Corrupt Partitions

By Emohawk
Jul 24, 2002
  1. Hello,
    I have a large problem that I want to ask you knowledgable folk.

    I have a 60GB IBM Deskstar. It is in 3 partitions of ~20GB. Due to an unfortunate accident earlier today, partitions 1 & 3 (C:/ and E:/) have become corrupted. D:/ is accesable though and all files are ok!

    C:/ contains Windows 2000 + allot of valuable files that I cannot afford to lose
    E:/ contains 3 years worth of mp3's and other important files that I have collected throughout the years, along with my work.

    The information on both drives are very valuable to me and I cannot replace the files, especially the years of work that is on it!
    I know I should have made a ghost of the drives and/or kept a regular backup, but I was one of those people that thought it could never happen to me :( (how wrong I was)

    My question is this: How can I recover the data from these drives?
    I have a spare HD that I have installed win2k on. Win2k recognises the drives, but will not allow me to access them (same with DOS). I get this message:

    "The drive in drive E:/ does not appear to be formatted, do you want to format it now?" or something along those lines...

    Is there any way that I can ge the data back?

    Thanks in advance...


    Additional: Win2k Disk Checker says that all drives are healty FAT32 except "C:/" and "E:/". Which are healty but not FAT32 or any other type of format :(
    C:/ is also registering as active, which I'm guessing is the reason why the drive sounds like it's writing all the time :?
    Also, FDISK, says that C:/ and E:/ are both FAT32, however they have wierd labels, like: $$^|^%&^ kinda label???

  2. SuperCheetah

    SuperCheetah TS Rookie Posts: 709

  3. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    if the drives were originally formatted as FAT32, can you boot from a DOS disk and run scandisk on them?

    I think you have some major problems because your partition table looks corrupted. you may need some third party utility like "lost and found" from powerquest.
  4. Emohawk

    Emohawk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Scandisk won't work :(
    Lost and found scanned the disk and said: It is FAT32, but the "boot partition" (is that correct?) is void or corrupt or something...

    I tried to recover it with Lost and Found, but I only gave me the option to save the data to a floopy disk, not exactly worth while, when I have about 20-30gigs that I need to save :(
    It was strange it didn't let me save it to my other hard disk (24GB Maxtor)

    Any idea's... I will try anything!!!

  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 5,734   +7

    Pretty much then you will have to give other commercial programs a go. I believe that there was one called Tiramisu.

    Failing that, if the data is really important and you have about £1000 / $1500 dollars to spare, you can contact a hard drive data recovery specialist. The data is still there, you just have corrupted FATs, MFTs (with NTFS) and / or partition table. But the actual data is still there. So a dedicated recovery specialist could get the stuff back. I believe that they can even do it over the internet for you via broadband connection or dial up if you connect the drive as slave in working machine.

    The problems that you are having really supercede the kind of tools that are available in windows unless you have some very specialised knowledge about file systems and partitions and how these are recorded onto hard drives. So as I said you could try some commercial programs but in the end I think its possible there is no way to go unless you contact a specialist.

    Also, check your personal messages.
  6. Emohawk

    Emohawk TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for that program, although it didn't seem to work :(
    I left it for 6 hours straight while it analyzed the hard drive, most of the time it said "Unable to read sector : 2324366"
    So after the 6 hours I gave up :(

    I've packed the IBM HDD away now, to await a time when either I get rich, or my uni course pays of and I have the knowledge to retrieve the data... Unless there's a super program I have missed to try?

    I have a 6GB Seagate that came with my original computer years ago (when 6GB was big!). It still runs fine, so I think I'll order a Seagate Barracuda 80gig...

    I'll also add another e-mail to the millions IBM probally already have about there shite (Deskstar) HDD...

    I'm not too worried about the mp3's, the movies I had (I'll get those from my mate next time I take my computer around)... It's the small files like the Red Dwarf book I was writing, the contact list I had in outlook, the photos from my digital camera, my Planetarion memorabilia... Things like that I might never see again...

    Well, at least I can say I learnt something... ALWAYS back up your important data if not everything! I'll ghost my system when I get my new harddrive thru... and then I will be ready, if there's a next time...
    I'll also go NTFS instead of FAT32 (as I hear it's a bit easier to get your data back, if it does fail)

    Thanks for all your help (especially Phantasm66 :grinthumb ).
    Cheers :)

  7. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,345   +11

    Never say never.
    There are programs you could try, but they are Linux programs.
    Something like this happened to me about two months ago - DOS's fdisk (I don't know why I even tried it anyway) wiped out the partition table from my hdd. I thought I lost about 16GB data. I searched for free recovery tools for a while and found Gpart:
    I tried this, it printed out information about possible partitions on the disk. However, in my case there were some problems so it couldn't write the table again. I had to do it manually with a hexeditor. Ugh. Well, the most important thing was that I succeeded after five hours of fiddling.
    If it's only the partition table that's corrupted, this tool could help.
    If it's a hardware failure (do you hear any rattling?).. hm, save your money for Norman Ibas ;)
  8. mijan

    mijan TS Rookie

    Ibas hey... Mictlantecuhtli. we asked them to recover our "cad" files a while back, a very very important project of mine, ibas had the drive for 3 weeks and could not recover any of the files, something about "survo data loss" i think it was.

    Any way we could not afford to give up so we contacted CRL in London who to our surprise were able to recover 7 of our most important cad folders.

    When confronting IBAS of their bad service and lack of ability, they offered to look at the drive again for free.... ahgggggg. what cons they are. Sorry i had to get that off my chest.

    Emohawk if its important to you then speak to someone like CRL try this link WWW.COMPUTER-RECOVERY.COM cant promise anything but they certainly saved us alot of headache.

  9. Frank Smith

    Frank Smith TS Rookie Posts: 75

    This is what I use.. and it has saved many a directory/files from Non Bootable crashed HD's...
  10. lukeyu

    lukeyu TS Rookie

  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    try a few data recovery programs like undelete or pc inspector smart recovery. I have had luck in the past with both programs, particularly the latter.
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