Can't see files after Win2K re-install

By defgrip
Dec 21, 2008
  1. Hello,
    Every few months I was losing internet access. After exhausting all the suggestions from my ISP tech support, they said all I could do was re-install Win2K. I did this and it worked. When the problem repeated, I reinstalled and all was happy, for a while.
    On my last re-install, I must have done something different, and now when I reboot, I can't find all my old files (my documents, program files, etc.) I also have a second HD installed, and the only dir on that is WINNT. It is a 80 GB drive but is only recognized as a 32GB HD. I am hoping there is a way to access my old files. Any suggestions?
    Thank you.
  2. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I'm sorry, but if the second HD has WINNT that would probably be your original W2K installation. When you reinstalled W2K, your probably did not over-write the original as you thought but installed it on your original data drive D:, wiping out your data on the way. The drives are now swapped.

    I.e. new install (on original D: ) became C: under the new install, and the original C: became D: do you follow this. I'm afraid it is easily done. At the install of W2K where the drive is already fully-filled with partitions it asks you (if I remember rightly) do you want to reformat? You said yes, not realising you were reformatting your data drive

    You can check this....
    Make sure your OS is set to show "Hidden, System" files then look for the BOOT.INI file in C:\, 2) Once you've found it, view it in notepad (it will be read-only and will moan, doesn't matter). It will look something like

    [boot loader]
    [operating systems]
    multi(0)disk(0)rdisk(0)partition(1)\WINDOWS="Microsoft Windows 2000" /fastdetect
    C:\ = "Microsoft Windows"

    Now if instead of rdisk(0) it says rdisk(1) I am entirely right. The "rdisk(n)" parameter is for the HDD drive number, where n=0,1,2,... depending upon which physical drive this HDD is in your system. And that in turn depends upon the boot order set in the bios.

    It's time to research the question of backups.....
  3. defgrip

    defgrip TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Hi gbhall,
    Thanks for your reply. My original C: drive has the WINNT dir as well as program files, but none of my other dir except what windows normally sets up when installed. As it is a 160 GB HD and is only seen as 130 GB HD, is there any way to access the old files on either my D: or C: drives? I am wondering as that as they are not seen as there original size, perhaps the TOC is over written, but not the data itself? I had been backing up since I got the PC in 1999, but hadn't backed up in about 9 months - I got complacent.
    I agree that my boot drives probably got switched during one of my re-installs. I don't remember formatting the drive during any install, but that could be true...
  4. gbhall

    gbhall TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,431   +77

    I am not sure if you have definite differences between 'drives' and 'partitions'. In Windows, what you see as C: and D: 'drives' could quite easily be two partitions on one physical Hard Disk drive.

    You could try chkdsk /f on C: and D:
    You could run a partition manager (download gparted for example) and see what it says. It might show unused space.

    Your first post and second post are a bit contradictory in what size are the drives and what size are the partitions on each drive. Can you clarify that?
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