Okay, I need URGENT help. I figured Seven Forums would be a good place to ask. I honestly don't know who else to ask. Feel free to move this topic if it is in the wrong location, or even point me in the direction of someone who could help me better.
My specs, in case anyone wants them:
Windows 7 Ultiamte x86 (main OS)
Ubuntu 11.04 (what I'm currently using to type this)
AMD Phenom II x4 965 BE CPU
ASUS M4A89 series motherboard (honestly, I can't remember the full model number right now)
1TB Seagate Barricuda S-ATA HDD
80GB Western Digital IDE HDD
I custom-built it myself in April 2010. I have had the motherboard replaced recently as the previous one died in just under a year for no apparent reason.
Let me explain what happened:
I was trying to format a secondary IDE drive as FAT32 so that I could back up my Playstation 3 HDD to upgrade it. I've managed to do it before for my cousin's PS3, but Maxtor MaxBlast doesn't seem to have the options to do so any more, so I was looking for better programs.
I had made an image of the IDE drive (the 80GB one), as I had previously cloned my pretty-much-dead (basically, old and slow, and in need of a new battery) laptop's HDD onto that IDE that is in this desktop computer of mine. I used Maxtor MaxBlast to do that, and I mounted it to make sure it worked fine, which it did.
Then I erased the drive, formatted it, and was kind of messing around. I tried using some program first, something like FormatFAT32 or something. People said it'd do what I wanted, but it didn't really seem like it would format the entire drive, just the free space, so I clicked Initialize, which wiped the drive. I thought that was fine, but the program wouldn't recognise it anymore.
So, I opened up the format utility via Computer, and tried to format it. It said it was in use by another program, I said format anyway, but it decided to not work, so I tried cancelling it. Then it said that it failed to cancel. I could either click Retry to try cancelling again or click Cancel to cancel it immediately. Not much choice there. I DID click Retry first, but it didn't work (got the same message), so I clicked Cancel. It seemed to be fine, as if I had never tried to format it.
Then I opened Windows Disk Management under Computer Services or whatever it's called, and formatted it that way, but I only got the option of exFAT or NTFS. I chose NTFS, then decided to delete it again and try exFAT, for no real reason, to be honest... Anyway, it worked, but it was going very slow for both deleting and formatting partitions. Once I got it to exFAT, it didn't have the drive letter I chose assigned to it (E
, so I right-clicked and set that up. It didn't seem to work, so I decided to delete the volume and try formatting it again to make sure the drive letter was set from the start this time (even though it was the time before... it was also not marked active until I did so).
This is where things got messy. Right now, it's 3am, and this was about half an hour ago, so I was obviously tired, and I'm sick right now, so that doesn't help. What happened is that the drive letter (E
appeared, but I had already chose to delete the volume. Since it didn't seem to be doing anything, I decided to ignore the fact that I had clicked Delete. Probably a big mistake. I know what I did, so I don't see why ignoring it would change that, and I know that the formatting on the computer had been going slow, as well as when I had previously tried to install some other Western Digital formatting program but it was doing as much as the formatting via Computer, so I closed that (which took ages to close, and still lingered in Services as Windows Installer).
Anyway, I had found this German command-line program that was meant to work. Someone on the Playstation forums suggested it (to someone, not to me though. I just found it via Google). It was called h2format.exe. So I decided that since nothing was happening and my E drive still seemed to be fine and partitioned, that I would try to format it as FAT32 using this program. It worked. It started working, at least. I was just happily listening to some music, planning on formatting the drive, getting some sleep, waking up in the morning, taking it out of my computer, and backing up my PS3 with it.
Here's the problem: Blue Screen of Death. I can't even remember the error. I have a feeling it mentioned NTFS. You know, how there's that line of text that tells you what the error specifically is. I have a feeling it started with "~NTFS", but I could be wrong. I had a pretty bad feeling. But I had only been messing with my IDE drive, so no biggy. The computer restarted itself, I got to GRUB, I selected Windows 7 (actually, it's the default, but I hit Enter to speed up the boot anyway, rather than waiting for the timer to finish counting down).
Then I got three lines of text on a black screen. Or maybe it was two. Honestly, I can't remember. But I know the first one was that it could not fine the drive, with the model number or serial number or something, that is associated with my Seagate S-ATA drive (I've seen it in Windows plenty of times. I think it's the model number. I could be wrong).
So back to GRUB it took me. I booted into Ubuntu. Opened GParted, and..... my IDE drive is now /dev/sda instead of /dev/sdb. So I changed to /dev/sdb. There were my partitions. Ubuntu, Linux Swap, that pointless free space, and...... 910GB of unallocated space at the beginning of the drive. My whole Windows partition has been completely erased from existence.
I'm seriously panicking so much. I feel a hundred times more sick than I do right now, and this common cold has been pretty nasty over this past week. If I'm right about how hard drives work, I believe it should be recoverable. However, to what extent, I am unsure, and as for how practical and easy this is, I also have no idea. What I just lost..... countless hours of work, information, data - all vital to my every-day life. Maybe saying that makes me sound like a pathetic no-life nerd, but for someone who lives for computers, that's a lot of stuff to lose.
I know, stupid of me not to have a backup, but the only reason I don't is because I don't have the money for a new HDD. I was planning to buy a bigger one later in the year so that I could install 64-bit Windows on it and backup all my data (I had filled about 90% of the 1TB drive), but right now, I just have no money.
So please, I may not have any files to show anyone (because I kinda don't have access to them AT ALL), but I need URGENT help. When the rest of the family turns the computer on in the morning..... well, they will have lost everything too. If ANYONE can help in ANY way, I would greatly appreciate it to no end. I would do almost anything to get this data back.
Ironically, Ubuntu seems to have perfectly formatted my IDE drive, which it identified as pretty much corrupted (as the BSOD was during the format), but I'd rather lose that stupid old thing than all my Windows data.
I've included as much information as I possibly can think of. I'm desperate. Please help me.