents to another disk. 
If none of the above stated methods bring the laptop to bootable mode, you can try a reliable third-party software with the capability to recover data from an unbootable hard drive.

Recover Data from Unbootable Hard Drive

You can try Stellar Phoenix Windows Data Recovery software to recover data from your laptop when you are unable to access the drive. The software works with Windows based systems and supports Windows 10, 8, 7, Vista, XP, and 2000 versions. The tool offers various recovery modules that include Drive Recovery as well as Lost Partition Recovery.

Both internal and external drives can be recovered using the hard drive recovery software. The tool prevents the integral attributes while initiating the recovery procedure; due to this the integrity of incorporated data remains intact. Integrated with higher level scan algorithms, the tool attempts to recover maximum data from the inaccessible hard drive.

Faster Recovery with Advanced Features

Before investing in the licensed version, you can initially try the trial edition to test the functionality and features that Windows Data Recovery tool offers. Trial version allows accessing the recoverable data within the tool panel. To download the recoverable items, it requires purchasing the licensed version of the tool.

The Advanced Recovery option will let you scan the drive to recover all the traces of data. Advanced recovery option is a time-consuming way to recover hard drive as it scans more than one volume at a single instance. Files from NTFS, FAT, and ExFAT volumes can be reinstated. Also, you can select to recover undeleted data being deleted accidently from the hard drive.

In short, when compared to built-in procedures, the tool provides exclusive features and guarantees maximum recovery from an inaccessible hard drive in just a few clicks.

THIS GUEST POST WAS WRITTEN BY ARUNA ATTRI, A CD/ DVD  RECOVERY AND WINDOWS DATA RECOVERY WRITER.

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