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  1. #1
    Star Lounger
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    Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Hello, I hope I can explain this right? I am fixing my daughter's computer, Gateway E4100 2600mzh, 80gb hdd, Pent 4, 512 ddr333 memory.
    I installed two 1 gb sticks of memory (the correct numbers and all) and started to clean all the junk out, not used programs, internet files etc.
    Installed Sp3.
    Then I had the bright idea to give her a present of Windows xp Pro on a spare 80gb hard drive I had laying around. So I installed and formatted the new drive with xp pro no problems!
    Planning to transfer her slew of pictures, documents from school, music etc. to the new drive and then use the old drive as a back-up. (not so bright)
    Now when I start the system it opens to xp pro and the old drive is shown as F: in my computer, but when I try to explore it in the system tree the plus sign goes away and it shows nothing on the drive, I click on properties and it shows up empty.
    She has no back-ups with a two and a half child, (my 1st. grandaughter) and thousands of pictures on that drive. Needless to say I am sick over this stupid thing I did without backing up that drive.
    Right now I am running SpinRite dos program that I purchased for other needs, on both drives to see if it will recover anything on the drive, it has 13 more hours to go on level 4 testing, so I can't try anything now but any imput would be greatly appreciated.
    Oh and I put everything back to the way it was one hard drive, 512 memory etc. changed it back to master, and on boot I get, NTLDR is missing, press ctrl,alt del to restart.
    Now that I'm thinking I installed SP3 on the old hard drive, and also she cannot find the Windows home install disk.
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

  2. #2
    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Jim,
    I don't think Spinrite is going to help you out here. It is designed to repair or recover bad HD sectors, not files or folders.
    The key to getting back is to get NTLDR back on the old HD. There are a number of Google hits on "NTLDR missing" such as : THIS from MS but you might want to look at others like it.

    I would strongly suggest that your daughter look harder for that original CD.

    Also, can you boot into Safe Mode?
    BOB
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  3. #3
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Thanks Viking, do you think I should stop SpinRite?
    I was on Maxtors website and downloaded Seatools? Any imput?
    Another Google item I read was to put the drive into another PC with XP pro on it and set it up as a slave and try that, I have another PC with XP pro on it available.
    No safe mode on the old drive, and I tried a floppy with ten differant options from a site on Google no luck.
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

  4. #4
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Hi Jim,

    A couple questions, but first, you asked about Sea Tools. It is a diagnostic tool to check a drives functionality and like SpinRite won't be of much use here. As for the idea of putting the drive in another computer with Windows XP as a slave, you could try that, but now that you have XP Pro on the system that the old drive was in it is a different computer running XP Pro.

    My questions are, first, what did you do when you pulled the old HD out of the PC and installed the new one prior to formatting and installing XP Pro ??? Did you attempt to transfer any files from the old drive to the new drive before removing it ?? Did the new drive have an operating system on it when you installed it in the old PC ??? And last, did you have both drives installed in the box when you formatted and installed XP Pro ???
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Hello Doc, thank you for the interest in my problem. Your first question if my memory serves me right only the new drive was installed when I put the operating system on it. Then because Windows didn't recognize the ethernet device to be able to use the internet and Driver Agent to find drivers, I put the old drive in as a slave thinking I could transfer some of the Gateway drivers over to the new drive. That's when I relized in My Computer the old drive showed up as drive F: but it showed nothing on the drive. I also bought a external USB drive box and tried putting old drive in it and tried to access the info from my home rig with Vista ultimate to no avail. Doc and maybe Viking, in your vast knowledge should I take both drives to a professonal computer shop to maybe get the files back? Thanks again for all your help. Right now I'm in the process of buying and dowloading from Bootdisk.com any tools he has for restoration I can find without formatting the drive, I hope.
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    OK... now I'll explain what my concern here was. If you had left both drives connected when you did the format and installation of XP Pro on the new drive there would have been the possibility that you formatted the wrong drive and wiped all the data off the old drive that you wanted to transfer to the new installation. It's good to hear that they were not both there.

    I think Bob is correct and the answer to getting the old drive back up and running is to get NTLDR back on the old HD. Take a look here and see if the instructions are something you understand and can do. The only other idea I have here is a repair installation, but I'm not sure that will do the trick.

