Results 1 to 7 of 7
  1. #1
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Dell 8200, with two 80 GB hard drives. Three partitions on the first drive and five on the second, partitioned with PartitionMagic.

    I have one partition on the second drive from which I cannot read. I have no recollection of any unusual activity that led to this, although interestingly enough the partition contains many photos and I recently installed Corel RawShooter. My Computer/Properties shows it as RAW. It shows it correctly as J:, PartitionMagic shows it as 'J: ?U?' (J: is correct) on the bar chart, and '?U? (J' on the table below it.

    Several times I have had the contents displayed correctly, but not the drive letter, although My Computer now gives the correct drive letter. BadCopy Pro showed the contents exactly as they should be, complete with correct folders, and all of the files were recoverable -- one at a time. My Computer also gave me the correct folders quite recently. The knowledge (or hope) that my data is still there pleases me greatly, but the partition is 20 GB in size and recovering files one at a time was out of the question, and I can't duplicate the display, although I did recover a number of files to test it. I have 30 GB of free space on the adjacent partition if I do find a way to recover the stuff. For that matter I probably have it backed up, but the problem of the drive letter and unreadable partition remains.

    Very early in the game I think that check disk indicated that the problem was trivial and that there were four bytes that were unreadable. There has been enough activity with the computer since then that it may now be unrecoverable, and I would welcome any suggestions. The data is not a concern in this case, so I'm not in the market for a high-end recovery tool.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12,107
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Is the file system on the problem partition NTFS? I was Googling around on this one and saw a couple of recommendations to try: Data Recovery Software - File System Utilities (Program name: GetDataBack.) I've never tried this product, so I don't know how much at risk you will be. Most of the people who seem to have this problem get told that it's a corruption in the NTFS tables. My most recent Google was on: <big>hard drive raw</big> with no quotes, in case you want to check some of the folks with this problem.

    Edited to add: I should have made it clear that the program is NOT free and requires you to buy either (or both) a version for NTFS or DOS. But there is a trial download so you can at least TEST whether or not it can help you before you ante-up your $$$.

  3. #3
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Thanks for the mention of NTFS. It is indeed NTFS (or was) and I now recall having run across something of the sort in my own searches, so that narrows it considerably.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Location
    Lexington, Kentucky, USA
    Posts
    12,107
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Good luck and please let us know what happens "next" if you don't mind.

  5. #5
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Re: Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Take a look at this article. It states "A partition that does not contain a filesystem is called a raw partition.". That may be why you can't accss it via normal means. This MSKB artilce may shed some light on getting things right. If not you might want to go through the hits on this Google search. HTH <img src=/S/smile.gif border=0 alt=smile width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

  6. #6
    Bronze Lounger
    Join Date
    Apr 2001
    Location
    Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    1,450
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post

    Re: Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Thanks for the help. Here's the upshot.

    I used Copernic Agent Pro as well as Google for searching, and my search terms were HTML Partition and either Error or Letter. (I inadvertently erased the search terms with a standard utility, and running through it again I'm not sure which was most productive.)

    I ran across a lot of interesting items, many of which were open source but applicable to Windows. I had extremely good luck with the demo version of Partition Table Doctor 3.5, which showed me the full contents (to the folder level, at least) of the partition. Furthermore, it permitted me to run surface scans of the partition, which turned out to be the giveaway. What it showed was that there was an error right at the beginning of the partition, as well as a number of others to the tune of about a dozen. No other partition on the computer has any errors at all.

    The cure may or may not be voodoo, but it appears to have worked for me in past, and that is to run and re-run a surface scan until either the computer gives up or you do. The theory is that the scan reads the data, if it can, and then writes it back to the magnetic media, giving the media the workout it needs for reliability. (That is also the argument for running a surface scan more often than most of us do.) It may also write it back to a different location if it detects a bad or slipping sector, although that depends on the software. If it can't read it on the first or second try, it may read it on the tenth. That's about where I was when the critical first sector finally reported no error and I was in business, with everything readable and available to copy, apart from the other bad sectors, and no problem with the drive letter. Incidentally, one source said that if you lose the drive letter of a partition the most likely cause is a virus, and the first thing to do is run a scan.

    Please let me know if my assumptions are wrong, otherwise I'll never know the difference. The software I used is the sort of thing I might need once in blue moon, if ever, but I can see paying the price in an emergency. In this case the cure was time-consuming, but the data was expendable.

  7. #7
    Uranium Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    6,684
    Thanks
    1
    Thanked 11 Times in 11 Posts

    Re: Partition problem (Home SR-2)

    Your intuition and problem solving skills seem to be right on the money. The program you used allowed you to do what was necessary to recover your data and the cure was the one I've heard used in various, similar situations in the past. Keep running & re-running surface scans until the problem is resolved or the drive quits.

    As you said, the software is something you may never need again. But the knowledge you've gained will lead you in the right direction if you ever have to recover lost data again. It's never easy, often impossible and usually expensive. Nice work. <img src=/S/yep.gif border=0 alt=yep width=15 height=15>
    <IMG SRC=http://www.wopr.com/w3tuserpics/DocWatson_sig.gif>

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •