To recover lost or corrupted data with a computer that has Windows Vista or Windows 7 operating system, you might be able to recover it using Windows tools or third-party software.
If Windows will not boot up on your computer, you can try booting from the OS setup DVD; if you are able to, when the Windows screen appears, click Next and then click Repair Your Computer; this should launch Windows RE. Windows RE attempts to locate an OS installation on your hard drive. If it cannot locate an installation DVD but the BIOS setup recognizes the hard drive, then the drive partitions and file systems might be corrupted. If Windows RE can locate the installation, the problem may be missing or corrupted system files.
Run Startup Repair; this can sometimes correct critical problems with system files and boot records. Restart the computer after this step. You could also try running System Restore, but this process will not help if the file system is corrupted. Restart the system and press F8 during the boot to bring up Advanced Boot Options menu. If the boot menu does not come up, the problem may likely be a corrupted boot sector. If you do see the menu, you need to enable boot logging and reboot. Check the boot log for the last entry; this may indicate which system file is missing or corrupt.
You can attempt to repair the boot sector using Windows RE if the boot menu appears by using specific commands. The Diskpart command followed by the command list volume is also a useful tool. You can also sometimes repair a corrupted file system by using the command prompt windows and the chkdsk c:/r command.
Recovering data and backing up data are very important tools in the computer recovery process. If you have a Complete PC backup using Vista or Windows 7, you can use it to restore the system to the last backup. Make an effort to copy the data to a safe place if there is any on the hard drive that has not been backed up prior to restoring the system.
There are different types of computer backup systems which include a system backup or just a backup of data. If you do not have a Complete PC backup but you have backups of data that is on the hard drive, you can install Windows Vista or 7 on the partition and format the hard drive during the installation process. If you don’t have either types of backup, try to copy the data and then reinstall the operating system. You might still be able to recover the data after the re-installation.