How to Salvage Data from an Unbootable PC

Can’t boot up? PC won’t start? Our helpful specialists can restore normal operation and get you up and running in no time. We’ll diagnose the problem, determine any hardware or software issues, optimize performance and make sure your system is working correctly before we leave. From tune-ups to data file backup and recovery, Total Tech Support℠ has you covered. We’ll even help with printer setup and connectivity.

Salvage Unbootable PC Data

Booting up fails, and you are desperate to access critical data? This feature-packed software can help regain access to non-booting PCs or recover deleted files. Intuitive wizards and easy-to-use tools separate the DataRescue program from other data recovery utilities. Expert options give greater flexibility in rescuing data or full control over low-level operations. Efficiently scan FAT 32 and NTFS formatted drives for recoverable information. In addition, a wizard is there to help you create a boot disk so you can start recovering data without having a working computer at your disposal.

Steps Involved to Salvage Unbootable PC Data

You can verify that the Unbootable PC is detecting your drive by opening up My Computer and seeing if your drive is listed. If it is, you can then choose the data you want to recover to either a second hard drive, an external storage device, or even burn to a CD/DVD for safe keeping. If you are not sure what data you need to recover, we recommend starting with recovering all files and folders.

Steps to Avoid:

Any time you perform major surgery, there’s a chance that it can go wrong—and this is especially true with your PC. Even a little mistake can turn your PC into an expensive paperweight. 

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Salvaging data from an unbootable computer can be tricky, but it’s not impossible. 

Don’t use any application that talks to the drive or its interface until you’ve done your recovery. If anything modifies the MBR, it may overrun into your data area and change files. Shut down as quickly as possible while noting any error messages. Unplug the power cord, preferably at the wall outlet so there’s no chance of turning it back on by mistake. Not only will doing this stop the OS from modifying your data, but some systems will actually cache writes in physical memory and write those changes out later.


If you’re technical enough, you can do this on the fly by simply booting up the computer in safe mode and transferring the data that way. But what if your computer is too far gone, or you don’t have the skills to do that? That was where my problem came in—the hard drive of my laptop had gone bad, and I couldn’t access it from Windows. Even booting from a recovery disc failed to give me access to the hard drive. And if there wasn’t a way for me to get access to all my data, it would be a major setback for me financially (since I often use this computer for freelance work).

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