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Hard drive partitions gone


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#1
DivaRae

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Right now I'm running from an old hard drive with Windows 98 on it. :-(

I was running Windows XP with SP1. I had a 250 gig HD with 3 partitions (C: 50 gigs, D: 100, E: 100), and Windows was installed on the C drive. I was having a problem with the system hanging up every time I tried to open Internet Explorer. I knew it might be time to reinstall Windows, since it had been a while, so I backed up all the necessary data from my C drive. Then, I followed Microsoft's insructions, and ended up trying to run the repair option from the Widows XP CD. Big mistake.

I walked away from the computer, and when I came back, the PC was just rebooting over and over again, whether I selected safe mode or not.

At this point, I figured it was time to reinstall Windows. Then I realized I didn't have a boot disk. So, I couldn't get to DOS to format the C drive. On a side note, in the process of looking for a boot disk, I realized that my floppy drive apparently isn't working at all, but I don't know how long that's been going on, since I never use it.

I started trying to install from the CD anyway, to see if it would give me an option to format the target drive. I was a little confused when the Windows XP installation asked me if I wanted to delete the partition, so I put in my Windows 98 CD to see if it said the same thing. It did, so I cancelled out of it. I put my Windows XP CD back in, and suddenly is was showing me one big, empty 250 gig partition. It looked like everthing from my D and E drives was gone! I had only backed up the data from the C drive, because it was just too much to back it all up.

So, I put in an old hard drive as the master, and hooked up the 250 gig drive as the slave. In Windows Explorer, I can see the C drive, and a D drive (not a good sign, since it had been partitioned into 3 drives). But, when I try to access the D drive I get a message saying drive D is not accessible.

I'm desperate to access my main hard drive and see if I can recover these files, as I make my living from a home-based business, most of which involves those files.

I just don't know what to try next.
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#2
hudihoo

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this is very confusing stuff as with partitions and different boot disks it gets messed up.
if you install xp it will format and combine all partitions. it only does this because you put in your 98 disc. 98 used fat32 partitions and xp uses ntfs partitions 98 didn't know the difference so it merged them. i would have to be there at your computer to fix it. i would suggest finding a friend or a friend of a friend who is good enough to fix or else take it to a specialist and risk them not understanding the problem and ruining everythin.
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#3
DivaRae

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Gee, thanks, that's reassuring... :-)

Actually, I was given a tip to try installing windows XP on my little old hard drive (it was running 98), so I tried that, then I got Easy Recovery software, which I've run once. So far, it only found some of the files that used to be in the C drive, but nothing on the D or E, which is where the important stuff was. I'm thinking of trying other recovery software to see if it does any better. Any suggestions?
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#4
hudihoo

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i don't know anygood recoverty software maybe norton makes one but i never needed it. yeah sorry about losing the data but i might be gone. probably is gone once you mess up partitions it can make it unrecoverable except by professionals
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