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Hard Disk Recovery

Discussion in 'Windows XP' started by bazil83, Apr 10, 2008.

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  1. bazil83

    bazil83 Thread Starter

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    Hello.

    So here's what I've done:

    I tried re-installing windows after a whole bunch of BSODs, so I put in my XP Pro disk that's about 4 or 5 years old (I'm pretty sure it's just SP1). It booted to the setup, I chose my new hard drive to install windows to, but it said "c: contains bad data, is damaged etc etc etc and must be formatted before you can continue". Now I thought it was okay; I'd backed up all important info from that drive (c:) and went ahead and continued.

    Now, this is 500gb drive, it seems windows setup only detcted 130gb of it, but I thought "It's alright, it's just the c drive", well... It seems I was wrong; it wiped EVERYTHING but C: and E: (those are the two partitions on that particular drive). Anyway, before I knew this, I carryed on with the install, it copied the files and then rebooted. But then it wouldn't go any further and gave me a few different errors... Anyway, those errors are kinda irrelevant (but it was during the phase where the bios initiates the hard disk to load the O/S... I was just getting a blinking cursor).

    So anyway, cut a long story short, I took that drive out (my old one), put the new drive in, used a disc that had SP3 slipstreamed into the install (luckily I had made this) and installed; everything works fine now! Except... I don't have any of my old files; I backed MOST of the stuff up, but I also lost a lot of stuff that has taken me out of my "comfort zone" and I just feel like utter s**t right now.

    Windows cannot read the partition I made on this drive with my previous install of windows; in disk management it says: "Healthy (Unknown Partition)". Now, my question is this; would it be possible for me, since this partition did have some of that nice "comfort zone" data stored on it as backup (the only stuff I didn't backup to dvd because I figured that as it's on a completely different drive to the old, it will be okay - silly me), to restore this data? Even those it's been formatted (not just quick format, but full format) once...?

    The same goes for the other drive. I plug that one in and all hell breaks loose; it won't let my operating system boot up at all, even when I put it in as a slave drive and press F8 during boot to definatly make sure it's the new drive that's booting. Do you think I could hire someone to restore that? Even though, again, it's been fully formated (not quick, but full, in window setup)?

    God, what long post! So yeah, do you think someone could restore the data on these drives? Even though the original drive is seemingly completely knackered!
     
  2. Mojolookout

    Mojolookout

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    Hi, let me take a quick sypnosis of your post as i understand it :)
    1. you have a new HDD 500gb, to which you're trying to install a fresh copy of Windows, question: was windows already installed in this new HDD? where did you backup your files?
    2.setup detected 500gb to be 130 gb. question: have you deleted the old partitions and created new ones?
    3.you took your old drive out put a new drive in. question: what exactly are you saying here; were you trying to install windows in your old drive?whats up with the 500gb HDD, was it the old one or the new one?

    sorry to sound like i'm invastigating a murder mystery here but to really help you i must know what your problem is?
     
  3. bazil83

    bazil83 Thread Starter

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    1. Yes, new hard drive that I have now installed windows on. The hard drive was bought new, so no, windows was not already on it. I backed up most of my files to dvd, but some files to a partition I created on this new drive with the old installation of windows on the old drive. This partition obviously formatted and now can't be read it says "Healthy (Unknown Partition)"

    2. I deleted one partition which I knew (or at least thought I knew) in my head that had no data on it, because Windows setup said it was dodgy. It seems that I more than likely ended up deleting (or at writing a new partition table) both the partitions on that new drive.

    3. I first left my old hard drive in, tried to install windows on the new drive, but setup said I had to format the C drive (one of the old drive's partitions - turns out it was probably the entire drive) so I did that, but windows still wouldn't load, so I took the old hard drive out, used an XP Pro SP3 slipstreamed disc and installed XP onto the new drive. It installed fine, and I'm talking to you now from it. However, when I put the old drive in, Windows WILL NOT boot up with the new installtion of windows on the new drive! So I have to keep that old drive out, as it seems corrupted to hell! I've never experienced anything like it, to be honest.

    So my question is; do you think, given that I formatted the old drive and repartitioned the new drive, that it's possible for a data recovery expert to still recover the data that was present on both drives? Or do you think it'll be completely unretrievable now?
     
