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2 HDD Problem

By amarcham
Sep 18, 2006
  1. Hi all,
    i have just installed a 2 hdd as a slave unit and windows show it as drive f. this hdd was an old one that i have just taken out from the same pc and swapped it around. the new primary hdd is working fine. i need to get some files from the 2 hdd before it is returned to dell. windows xp says that i needs to format the drive. i assume that this will erase all data and i will not be able to retrive them. any help would be great .

  2. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    You're correct - formatting will erase your files.

    Why did you replace the old drive? Did you have problems with it?

    Windows will ask you to format the volume if it cannot recognize the file system or partitioning scheme. This means there is a problem with your boot record or file table, both of which you cannot usually fix with a simple utility like chkdsk or scandisk.

    Different operating systems seem to read file systems differently. If you can, try to download something like Knoppix (bootable Linux CD - really easy to use so don't be intimidated because it is *nix) and see if you can view your files. If you still can't access your files, you probably need to repair your file table or boot record. There are programs out there that can do this - and you should be able to get all (or most) of your data back if the drive is in good, physical health.

    My personal recommendation is Active @PartitionRecovery. It's worked great for me in the past and they have a free trial to "demo" the program (which is DOS-based). It allows you to see your files, but to recover them, the software is about $30. There may be better payware and even freeware alternatives, but this is the one I've used and had good experiences with in the past.
  3. amarcham

    amarcham TS Rookie Topic Starter

    thanks rick,
    You are correct there was a problem with the drive and dell replaced it today. The only problem was that windows froze when saving settings screen on shut down. Would boot up ok and access all files ok and never have a problem when running only on shut down. Seems strange i thought this was a software conflict.


  4. Samstoned

    Samstoned TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,018

    get acronis disk director program
    it will tell you what file system the drive is and may get the data back the recovery part I have not tested
    if fat32 you can change one time to ntfs should not damage data
    if disk is a dynamic data disk you may need to format then recover data formatting does not destroy all the data just set up file allocation tables for new write
    a low level format or 0 write will destroy data
    always try the simplest method first
    that would be acronis soft

    good luck
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