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System partition - Now you see it, now you don't. ;)

By Rick
Nov 27, 2002
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  1. Well, I let my computer sit for awhile working on a disk intensive program when I noticed it locked up. I was forced to reboot, and to my surprise.. Windows XP hung.

    I rebooted again, Windows XP gave an error message that it couldn't find file "C:\Windows\System\" or something like that.

    I rebooted again, I got a blue screen... Okay, so I investigated.

    I booted from the XP CD.. The files were there. I ran chkdsk /p and it found some errors. I ran chkdsk /r and it blue screened. :\ I was pretty worried the disk might be going bad. I rebooted again and ran a full surface scan and it came up okay, but this time the entire partition was erased.. No files were displayed.

    I popped the drive in another system. I'm currently using Ontrack EasyRecovery Professional and it is finding all of my "lost" files and making a list so I can restore them, but it is estimated to take something like 200 hours........ I don't feel like waiting.

    So my question is does anyone know of a way to restore my partition without destoying my data? The files are still there (according to ontrack), but it appears the MFT and whatnot might be damaged.
  2. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

  3. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    I know very well about the search function, Mic. :p

    My question is more of not how to get my DATA back.. (Not that desperate), but if there is a way to repair the partition itself back to its original status.

    I don't want to wait for this computer to crunch numbers for 2 weeks to recover my data from this 80gb disk.

    Luckily I have a backup, the problem is that it is a few months old. I'll be losing a little bit, but keeping most of the important stuff. I believe I will choose to restore this old image instead of attempting anything too iffy.
  4. Mictlantecuhtli

    Mictlantecuhtli TS Evangelist Posts: 4,916   +9

    I was in a similar situation about a year ago. I was using Linux, though, and accidentally lost the partition. The application I used searched the hard disk for possible lost partitions, asked me if they're real, and wrote MBR according to my answers. I didn't lose any data.

    This is what I used:
    gpart - Guess PC-type hard disk partitions

    Naturally, you should have a bootable Linux or FreeBSD CD/floppy.
  5. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Ouch, you've had a corrupted partition table I think. Nasty.
  6. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Topic Starter Posts: 6,304   +52 Staff Member

    It turns out it was caused by a bad memory module. Just goes to show you that Crucial memory is not impervious. ;)

    Luckily, that lifetime warrant is about to come in handy! hehe.

    I ended up restoring my image.. I was frustrated and it was easy.. How could I say no?

    I'll have to give gpart a try soon (which I undoubtedly will). It will probably come in handy where I work. :)
  7. Phantasm66

    Phantasm66 TS Rookie Posts: 6,504   +6

    Well what'd'ya know?

    Glad you got it sorted out....
  8. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,745

    That would have been a pesky problem if it wasn't solved. I know you said you weren't going to lose much, but losing anything still sucks.
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