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Drive access problem.


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#1
Ste

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Hi, I recently had a problem with my main system which wouldn't boot. To save myself hassle I swapped my operating system drive for a clone I keep handy.
That was OK but then I wanted to format the problem drive which I did on another system. This system also has two drives, one with the operating system on and one with files on it. When I had formatted the problem drive I replaced it with the drive which was there before and is full of files. I now find that this drive is inaccessible yet nothing has happened to it apart from disconnection and reconnection. Of course the drive I had formatted had taken its place for a time.
I have given the drive the same letter identity as it had before but if I try to access it I am told that this drive is not formatted, do I want to format it? If I click on properties it shows as 100% blue showing no free space and also no used space and no capacity?
Does anyone how to correct the problem so I can access this drive? Thanks.
:)

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#2
The Skeptic

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It may sound like a silly question but did you shut down the computer when you swapped the hard disks?

When you formatted the disk, did the computer assign it a different letter, other then the one that the disk with the files had? If yes, try to give the disk with the files the same letter assigned to the formatted disk.

If not successful try to connect the disk in a different way. If it's SATA, move the cable to another port on the motherboard. If it's IDE try to jumper it differently. For example, if the system disk was jumpered as Master and the affected disk as Slave, change both to CLS (cable select) with the system disk at the end of the cable and the other one on the mid-cable connector.
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#3
Ste

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Hi, thanks for the reply. Yes I did shut the system down before swapping the disk. I have tried the letter that the formatted disk was given and also the letter which was used originally for this disk. I have now changed jumper settings and tried without jumper. I have also changed cable order without effect. It just won't let me in.
One thing I have just noticed is that the disk is now labeled 31.50GB in disk management and it is an 80 GB disk?
Do you think beginning a format and then turning the system off would allow access? I know it seems illogical but it seems to be identifying itself wrong and though I may lose some files the alternative seems to be losing them all.
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#4
The Skeptic

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The worst thing that you can do is to start format. Please don't. I am not sure what the problem is but it seems to be related to drive letter change which is not a trivial thing. I think that your best option is to backup the files from the damaged disk by using another operating system, reformat the disk and replace the files. For this I would use Linux to keep away from windows environment. Please follow theses instructions:

Download Puppy Linux from my list of links below. Download "puppy 2.16.1 seamonkey fulldrivers.ISO". Burn the ISO file to create a bootable CD. For this purpose you can download BurnCDCC from the links below. It's a very simple tool, used exclusively to burn ISO files.

Insert the disk into the CD/DVD drive and boot the computer. Use the default setting except for choosing screen resolution of 600x800 when given the option to do so. After the program is loaded click the icon that looks like flash disk. This will open the file system and will enable browsing your folders. Find the folders that you want to backup, copy and paste them to another storage device.

If the computer doesn't boot, please set boot order in the BIOS so that the CD drive is first priority boot device.

Good luck.
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#5
Ste

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Hi, all interesting stuff and new to me. I followed your instructions but the computer with the problem disk would not boot from the CD so I tried it on another computer. The disk booted the system and showed the drive but I could not access it: 'Failure, most common reason- you forgot to unmount the previously inserted media or the media is not inserted'. I then added the newly formatted drive and put the jumper to master. The system booted up again and showed both drives. I could access the formatted drive but still got the failure message for the other. It showed as 81GB 32.2GBvfat. Is it time to give up now and format? :)
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#6
The Skeptic

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The only option that I see is to try to recover files from the affected disk and then format it. Some tools that you can try are Undelete Plus and NT File Recovery. Please note: all these programs store the recovered files on another disk. The process can take very long, may be partially successfull or fail. You cannot choose what you recover, the programs will take their on path. Many times it looks as if files were recovered but when you try to open them there is nothing inside. I suggest that you try to run the program for about an hour. If there are files that were recovered stop the process and try to open them. If successfull, start from the beginning and let the program run to the end or to the point that you decide to stop. I write this because recovery can be a very long process taking hours, days or weeks. So, instead of wasting your time, see if you get any results and then decide how to continue.

Good luck
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#7
Ste

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Hi, I have replaced the disk in it's original position. It shows in disk manager only and has no letter assigned to it. It won't let me assign a letter now and only offers to change it from simple to dynamic disk and also to create a new volume. I presume I will then have the option to format and label it. I have tried Undelete Plus but it does not see the disk so I think I will have to give up on the files and try to save the disk :'some ya lose'. Thanks for all the help I'm sure some of it will come in handy for the future if the problem is not so serious.
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#8
The Skeptic

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Thanks for letting us know.
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