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2 HD's Data Erased? Need Advice.


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#1
temple-Lobe

temple-Lobe

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Hi

My PC is 2.62 Ghz, 512 RAM, winXP home sp2.

I run a business from home and recently lost not one, but two HD's with 70GB of
important Data.

I wondered if there was a way to get it back.

First files disapear off my drive, I do virus scans - nothing.

After discovering something was amis in Recovery console I booted my slave drive (which was an identical copy of the master)
only to discover that one was corrupted also.

As things stand:

I bought a new 160Gb HD put it in as master and attempted to get the data off either of the other drives,
setting one to slave.

To my horror both were apparently empty!

I went into disk management and it's reading 10mb Fat12?? and the other disk is reading nothing?? Disc shows as active and
healthy.


Tried Disk Investigator program and theres files on it but it can't read them.
that's only reading 10mb as well, FAT12.

Tried the slave (clone) and it reads a full 80gig drive, but it reads as empty! with no file system at all.??

One more disk check:


Checking file system on F:
The type of the file system is FAT.


One of your disks needs to be checked for consistency. You
may cancel the disk check, but it is strongly recommended
that you continue.
Windows will now check the disk.
Volume Serial Number is 9785-F627
Windows has checked the file system and found no problems.

2130018304 bytes total disk space.
98304 bytes in 1 hidden files.
483491840 bytes in 2 files.
1646428160 bytes available on disk.

32768 bytes in each allocation unit.
65003 total allocation units on disk.
50245 allocation units available on disk.


Can anyone tell me if I can retrieve the 70Gb of data I originally lost? or should I say goodbye to it !! - I've kina given up on it but don't understand how 2 HD's
got deleted.

XP runs on NTFS and the files left on HD are FAT12? so is this why the drive appears empty - because it's the wrong file
system?

if you need more info on events leading up to this problem ckick this link:

http://forums.majorg...ad.php?t=142501

It's a long post but has everything in it I can recall.

Help is appreciated, thanks

Edited by temple-Lobe, 02 November 2007 - 12:40 PM.

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#2
Neil Jones

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Swap the IDE cable connectors and change the IDE cable. This could be caused by either a faulty IDE cable or an IDE port on the board gone bad.
Alternatively hang both drives off another computer and see what happens.
Please learn from this and make regular backups and keep them away from the computer.
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#3
temple-Lobe

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Swap the IDE cable connectors and change the IDE cable. This could be caused by either a faulty IDE cable or an IDE port on the board gone bad.
Alternatively hang both drives off another computer and see what happens.
Please learn from this and make regular backups and keep them away from the computer.


Tried both HD's in my mates PC with same diagnosis.

Went into disk management and that's when we discovered the file system (FAT12) error.

I think something has occured when I copied the HD, after all if corrupt files were on 1 HD then they would be copied on to the other.

Boy, am I going to backUp better from now on.

I've conceded to the fact that both the HD's have lost their data - I'm no techy but no one seems to think there's a chance the data could still be present, or retrievable :)


Baffled is what I am - and so are others too!

Edited by temple-Lobe, 02 November 2007 - 03:59 PM.

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#4
Samm

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It sounds like the MBR is corrupt on at least one of drives. The MBR contains info about the drive including things such as the file system, whether the drive is bootable (active), and partition information. From what you've said, one of the drives is being recognised at FAT12 10MB (max size limit for FAT12 is 16MB), or possibly as FAT16 - the results of the chkdsk scan reported total drive size as 2130018304 bytes (2GB) which is the max limit for a FAT16 drive.

The good news is that there is a chance that the data itself is intact. The bad news is that this is not guaranteed & may not be easy to retrieve it. To be honest, your best bed would be to take to a data recovery specialist - do not take to anyone that isn't a data recovery specialist as they will probably just make matters worse. Obviously, this may not be cheap so it depends on how valuable the data is to you.

Alternatively, you could try one of the data recovery programs that are available. Again, these will cost money but will almost certainly be cheaper than taking to drive to a specialist.

This one is $49 (approx £25) but you can run it in demo mode first & it will tell you what files it can recover before you need to actually buy it:

http://www.recoverda...a-recovery.html

I don't know what it this program is like as I have never used it.

Be aware with any data recovery program you look at buying, you will need one that can recover partitions as well as actual data.

Also, remember - if you do manage to recover any data, be very careful! As you've already mentioned, there's a possibility that the problem was caused by virus and so there's a chance that when you recover data you will also be recovering the virus with it...
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#5
temple-Lobe

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Thank you for reply Samm,
maybe there's a glimmer of hope after all...

I've tried 3 freeware data recovery programs which showed up a single txt file in a scan of both drives.

I'll have a look at the one you suggested and post back my findings - don't mind spending a few quid if some data is recoverable.

- you mentioned the MBR corruption as a possible cause, I attempted to fix this in Repair Console without success; when I reached the command screen, instead of seeing 'C:\WINDOWS_' I saw just 'C:\_'
(is that an indication of anything??)

other discrepancies were present when entering commands, a lot of the responses said things like 'unable to locate file' or 'disk is unrecoverably corrupt' - so when I followed some online instructions I couldn't complete it due to these messages which weren't supposed to pop up. ([darmn] it!)

Frustrating thing was that I had decided to have a different backup method than the one I was doing and was in the process of tidying up my files first when all went tits up!

I'm gonna back up my back up (in triplicated certainty) so that this won't bother me again :)

Bye for now

Edited by temple-Lobe, 03 November 2007 - 03:13 AM.

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#6
Samm

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- you mentioned the MBR corruption as a possible cause, I attempted to fix this in Repair Console without success; when I reached the command screen, instead of seeing 'C:\WINDOWS_' I saw just 'C:\_'
(is that an indication of anything??)


The reason you were seeing C:\ instead of C:\WINDOWS is because the system was unable to read the C drive and hence couldn't find the WINDOWS folder. The reason the MBR fix didn't work is probably because the backup copy of the MBR was corrupt as well.
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