TUTORIAL: How to reformat and do a clean install of Windows 8 on Samsung Series 9 laptops

Discussion in 'Samsung' started by lzrsfa, Mar 1, 2013.

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  1. leniko

    leniko Notebook Enthusiast

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    Here's the latest. Since @Dannemand suggested restoring with partition settings enabled and says this will wipe everything I wanted to get what I need off of the hdd first. I've bought two different enclosures (couldn't get the first to work) and have had a heck of a time getting two different computers to recognize the drive. After much research and finagling, I've been able to get one of the computers to see the drive in IE and in disk management. I've tried to run seatools on the drive but if does not find it. Here's a view of my disk management for the 1TB hdd, disk 1 below.

    upload_2015-3-27_19-35-1.png

    Given that it is "raw" and seatools can't find it and all 907gb of the primary partition is free space, does that mean that
    1) there is no data to retrieve?
    2) I should take a different approach to getting my computer back up and running or proceed with clearing vram as per prior instructions?
    3) I need to buy a new hdd or ssd to replace what I have?

    I should mention that the main items I'm trying to retrieve from the hdd are music (nice to have) and tax returns ans excel spreadsheets of tax info (need to have).

    Thanks
     
  2. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    @leniko: Ouch! I am afraid you are right, that doesn't look good at all with that raw partition where Windows and your data should be. It is possible that your disk has a defect and some corrupt sectors, which could have caused the inability to boot, particularly if the EFI System partition is also affected.

    If you have (or can borrow) any other 2.5 inch drive, it is worth trying to wipe that clean and convert to GPT and see if you are able to install Windows on the Sammy without clearing NVRAM first. Use Minitool Partition Wizard to prepare the disk (Google it) or the following commands (Admin Command Prompt in Windows or Shift-F10 in Windows Setup):

    DISKPART (to start the Disk Partition manager)
    LIST DISK (to show all your disks. Notice which one is your disk)
    SELECT DISK x (replace x with the disk number found above)
    DETAIL DISK (just to verify that you selected the right disk)
    CLEAN (to wipe the disk)
    CONVERT GPT (to convert the disk from MBR to GPT)
    EXIT (to close DISKPART)
    EXIT (to close Command Prompt)

    That said, the fact that you had such a hard time booting an external device unless you disconnected the the HDD, signals that there could be NVRAM corruption as well. If you clear NVRAM first, you will have that potential issue out of the way so you're not testing two (or more) issues at the same time.

    But I assume rescuing some data off that disk is the more urgent issue right now. There are tools that can help with that -- and people and companies who do it for pay. Since the rest of the disk structure looks intact, I would consider it likely that many files can be rescued. Maybe the entire partition can even be revived. I did some of that, but it's 25+ years ago now, and I don't have updated knowledge about it. But be VERY careful what you do on the disk now so you don't lose those files: It appears to Windows (and any OS) as blank space now, so the areas where those files are stored could easily be overwritten by mistake.
     
  3. leniko

    leniko Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Dannemand, Thanks for your continued support.

    To all, I've been away for awhile struggling to get my hdd to be recognized (successful) , then backed up (successful, I hope) and now, partition recovered. I used minitool partition recovery to do this, with the results being, upload_2015-4-25_5-3-58.png .
    Questions:
    1. Should I proceed with this or should I go to minitools data recovery? I am trying to recover my tax data but also trying to see if hard drive is salveageable and/or healthy (or return to healthy). When I double click the 907GB partition in minitools to see what data is in there I see all of the files that I'm hoping to recover.
    2. If I should proceed with the partition recovery, there are multiple "boot" partitions found all of size 3.01MB. Should I recover all of them or a select few or just one or none (as they may contain a virus?)? If less than all, any suggestions for which one(s) to choose?
    3. The data that I'm trying to recover is in the 907GB partition. It isn't labelled "data". Is that a concern?
    4. Could having so many boot partitions be the cause or related to my original problems of BSOD, etc.?
     
  4. leniko

    leniko Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi, I posted the above note in another area of notebook review that was more appropriate for the subject and now see that this is inappropriate based on a note @Dannemand posted to another poster. How do I delete the other post? I can find edit but this does not allow me to remove all of the content as I must leave some content in order for it to allow me to save the edit.

    This post on how to delete a post is also now in two areas of notebookreview, here and where I want to delete the post but hopefully given the subject this is not in violation of forum rules and maybe one can see the humour in this.

    Thanks
     
  5. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Hi @leniko, welcome back.

    First things first: I saw your other post about this in the AB9+ Owners thread, and deleted it as you requested. It is true that we don't permit so-called cross posting in order to save other members from wasting time reading and responding to a question that was already answered elsewhere. No worries, it happens all the time, although we clean it up when see see it. It is good that you are aware of it :)

    There is no way for you to delete a post yourself; just click Report and request to have it deleted.

