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Thread: Help! Bad hard drive - lost all data

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    Help! Bad hard drive - lost all data

    I have a 300GB hdd which I had my main installation on, and all of my data - My Pictures, My Music, etc.

    I was having some trouble with games, and had tried everything, so I was about to see if I could do a repair install over the top of the original windows to fix that problem.

    The first time I installed I had to expand the partition to 300GB from the 130GB after installation because it's not an SP2 disk. So when I used my non-SP2 XP disk to do the reinstall, the partition came up as Unformatted and only 130GB again. It asked me to format.

    I didn't want to do that so I exited out. However it would appear the damage was done. Now the drive appears as a 300GB drive, but unformatted. My winxp installation no longer detected/booted, I had to install on my second disk. I tried the disk in my 2nd PC which has Partition Magic, and the disk partition came up as BAD.

    Is there any way to get all my stuff off the drive? I have some backed up, but not all...

    Would really appreciate some help here.

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    • FInalD's system
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    Well for starters it's your own fault for trying to extend a live partition, it can be done but it's a stupid idea.

    As for recovering data that's a little more tricky. Plug it into your 2nd pc/install and boot it into Windows. Go to Control Pannel > Administrative Tools > Computer Managment > Disk Managment.
    What does it come up with the drive being? If it is set to not being active, change it to active and see what that'll do when you go into it by My Computer if it'll let you.
    I'm sure there are programs out there that will allow you to reclaim data from a bad partition, but they'll cost a bomb. If there is important work on it then google the web for HDD data recovery experts and send it to them.

    FinalD

  3. #3
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Possibly if it is only the partition table that has been destroyed, and you can locate the second copy of the partition table on the disk (assuming that is intact) - but if the data is that critical, it might be worth contacting a specialist data recovery company to do it. Is is VERY easy to make a bad situation worse in this case. If you do want to have a go yourself - and there is no expert advice on this forum, then start googlinging. Meanwhile leave the hard drive in a safe place, in an antistatic bag until you know exactly what you are going to do. In the first instance you might want to make an exact bit copy of the drive onto another identical size drive so at least whatever is on the disk is backed up, so if the first recovery attempt fails, you have a fallback.
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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    K, thanks guys.
    Yeah, I know it may not have been the smartest thing - extending a lve partition, I have now learnt my lesson.
    Will look into data recovery see what I can find.

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    Oufti behappier's Avatar
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    You can try this guy www.retrodata.co.uk

  6. #6
    lazy student nvening's Avatar
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    I dont know if this can help you but it is what i use and it works really well too. Also they have spend time making it possible to intergrate it to a bartpe cd too

    good stuff
    http://runtime.org/

    This metions it too http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...060300147.html

    and you can get a drive image using one of the tools http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...060300147.html
    Last edited by nvening; 17-09-2006 at 01:38 PM.
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    Senior Member Rack's Avatar
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    LifesaverGetDataBack for NTFS V3.03

    Recover your files when the data is no longer accessible due to formatting, fdisk, virus attack, power or software failure. Get everything back even when the drive's partition table, boot record, Master File Table or root directory is lost or corrupt.
    Sounds perfect nvening. Thanks. I'll let you know how I go.

  8. #8
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    I've used Ontrack's Easy Recovery Pro a few times, its one of the best investments I've ever made. It too can recover data from a formatted disk and will do so from boot up with a floppy.

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