Unallocated Partition Recovery?

By Wesablo ยท 6 replies
Feb 2, 2008
  1. Hey I got a little problem here, I had a 400gb HD and it was acting up after my PSU conked out. I replaced the PSU and I got an "Unmountable Boot Error", which I troubleshooted and fixed. During all of this, though, I fixbooted the 400gb drive in attempt to fix, but I think I messed it up more somehow - either that or it was alrdy messed up. I say this, because after I got a new drive and totally fixed everything, something was still wrong with the 400gb HD. I found out that in Administrative Tools>Computer Management it shows the 400 as a 15mb/372gb partition, with the larger of the two as unallocated. Whenever I try to search the drive, it won't let me get in there.

    Basically, for anyone who thinks the paragraph is too long up there, I have a HD that has an unallocated partition in it for one reason or another, and I wanna know if anyone can help me recover anything on the drive that I can't select right now. I had a lot of info im hoping that I can get back. Any info is appreciated.

    PS - I understand there are programs you can buy that may be able to help in this situation, but im looking for a charge-free type of solution for this, if there even is one that you guys might know. If not, a cheap suggestion of one of those programs would be cool too.

  2. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    was the 15mb part there before the mess and is it "formatted" to something right now?
  3. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    To reiterate some basic facts...
    You cannot access a drive larger than 132 MV unless you have Windows XP with Service Pack 1 or 2.
    You cannot access drives larger than certain amounts unless you have updated your motherboard BIOS.
    You can then change the hard drive partition sizes, but you will do it best with a partition manager such as Acronis, Ghost, or other partitioning software.
    When you change hardware in anyway except memory, Windows XP will detect that there has been a hardware change. It will suspect that the user is trying to change the operating system, or migrate it to another computer... It wil then shut down the entire system until it understands why your hardware configuration changed.
    Or you can try to reformat or repartition the drive using Windows XP Service Pack 2 pretty easily... by booting to the Windows XP SP2 boot disk.
    It will be more recalcitrant with SP1, and will not work at all without at least the service pack.
    What I would do is boot to the windows disk, then when you are given the option to delete the partition altogether, do so. Then cold boot to the Windows Install Disk, and choose create a new partition when the choice comes up.
    If you do not remove the partition, you will have to jump through hoops for a couple of hours.
  4. Boogityboo04

    Boogityboo04 TS Rookie Posts: 302

    Ray, did you read what he asked? He wants to recover the data, not wipe the disk.
  5. raybay

    raybay TS Evangelist Posts: 7,241   +10

    But he has partition problems he has not been able to fix by himself. His change in parition has put him at risk of losing all that data... and that is going to be difficult unless he can recover that partition... and Windows isn't going to allow him to do it... unless he uses some outside help such as Partition Magic, System Commander, Acronis, or Ghost... and all will cause him trouble unless he is cognizant of the other rules involved... one of which is probably the reason his partion is shrunken.
    This does not happen by accident. Something... some software or error... caused this partition to fail or become corrupted.
  6. Wesablo

    Wesablo TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 53

    ok well to answer...

    - the partition was NOT there before all this mess

    as for the other comment, i dont know exactly what u mean by a drive larger than 132 MV, but i DO have all my windows updates, im pretty sure of that

    and your assumption about somethin corrupting the drive, well that is a good possibility because like i said, my PSU was dying out and I didnt know it. At the same time, I kept getting a weird blue screen for some reason. Regardless, my computer would work most of the time - until I left it on not knowing that the PSU was dying, and it died while the comp was on (all of my hardware seems to be fine as of now, besides this HD of course) and when I returned to the comp it was almost like it was on life support, trying to boot giving the fans a few spins, then dying - trying to boot giving the fans a few spins, then dying, over and over again until i turned it off. I then realized that the PSU was dead and wouldnt start the system, and ordered a new one. Now, that partition appears on my old c drive and I cant access anything on it. One other note, is that I tried to troubleshoot it once I got my new PSU, but it still wouldnt boot into windows and I tried a chkdsk /r and a fixboot in recovery console...i feel like this has something to do with the partition, but I dunno cuz im nub - hope that helps at all
  7. mscrx

    mscrx TS Rookie Posts: 310

    ok, back to the point. I don't think it is a "large disk problem" because he had the disk running already before the nightmare started...
    to be honest I am afriad there is no chance to recover the disk to the state it was before. if the partition table was just destroyed or somehow changed it would be possible to restore it but it seems there is a new partition created and lets say "active". means the chance to restore the former table are overwritten already.
    you could give it a try with partition table doctor. delete the 15mb partition so that you have the full disk as unallocated space and then set the partition type to #07 (ntfs-hpfs). if it works the program will tell you that the table needs a fix and offers you to do that. once clicked yes its a matter of seconds and you have your good old disk and data back. but thats pure theory....
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