  4. Mojolookout

    Mojolookout

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    if you've not written anything on the old drive and only repartitioned or reformat it you can certainly recover the files from it. but as far as the new drive is concerned( your backup data), if you have repartitioned it and tehn installed windows, your data are prolly lost.

    if you have anything in your old drive that are well... embarassing to be shown to other people, i would recomend that you recover the data from it yourself since its not all that difficult using recovery softwares. try Steller Phoenix FAT & NTFS recovery software, i wouldn't be surprised if you can still get those stuffs you lost on your new drive too.

    the reason you can't boot to your new HDD with your old HDD installed is prolly because you have your old drive as the primary hard drive. make sure you have your system boot from your new drive from the BIOS. if that don't work, make a Boot cd using Bart's PE builder (use google to find this) and delete "boot.ini", "bootmgr" from your old drive.

    alternatively, you can also pop in the windows xp cd and boot from it. go to recovery console and use the "bootcfg /rebuild" command. this will scan your windows installation, when it finds the one on your new drive, select it.
     
  5. bazil83

    bazil83 Thread Starter

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    Mojolookout: Thanks very much for the post! It actually turns out (using a demo of Data Recovery Wizard) that everything is still there - on the new hard drive! I'm sooooo f-ing relieved. Unfortunately I can't recover the files because I'm using the demo version. But it's just good to know they're still there... Whether they're restorable to their original, 100% working state, is another matter!

    I'm going to buy some recovery software tomorrow. I have a feel that it's all still there because when I partitioned my drive using my previous installation of windows (and older drive), I first partitioned my Windows drive physically at the front 100gb of the drive, I then partitioned almost the rest of the drive as my work partition; where I would have saved all my work (I'm a photographer and filmmaker; need lots of space) and subsiquently where I placed the backups I didn't have time to burn to dvd, so even though I've repartitioned, reformatted and installed windows onto the drive, I've still only done it at the front of the drive, therefore there's still a massive portion of the drive that this new install didn't get written to... That's why I think it's all still, at least viewable!

    I'm so happy! I'm not going to write anything more to this drive, just incase, and will go and pickup some recovery software first thing in the morning!

    With regards the other drive, yes, I made sure it was plugged into the slave sata-2 controller, still fecked with my new install! But yeah, I'll try deleting boot.ini. Would this still have an effect, even though I used F8 and selected the new hard drive, with the new installation of windows to be booted...?

    EDIT: Yes, I have got some things on my old hard drive that "are well... embarassing to be shown to other people", haha. Having said that, I'd go through the red facedness of having to say "Yes, that's my porn" to someone I hire to recover, if it means getting back the other stuff that was on that drive.
     
  6. Mojolookout

    Mojolookout

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    Hi bazil,
    thank you for the feedback, i hope you'll be able to get those data back. the concept of data recovery is that files are not directly removed from the HDD when its deleted altho the space occupied by them is reported as free space.

    regarding your other drive, to my knowlege the concept of slave/master drive does not apply to sata drives. they will be seen as both master drives on two separate sata controllers. however, if your old drive uses the IDE interface you will have to set it to slave drive. you've prolly already done this, but just to be sure let me give you a step by step procedure of how to make your new drive 500gb you primary boot device:

    i can't tell you exactly which button to press and such because different mobos comes with diff BIOS but the concept should be more or less the same. in the bios(pressing f12 or del at startup) see if there's a boot sequence(or something similar) option to chose from. from there you should see something like "harddisk priority", make sure your new hard disk is the first of the lot. then reboot.

    you should also prolly know that when you press f8 at startup one of your HDD is already booted on, so that wouldn't make much different whatever comes up to choose from.
     
  7. bazil83

    bazil83 Thread Starter

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    Thanks for the help Mojo! Both the drives are SATA-2, the new drive I bought is actually just the newer version of the old hard drive. Anyway, I'm now recovering all the data! Score! I got the old drive to work by plugging it into the 4th secondary SATA controller, so now I'm recovering from that drive too :-D. I'm going to wipe this drive (the new one) again and reinstall windows because, I accidently selected 350gb for my windows partition. Pain in the ***, but I'm just more happy that I can read my once lost data and back it up properly now.

    To be honest, I was reading all the successful recoveries here there and everywhere and I was kinda thinking it wouldn't work out that way for me... But it seems so :-D

    Thanks for the help... I still wonder what caused the drive error in the first place and, if it's just a whole bunch of bad sectors with no physical damage to the disk, hopefully I can write zeros to it and continue using it without having to throw out 500gb.

    Thanks again.
     
  8. redoak

    redoak Gone but never forgotten

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    "Bazil83": This is a Family website and as such we do not condone the use of crude or rude language even in an abbreviated form.
     
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