Hard Drive Recovery Question

May 20, 2009 at 13:45:26
Specs: Windows XP
OK, if anyone could give me a solution to this
problem I would be eternally grateful. It seems
like there should be a really straigtforward
solution, but for the life of me I can't figure it

I'll start with a little background. I had a 500G
Maxtor hard-drive with windows XP installed on
a 120G partition with DATA (pictures, movies,
music, etc) on the remaining 380g partition.
This installation of windows started playing up
- crashing and bsod. Upon running a few
checks it transpired that the hard-drive had
bad sectors. I then installed a fresh windows
XP on an old 120G hard-drive and booted into
that (still had access to the two partitions on
the 500g HDD). However the bad sectors
would still cause the second installation of XP
to crash also now and again.

Now is where the real problem starts - I
decided to try a full format on the 120G
partition with the bad sectors as I read that it
can isolate them and mark them as bad.
However I did this before I backed up the data
from the other partition (I know!). Now that
HDD is completely inaccessible through
windows. When i plug the sata cable in the
cpu goes to maximum usage as, i presume, it
searchs for the MBR which is not there or
corrupt due to the bad sectors. Eventually the
two drives come up in My Computer but if I try
to access the 120g it is inaccessible and if I
try to access the 380G it says that it is not
formatted. Windows, or windows based
recovery programs seem to really dislike what
I have done to my HDD!!

However. I then boot into Hirens Boot CD -
Active File Recovery, Winternals Disk
Commander, TestDisk, etc. Using each of
these programs I can instantly see the 380G
partition and all the folders/files are fully intact
(why is this when windows has such difficulty
with the HDD??). However, when I try to copy
the files onto my good 120G HDD it is not
listed as a destination drive in any of the
different programs. The only drives listed are
floppy, CD drive and the 100MB temp drive.

So the obvious way to fix this is to get the
DOS based programs to see my good HDD as
a destination location for copying files. Does
anyone know why they don't, or how I can get
them to recognize this HDD?

Does anyone know any other possible
solutions through windows based programs??
If I can get access to the files/folders through
windows I can easily copy them to the good

Sorry for the long post, and convoluted
explanation. Thanks in advance for any

See More: Hard Drive Recovery Question

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May 20, 2009 at 18:40:16
Read the How-To-Use for testdisk at
http://www.cgsecurity.org/index.htm... paying close attention to 'recover XP boot record'. You should be able to use program to fix the boot record of the 380g partition and then use XP to copy files.

"when I try to copy
the files onto my good 120G HDD it is not
listed as a destination drive" very likely the 120g hdd is formated as NTFS and DOS can not read/write NTFS with out a driver.

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May 21, 2009 at 05:02:11
Thanks for the reply!

The fact that DOS does not recognize NTFS drives is
something I just found out last night. Therefore the obvious
solution would to locate a FAT HDD and I should easily be
able to copy the data across. Is it difficult to get DOS to recognize NTFS using drivers?

I had a look look at the Teskdisk wiki and couldn't see the
section you were referring to (repair the XP boot record for the
380G partition). I tried using Testdisk to 'write' the MBR before
with no success. I assumed this was due to the bad sectors
at the start of the primary partition.

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May 21, 2009 at 05:15:24
if you have re-installed WinXP on the 120GB drive and that drive is an IDE type interface then your problem may be related to WinXP not having SATA controller drivers installed.

What version of WinXP is on your install CD and what service packs have you installed since then?

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Related Solutions

May 21, 2009 at 06:06:20
Both of the HDD's are SATA. So that is not the issue.
Unfortunetely! ;)

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May 21, 2009 at 06:22:55
Another possibility might be that the second partition on the 500GB was configured as part of a dynamic volume instead of a logical drive in an extended partition. I have seen this happen before. In which case testdisk can't recreate what never existed.

Did you have assigned drive letters for both of the partitions?

You could try using a live version of Linux to recover personal data if that is the case. Knoppix is one such live version. Knoppix installs to, and runs from, ONE CDR/DVDR. The download is 696MB. You can get Knoppix at the first link below. The second link is information on dynamic volumes



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