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  1. #1
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts

    Win7 scrambled ENTIRE external drive somehow

    Known good Hardware/Software
    . existing SONY VAIO notebook with Win7/SP1 32bit
    . existing HP notebook with Win7 32bit

    . seemingly at random (in my case, after ejecting 8G SDHC SanDisk from
    powered off laptop and inserted into another similar laptop), using either
    explorer or cmd.exe, the DIRs and files are in some funny, weird 'language'
    and is completely un-usable!!!
    . after I had set permissions to restrict GUEST LID
    . after I used the 'sharing' tab, which ISN'T the 'security' tab
    . had to copy&re-format to NTFS to get 'security' tab
    . going back to the original laptop still had it scrambled


    . from explorer
    The filename, directory name, or volume label syntax is incorrect.
    see attached .jpg

    . from cmd.exe
    Volume in drive D has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 0000-0000

    Directory of D:\

    11/18/2101 07:26 PM 1,573,863,107 <^!-lun._
    12/23/2034 02:48 PM 1,478,008,909 xv#vFY+.u
    07/04/2104 12:48 AM <DIR> Pⶣl. r
    02/16/2075 04:02 AM <DIR> -B4]!?.Bf
    The parameter is incorrect.
    ???l?l? <DIR> c-+!?.(-
    The parameter is incorrect.
    ???l?l? <DIR> -~nf9eq.6p
    The parameter is incorrect.
    !+ *+.G?DIR>

    The parameter is incorrect.
    ???l?l? <DIR> 87.n%

    The parameter is incorrect.
    q.ral? <DIR> -?O+
    2 File(s) 18,260,948,199 bytes
    7 Dir(s) 221,478,912 bytes free

    Attempts to fix

    Had to re-format (multiple attempts; kept getting 'access denied' under admin;
    not sure how I was finally able to format it) and restore from previous backup copy!!!

    If anyone had this, and was able to successfully recover their data w/o a restore,
    I'd appreciate a response, since I assume this can happen again.
    Attached Images Attached Images

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Thanked 267 Times in 260 Posts
    I was going to ask if you ran a check disk on it but it could have happened when you set the permission to restrict guest also.

    I think the computer messed up on one file directory listing while setting the permission (I know chkdsk can do this) and a chksum mismatch then affected each filename in the directory subsequent. Something along those lines more generally called corruption. It probably only affected the filenames (and locations) but that effectively removes the data as well from any normal recovery.

    A good zero assumption recovery program could probably go through the data and recognize individual file headers and recover most of the data but it might not recognize some more exotic filetypes and you'd have to sort through every file later as it would have a generic name identifier, so a backup is the much quicker and more cost effective recovery path.

    There is a program called TestDisk that sometimes can recover a corrupt partition table but I don't know if could have helped in this instance; it's more for when a partition table cannot be detected or for recovering deleted directory files.
    Last edited by F.U.N. downtown; 2012-11-22 at 21:41.

  3. #3
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts
    Thankx for your comments. My instincts indeed warned me about this going bad!
    I didn't even trust my just-made backup, and went back a day!

    Doing Permissions again, everything seemed to work this time. I even ejected the
    same SDHC from the powered-off laptop and put it in the other, and it was fine.
    When I put it back and booted, it was fine. It's still fine now. So I still don't
    know how it happened; possibly using the 'Sharing' tab (subset of the 'Security' tab?)
    and then backing it out when it failed to restrict GUEST from seeing it, then
    formatting FAT32>NTFS, kept something somewhere that disturbed Permissions and wrecked
    the structure as u mention. In my case, that was everything under Root.

    I did indeed run CHKDSK, but AFTER the problem; after about a "loop" of 500,000
    'cluster error nnn corrected' msgs, when I then decided to restore, I killed it.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    California & Arizona
    Thanked 609 Times in 557 Posts
    looks like your 8G SDHC SanDisk is bad. I hope you have backup copies of the data.
    I would not trust those type of drives for important data storage. Get yourself a small HD passport.
    Even a burned DVD is better storage than one of those.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2012-11-28 at 13:05.
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

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  5. #5
    New Lounger
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Thanked 4 Times in 2 Posts

    Coby reader on Win7 scrambled ENTIRE external NTFS drive


    It just happened again; the culprit is a Coby Reader, model DP 240.
    I again took the card out of the powered-off LT into this reader, but it kept
    saying 'insert disk'. When I put it back in the LT and powered up, it was all
    scrambled again. This time, I just went to format it, got in, but saw it thought
    the current structure was FAT32; I've had NTFS working fine since my re-try.

    So the reader corrupted the SDHC's structure.

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