    As far as professional data recovery, you should be prepared to pay alot of money for that service. There are many <img src=/S/free.gif border=0 alt=free width=30 height=15> data recovery programs available if you want to go that route.
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Thank you again Doc, I will try your idea's. I did do the ntldr thing, but just now reading I remember in the file system tree "winint" was list so I will try those 10 start-up tries. Right now SpinRite has 3 hours to go so I may as well let it finish and then try the ntldr thing. Here is one for you when I had the new drive with XP pro running I went to admin tools and looked at all the Event Id's and came up with one Id # 15007 and it said "ping of death" I got really confused with Microsoft's explainations, has anybody ever heard of this.
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

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    Uranium Lounger viking33's Avatar
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Jim,

    MS PINGOFDEATH link doesn't really give much in the way of explanation, that's for sure.
    IF you only saw this event display once, I wouldn't worry too much about it.

    I guess by now Spinrite has finished and I'm sure it didn't do any repairs that would help you with this trouble.

    Your first priority now should be to get your new HD to boot properly. Take one thing at a time and lets see how you do with that.

    ( if it REALLY comes down to trying to recover files from a "dead HD, I can give you some good first hand experience with a FREE program that I had used recently on a friend's cooked drive. I was able to recover well over 2000 photos from it but it took quite some time to do it. ) Lets wait on that for now anyway.
    BOB
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    Long ago, there was a time when men cursed and beat on the ground with sticks. It was called witchcraft.
    Today it is called golf!

  9. #9
    Star Lounger
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Thanks Bob, I would really appreciate the recovery program. As far as SpinRite goes I think it's clock is way off because it say's it still has 1hour 45 minutes to go. I have the ntldr thing ready to try when SpinRite stops. I'll take the new drive out of service and put the old drive in as master and try that. The "ping of death" thing was only listed once.
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

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    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Jim,

    Good luck getting back the NTLDR. Let us know how you make out. <img src=/S/crossfingers.gif border=0 alt=crossfingers width=17 height=16>
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Hi all, no luck with the ntldr yet. I spoke with driver savers just for .jpg's $895.00. So Viking Bob, how about I try your restoration program as I don't really care about the drive or the operating system. Thanks again!
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Can you tell us what you have tried ?? I'm a little reluctant to give up trying to restore NTLDR and go to data recovery software.

    I've never had the need (since the software became available to the general public, anyway) to use this type of software, but most reviews are good and I haven't heard many complaints of lost data because of the software. But since this is such personally valuable and irreplaceable data I want to be as sure as possible that we do no harm with our advice.
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    Thank you so much for your concern, I am still in the process trying differant things with the ntldr 10 items to try IE: I remenber her husband had to names in the computer, one was "Max", the other was "Into the the future" so I changed the boot.ini file to "Max" tried all 10 and the thing that came up on try #9 was "I/O Error accessing boot sector file multi (0)disk(0) fdisk(0)bootsect.dosve the highlight to your choice"
    So now I am going to change the boot.ini file to the other one "into the future" :-)
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    hello again, latest update I tried a free recovery program and it found 282,597 files I only tried to save two .jpg's so far and they are what I'm looking for.
    Then I tried to recover 15 .jpg's and the program frooze, right now I'm afraid to turn it off, but i am really happy I'm not crazy and formatted the wrong drive. :-)
    I also did a demo called D.A.R.T.XP recovery programWhich also found a slew of files. But here is what the main screen recorded if it makes any sense to anyone.
    Primary Componant: Partition Record
    Secondary Componant: Backup Boot Record
    Logical Offset: 63
    Partition Records Test: Passed
    OS Boot Record Test: Failed
    Master MFT Record Test: Passed
    Backup OS Boot Record Test: Passed
    Then it scaned the old drive and found all those files but being a demo I could not save anything without the $69.00 full program
    jim ( tinman)
    retired sheet metal worker

  15. #15
    Uranium Lounger
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    Re: Can't access hard drive (XP home sp3)

    That's good news !!! At least your data is still there. My advice here would be patience. As Viking said, it took him a loooong time to recover what he did for hei friend. Ask the program to recover a couple files at a time rather than 15. If it is truely hung Windows Task Manager (Ctrl-Alt-Delete) will tell you on the Applications tab (Running). If it is not responding you can highlight and click End Task.

    If you are interested in trying other free programs (and you seem to be willing to try any and everything you can to get this data back) here's the links I was holding back earlier.

    Top 10 free data recovery programs

    Of these, PCInspector Data recovery software is the one I would try first. HTH
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