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Windows operating system overwritten

Discussion in 'PC hardware help' started by Kafka, Oct 29, 2023.

  1. Kafka

    Kafka Regular member

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    My hard drive is split into two parts. Drive C: contains the operating system and other programs while Drive D: contains data (image, Excel files, etc.) For some reason Drive C: has been overwritten with the contents of Drive D: As a result I cannot load the operating system. I have ordered a new computer but I would like to know whether I can remove the files on both drives, bearing in mind that I no longer have an operating system.
     
  2. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    Are you intending to use the old drive for data storage? If so it depends on why partition D overwrote C which in itself is a little odd. If you're still interested in trying to recover both Partitions then download TestDisk and give it a go.

    https://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

    If recovery is not something you want to try and the drive is still good then yes all you have to do is reformat it and make it a single partition. If your intent is to try and save the files stored on it and they're accessible then you will need to move them to another storage device.
     
  3. Kafka

    Kafka Regular member

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    I plan to get rid of the computer (it is very old) but I am concerned that all my files apparently still exist on both the C: and D: drives. I can't reformat the drives because the operating system doesn't load. When I turn on the computer the screen shows "Loading Operating System" and stops dead. I can't go to the link you provide for the same reason.
     
  4. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    Is it a SATA drive? If so you can use your new computer to reformat it.
     
  5. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    presuming it is sata drive then connect the drive to 1 of the motherboard's sata port or install into a external drive enclosure the use windows explorer to access those files. I do that all the time whether my computers or customers'.
     
    wither 1 likes this.
  6. wither 1

    wither 1 Regular member

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    Out of curiosity, are you able to get into the BIOS? I don't know how you know that the C: has been overwritten by the D: but, if you can get into the BIOS, you might check what drive it's using for startup, as the priority.
     
  7. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    he only has 1 hard drive partitioned into 2.
     
  8. Kafka

    Kafka Regular member

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    I will have to find out about SATA when the new computer arrives. I discovered the duplication when the CMD DIR for both C: and D: showed the same files.
     
  9. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    A new computer will most certainly use SATA drives.
     
  10. ddp

    ddp Moderator Staff Member

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    I have an idea that the old hard drive is ide not sata.

    Kafka, what windows was on the old computer & do you know if the data cable that connects the old hard drive to the old motherboard is wide(ide) or narrow(sata)?
     
  11. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    I have no doubt that his old drive is IDE, but that can be remedied using an IDE to SATA converter/adapter.

    https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=Ide+to+sata+converter
     
  12. ps355528

    ps355528 Active member

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    Are we still in the world of "my windows is broken. how do I wipe a drive" nonsense .. Get a stick.. go here https://manjaro.org/ and download the iso.. burn it to the stick in whatever way you know... plug it in and boot it (there are a few settings on startup.. which you can actually ignore if you don't care about timezones or language).......

    now for some trickery.. is the computer network connected?..

    how about this in a terminal (open the terminal in the directory you want to access)

    python3 -m http.server

    starts an ftp single instance on [computer IP]:8000 .. use your working machine browser to go there and download anything you like... hahaha

    Blitz or copy files to another plugged in drive or stick.. It's really that simple people.

    As for "very old".. I doubt it's so old it won't boot from usb.. eh? .. even my P3 era Athlon will.. and that's 1999
     
  13. Kafka

    Kafka Regular member

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    Perhaps I didn't make myself clear. The computer will not go past Loading Operating System. I cannot download anything and it will not load from USB. I even tried installing my old Windows 8 without success. When I used CMD to see the files on my operating drive I found that the files which appeared were the same as those which appeared on my data drive. My main concern is to remove all the files before I get rid of the machine. After a little of experimentation I appear to have erased all but two folders. Believe me, this is not nonsense!
     
  14. Sophocles

    Sophocles Senior member

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    We believe you, it's just that we like solving puzzles. Without a functioning operating system you have limited choices and it appears your drive is terminal and on its deathbed. You can try to repair the operating system or copy the files to another drive but you're not going to accomplish it without another PC. The most likely scenario is you're going to have to physically remove the drive or in someway connect it to another PC to remove the files, if you want to keep them. If you're just trying to delete files for security purposes than I recommend removing the drive and using a hammer because it's clear the drive isn't going to be used to boot the unit again anyway. Then if you want to repair it you can always shop for a new drive online.

    You say the computer won't go past loading the operating system. When it gets to that point is there a screen message referring to NTLDR?
     
  15. scorpNZ

    scorpNZ Active member

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    Image of what in on D
     
  16. ps355528

    ps355528 Active member

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    FFS.. If you don't have a working computer how are you posting on the forums?.. Did I say ANYWHERE you needed to use the broken computer to make the damn boot stick?.. NO·.

    Seriously if the drive is that old just pull it out and take a hammer to it..

    FYI.. You can guve me a ex windows drive with everything allegedly "deleted" and 10 minutes later I'm looking through pretty much everything that was on there.. I find the registry entries of every website ever visited most fascinating.. they tend survive even after wipe and reinstall.. hahaha
     

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