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Windows 7: Retrieving data from old system drive


06 Mar 2011   #1

Win 7 Professional x64
 
 
Retrieving data from old system drive

Hi All,

I recently upgraded my Windows 7 system (motherboard, CPU, RAM, HDD) and part of that upgrade was purchasing a new 1TB hard drive. I decided to use that as my new System Drive. My old system drive was a Samsung 500gb and I figured that I'd be able to plug it in and transfer my old data off after I reinstalled Windows 7. However, when I plugged it in Windows displayed my new hard drive (the 1TB) and a 99mb "System Reserved" drive of which there was 72mb available. I checked in Disk Management and it appeared that the System Reserved partition didn't belong to my 500gb, it actually belonged to the new system drive, yet it only showed up after I plugged the old drive in.

I can't seem to find a way to access the data of the old drive and I've been cruising Google for a couple of hours now with no success. Any help would be hugely appreciated!

Peace, Nik.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

07 Mar 2011   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by NikD View Post
Hi All,

I recently upgraded my Windows 7 system (motherboard, CPU, RAM, HDD) and part of that upgrade was purchasing a new 1TB hard drive. I decided to use that as my new System Drive. My old system drive was a Samsung 500gb and I figured that I'd be able to plug it in and transfer my old data off after I reinstalled Windows 7. However, when I plugged it in Windows displayed my new hard drive (the 1TB) and a 99mb "System Reserved" drive of which there was 72mb available. I checked in Disk Management and it appeared that the System Reserved partition didn't belong to my 500gb, it actually belonged to the new system drive, yet it only showed up after I plugged the old drive in.

I can't seem to find a way to access the data of the old drive
The system reserved partition was placed on the 1 TB drive as part of the new Windows installation. It's completely normal, but can be omitted if you had wanted to omit it. It may or may not have also been on the 500 gig drive when it was your system drive.

Was the 500 gig drive totally disconnected when you installed Windows on the new drive?

I assume you have since reconnected the old drive and now you cannot access it at all? It does not appear in Windows Explorer? Is it acknowledged in the BIOS?

Post a picture of your disk management screen if possible.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #3

Win 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hi Ignatzatsonic,

Thanks for your reply.

The drive was completely disconnected when the system was being set up. I have restarted a few times now and for some reason I am now getting this (see screen shot: 'dskMngr.PNG') in Disk Manager - i.e. it's recognising the disk but seems to think it's empty. Also, in Explorer I have the following files in the root of the drive which I never had before (see screen shot: 'explorer.PNG'), but all the rest of the data seems to be MIA. I never chose to reformat the drive or deleted any files in any way, this is purely what resulted from plugging the drive in.

Thanks again for all your help.
Peace, Nik.


Attached Thumbnails
Retrieving data from old system drive-dskmngr.png   Retrieving data from old system drive-explorer.png  
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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07 Mar 2011   #4

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

The only thing I see wrong is that the new C is not marked "active".

C should be active. The old C (now F) is active and it should not be.

I would shut down and disconnect the old drive. Reboot with just the new drive connected. Go to disk management and right click C and mark it as active.

Then reboot and confirm that C is still marked active and that disk management looks OK.

If it looks OK, then shut down again and reconnect the old drive, go to disk management and make sure that F (the old C) is NOT marked active.

I'd think you could then get your data from it.

I wouldn't worry about the files in the root of F at this time. If all goes well, they may either disappear or can be deleted later on.

I'm not clear why you think Disk Management thinks the old disk is empty.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #5
Microsoft MVP

Win 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
The only thing I see wrong is that the new C is not marked "active".
Which with the System Reserved being marked as Active is as it should be,

Mark a partition as active

Quote:
Warning

Do not mark a partition as active if it does not contain the loader for an operating system. Doing so will cause your computer to stop working.
and under Notes,

Quote:
There can be only one active partition per physical hard disk.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #6

Win 7 Professional x64
 
 

Hey, just tried that but I think I've messed it up more than it already was, now it won't boot and just says: BOOTMGR is missing. Press ctrl+alt+del to restart. Any thoughts?

Thanks, Nik.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #7

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by stormy13 View Post
Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by ignatzatsonic View Post
The only thing I see wrong is that the new C is not marked "active".
Which with the System Reserved being marked as Active is as it should be,

Mark a partition as active



Good catch, Stormy. I missed that. I don't use the "system reserved" partitions.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #8

Win 7 Professional x64
 
 

Aww, I wish id read this before going ahead. Windows came up with a warning not to mark the drive as active if there wasn't a valid os on there but I figured since that drive hosted my windows installation it wouldn't be an issue. Is there any way to undo what I've done, with my Windows 7 cd perhaps?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #9

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 SP1, Home Premium, 64-bit
 
 

Your old drive should still be bootable if the new drive is disconnected.

Boot with the old drive and look at disk management. The "system reserved" partition should be marked as active. Confirm that.

Then reconnect the new drive, so you have 2 drives connected. You should still boot to the old drive. You can then make the "system reserved" partition on the NEW drive active and set the system reserved partition on the old drive to NOT active.

Then shut down and disconnect the old drive and see if you can boot to the new drive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
07 Mar 2011   #10

Win 7 Professional x64
 
 

Is that possible when I had a completely different hardware configuration for my last Windows installation?
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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