    That disk you have there looks to be an awful mess with all those duplicate boot partitions. But that screen appears to be Minitool's suggested offering for recovery, not the current list of partitions. Could you post a screendump straight from Minitool Partition Wizard's main screen, showing just the disks and partitions -- NOT the Recovery Wizard screen?

    I would say forget about "repairing" this (I guess you realized that). You need to clean the disk (using the DISKPART commands I gave in my last post) and re-install Windows. OR perform a complete factory restore in Recovery (with Partitions Settings enabled). Either of these will wipe the disk and start you over.

    But backup first, of course. I have not tried actually recovering with Minitool (though I know it can do it) so I am afraid I cannot give you detailed advice on that. But if the disk is now showing up on anther computer, you can simply copy the individual files and folders from its DATA partition onto another disk -- and verify on that other computer that they are intact.

    As previously mentioned, there are some signs that you may have suffered NVRAM corruption as well, in which case you want to use that rather technical procedure I linked a few times. IF that is the case, it is possible that clearing NVRAM will allow your Recovery to work again -- and cleanup the mess on the disk.

    Edit: To give a more straight answer to your questions: NO, don't use the Recovery Wizard, I doubt that it will be able to fix this disk. At LEAST first copy your critical files and folders to another disk (if you haven't already). Then proceed to cleanup the disk (using the DISKPART commands) and re-install Windows. OR see if factory restore in Recovery works after clearing NVRAM.

    I can think of several interesting experiments to try on this disk, but all of them are quite time consuming, and more intricate than I think I can realistically offer to walk you through here.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
  6. leniko

    leniko Notebook Enthusiast

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    @Dannemand, thanks again, for your continued support. Here is a copy of the disk using partition main screen.
    upload_2015-4-25_18-58-3.png

    I have a copy of the problem disk but it is in the same state as the problem disk and I am unable to recover my tax data from either. My thought was to get the tax data off of the problem disk first. Your diskpart suggestion will wipe the disk and I don't want to do that until I get my tax data back. I know that you said it's been 25 years since you did this type of work but at this point I'll take any suggestions. I am currently running minitool data recovery to see what it finds. The frustrating part is with minitools partition recovery I can see all of the tax files I need but can't access them to copy them. I, also, unfortunately, don't have access to another hard drive that I can wipe clean though if you feel the problem disk is unusable in the future, then I guess I should buy a new one.
     
  7. Dannemand

    Dannemand Decidedly Moderate Super Moderator

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    Thank you, understood.

    The disk itself and its partitions look fine on that screen dump -- but that Recovery screen in the previous screendump would indicate that the partitions have been changed a lot. Win8.1 setup is known to do that.

    I see the DATA partition is mounted as Drive F. What happens if you try to copy your tax files and folders from F: to another disk using regular Windows file explorer?

    I guess if you have a clone of the disk (and you trust it) you could run Minitool's Recovery Wizard and see what happens. I strongly suspect it will break Samsung Recovery though (if it isn't already broken).

    The tools I used back in the 80s don't exist anymore, and the techniques don't apply to today's disk formats and operating systems. What I would do in that situation is just start Googling, reading manuals and disk recovery guides, etc. Or type "recovering files from disk" into NBR Search. Or pay someone if the data is valuable enough. Seriously :vboops:

    Edit: Oh, you meant about the "interesting experiments". Here is what I would try -- AFTER having copied precious files off the disk.

    1) Create a WinPE USB stick and clear NVRAM on the Sammy while the disk is disconnected. Just to make sure. See if the disk boots after this.

    2) If not, shrink the current combined Windows/Data partition (906GB) to the right to make room for a new Windows installation. Delete all other partitions on the disk except that shrunken one and the SAMSUNG_REC partitions. Then perform a clean install of Win8 on it as described in @Obyboby's guide. It should put a new, working EFI system partition on the drive and a workable Windows. Recovery might even resume working if you install the same version that came with your laptop (I've seen it happen). And with some luck you'll be able to read data off the old (now shrunken) partition.

    3) If that fails, wipe the disk (DISKPART) then run extensive surface tests. If preserving Samsung Recovery Solution (SRS) is a priority, copy files and folders from the SAMSUNG_REC and SAMSUNG_REC2 partitions first. Then use the procedure in this post and the Admin Tool ISOs posted later in that thread to re-create SRS (which will wipe the disk and create working Recovery partitions with no factory image) then restore the backed up SAMSUNG_REC and SAMSUNG_REC2 files.
     
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2015
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