I'm trying to help my brother out. His Dell Dimension 4600 (service tag: DL3SW21) recently crashed with a blue screen and since then when he tries to boot the machine we get the "system32\drivers\pci.sys is corrupt or missing" error message. His OS was XP Home with SP2. We tried restoring the file via recovery console but got an "access denied" error. Then we realised that we couldn't even see the contents of the hard disk and realised that the hard disk was probably the problem. I tried running chkdsk /r but that ran for a while but eventually stopped with errors. I also tried fixboot and fixmbr but nothing changed. So far I've tried booting from my BartPE live cd and even Norton Disk Doctor but nothing seems to be able to read or fix the drive. I think this is a first for me cuz normally if a drive dies it isn't even detected by the BIOS but this case seems different. The drive is a Western Digital WD600BB. I'd like to just try to format it and reinstall but my bro. needs some stuff off it. At this point we're considering taking it to one of the local data recovery companies but I still wonder if there's anything I can do. Any suggestions?
Hi Jimbo. The drive is being detected by the bios. I've thought about running a WD diagnostic on it but wasn't sure where to find the diagnostic. I went to WD's website but haven't found the diagnostic yet (have to go back and look some more). I put the drive in an external USB drive enclosure I have but got the same kind of errors. When I ran the DELL IDE diagnostic on the drive, it failed with return code 7. I wrote DELL tech support with this info and a rep replied saying the drive is faulty and should be replaced. I'm not sure how conclusive that is.
For the data you have two choices: a data recovery service if it's worth the cost, or the freezer trick if not. That consists of freezing it overnight in a plastic bag, then quickly connecting it as a slave and seeing if you can copy data before it warms too much. This has worked occasionally for some people, only for some types of faults where physical obstructions due to heat are the cause.