I’m running a desktop with Windows 7 SP1 on a WD 2TB drive (WS2003FZEX) that’s about 2 months old. After a recent power failure, my computer wouldn’t boot. Using the Windows installation disk, the Windows automatic repair tool was able to get the drive back to where I could see the files on the disk using the command prompt in the repair tool even though Windows still wouldn’t boot all the way up. Getting to this point took several reboots and during this time whenever the repair tool started, it would search my HDDs for a Windows installation and find it on my C: drive (the 2TB drive) and show a single partition of the full drive size. Since I was making progress towards a fix, I ran the automatic repair again to hopefully fix the problem for good. The tool ran quite a while but when I rebooted, I had nothing. I rebooted with the Windows installation disk and even though the BIOS sees the HDD, the repair tool can’t find the Windows installation and shows a partition size of zero. Using the command prompt in the Windows repair tool finds the other HDDs on my system, but not the C: drive. I then connected the C: drive to another computer using a SATA to USB setup. Windows Explorer sees the drive but when I click on it, Explorer says it needs to be formatted before use.
Given my success rate with the automatic Windows repairs so far, I’m more than a little concerned about Windows’ ability to fix its own problems, so keep that in mind with this next part. A couple months ago, I did a full C: backup to another drive and included a system image. I also have Windows back up my files every night to another drive (letting Windows choose what to back up). Fixing this may be as simple as restoring the image to my C: drive along with the latest backup set but I’m worried Windows will mess up and I’ll lose/corrupt my backups and still won’t have a working computer.
I have two other HDDs on this computer which are identical to the failed one (except for not having Windows installed). Since I’m pretty sure the files are still on the C: drive, it there a way to fix that drive without restoring the previous image? Is restoring the image even likely to work?
Thanks for any assistance.