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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Bad file record signature

    Hi,
    I have a hard drive on my system which is showing a "bad file record signature" error.
    I haven't partioned it or anything, it just appeared one morning.
    I haven't got any data that I really need to recover, but ideally I would prefer to repair this, rather than repartion. Does anyone know a way to repair it, or see what files are on the disc before reformatting? I understand there are utilities out there that can recover files, any advice would be appreciated.

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    I think we could use some more info on this one, Nigel. When does this error appear - at boot time or what? I assume it's not the boot drive or you would have said so. Can you "look at" the drive with Windows Explorer? Have you tried to run <big>CHKDSK X: /F</big> (where X: is the assigned drive letter)?

  3. #3
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    Yes the drive is visible through windows explorer. What happened is the drive literally disappeared for a couple of days, i then fiddled with the SATA cables and it reappeared, albeit in its current state. The drive is visible during boot. It is not the boot drive though and just contains documents/programs.
    When you go to enter through Explorer the following error message comes up:
    F: Is not accessible. The file or directory is corrupted or unreadable.
    When I look at the properties of that drive with PartitionMagic hte following is displayed: "Error 1570: Bad file record signature".
    When I go to Chkdsk it the following comes up:
    Unable to determine volume version & state. Chkdsk aborted.

  4. #4
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    It sounds to me like the drive has gone to the big HDD cemetery in the sky, Nigel. It may have been gone when it first disappeared on you. I don't know why it came back into view when you "fiddled" with the cables, but you could look at that again to see if the cables (power and data) are proper and snug. If that doesn't help and even chkdsk can't see the drive, I'm out of ideas. Of course you could try to re-prep the drive and see if it will format. You'll lose your data but you might do that anyway unless you next visit an alleged recovery service.

    Anyone else got a suggestion for Nigel?

  5. #5
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    What a pain in the proverbials!!! I was hoping to at least have the option of being able to successfully browse & recover some files.
    The drive didn't even do the click of death thing before dying.

  6. #6
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    It might not be actually defective, you may just have lost connection to it in the middle of a write and so have some corruption there. However, if you really need the documents, you will probably need to buy some file recovery software (SpinRite from GRC for example, which I think comes with a money back guarantee). If you're willing to gamble on losing the files, you might see if you can view and resize the partitions via PM as from memory this may try to fix the errors. Whatever you do, if you plan to keep on using the drive, now is the time to start planning your backup strategy!
    FWIW.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

  7. #7
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    Rory's post reminded me of the GRC program, so I went Googling to see what else might be out there these days. I have a really old copy of SpinRite and the once or twice I used it, it wasn't able to fix MY drive, but may be worth a shot for you.

    This one also came up a lot in my Google search and I think its price is in the same bracket as SpinRite. In any case, here's links to both in case you want to take a look:

    GRC | Hard drive data recovery software
    Hard Drive Data Recovery Software - Hard Drive Mechanic

  8. #8
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    Thanks for this, I'll no doubt try one of these programs. I'm fairly sure there isn't any data which is a must to recover, but I'd like to check before reformatting.

    On a side note, presumably if its a writing error, the hard drive will be okay to be formatted and will be stable enough.

  9. #9
    WS Lounge VIP rory's Avatar
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    Re: Bad file record signature

    If it was a writing error then yes. Problem is, I don't know of any definite way to tell. As long as you have backups, it doesn't much matter.
    Regards,
    Rory

    Microsoft MVP - Excel

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