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Windows 7: Internal Hard Drive Troubles (Not Reading)

05 Feb 2015   #21

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

OK, if you don't want to recover anything from the PS3 partition we shall leave it at that and try and recover whatever is there in the rest. Since we are not going to make any changes to the drive, the bootice plan is shelved.

As Slartybart rightly guessed earlier run PhotoRec. Guide to using PhotoRec recovery software.

Go to the Topic Recovery in the above guide.

Select whole disk in the appropriate screen.

Select only the file types you are interested and see whether you can get those.

If you can see the files you can then copy those to another external drive. That drive should be connected before you run PhotoRec. ( PhotoRec is safe to run. Do not run Testdisik.exe)

I shall leave it to Slarty to guide you. He is as good or even better than me on PhotoRec.

Yep, I am getting incoherent. Off now leaving it to Slarty. Thank you Slarty for the support.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2015   #22

x64 (6.3.9600) Win8.1 Pro & soon dual boot x64 (6.1.7601) Win7_SP1 HomePrem

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by jumanji View Post
I shall leave it to Slarty to guide you. He is as good or even better than me on PhotoRec.
Yep, I am getting incoherent. Off now leaving it to Slarty. Thank you Slarty for the support.
Ha! Thank you for those kind & flattering words.

I'm no better, not even your equal. We work well together and that is a testament to our common goal of helping another member.

You also have my gratitude, jumanji and what little support I can offer. If I slow down a bit on doing other things, I could devote more attention to disk issues. As you know, these issues take time and I'd rather not jump in only to leave the issue hanging.

Shaun, please follow jumanji's instructions per Photorec. If that utiltity can see the files, you can breathe a little easier.

Please keep posting questions and progress updates as you have been doing - it is a big help for us on this side of your moniotr.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
05 Feb 2015   #23

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

@Slarty, You can go to sleep now. Welsh also must be in sleep now and may take another four hours to spring into. And that gives me enough time to reassess the whole situation.


1. At the moment I would think that all your data in the first partition is safe in what is shown as unallocated (two) and free space ( three) in the Windows Disk Management (screenshot in your post #1)

2. You have indeed wrongly written the four dummy "Boot"s shown by Partition Wizard into the partition table. We need to eliminate this four dummy partitions.

Data Recovery is a gruelling process. Each case is different and therefore we may have to adopt different strategies where we may have to go back and forth, and proceed cautiously making sure that we don't make mistakes and the user doesn't make mistakes in following the instructions.

So be patient but persevering.

We will now dispense with Partition Wizard. It is not going to help any more.

We will examine your disk with Bootice and try to eliminate the wrong boot partitions.

You have to download your bit version of Bootice. Bootice Download - Softpedia ( What I see is you are on a 64bit Windows. Then it will be the x64 that you will download)

Extract it to a folder named Bootice.

Familiarise yourself on how to use bootice. Lost partitions! ( Just read and reread but don't run bootice.)

When you are ready give me a shout. ( Don't do anything with bootice. You will run it and take instructions only when asked to in the interactive mode.)

Absolutely no need to hurry. Do it at your own pace. If you are tense you are liable to make mistakes. If I am sleep deprived I am liable to make mistakes.:)
My System SpecsSystem Spec

06 Feb 2015   #24

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Before running bootice, please download and run Western Digital Data Llifeguard Diagnostic for Windows. WD Support / Downloads / SATA & SAS / WD Green / GP

It will be worthwhile to know the status of your drive before we try some harmless tinkering on it with bootice. Also it will do good if it finds some bad sectors and repairs it. So you will run both the Quick Test and the Long or Extended Test and produce the results.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #25

Windows 7 Professional 64bit

Good Morning Jumanji - I had a good sleep, I hope you did too. I downloaded PhotoRec and followed the instructions from the link you provided and it is running in the background now. I can also see all (or at least some that I know was lost) before.

I have chosen to move the recovered files to a different Hard Drive - so when it has complete the run, i will need to cipher through the files and move them to one folder accordingly. I will then need to remove all the separate partitions to create one disk again. Is there a way to check the disk once i have done the recovery to ensure this type of thing wont happen again?

I will be buying a external hard drive to move these photos too once they are all sorted.

Thank you both so much for your ongoing support.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
06 Feb 2015   #26

Windows 7 Home Premium 32 bit

Ok, let PhotoRec keep grinding. It will copy all the files in your whole disk to the other drive. And yep, you already know that it is not going to maintain the file names or folder structures. You may have to reorganise but atleast you have those.

OK, I now have more or less the history of your drive. In June-July 2011 this drive which had two partitions - no Disk Management screenshot is available in your posts - that became unallocated. Brink directed you to Partition Wizard tutorial which successfully restored the Partition Table. The drive was back to what it was before but did you learn any lesson from that episode? Sadly not. That lesson is if you consider any data as important to you you must have those in two independent locations - say drives -. If one fails, you will still have that data on the other.

The second episode: The same drive got corrupted in July 2014. Your D drive, the first partition became RAW. Your Disk Management picture shows one 129MB Unallocated space, your first partition D: 302.73 GB RAW, your second PS3 paritition 628.65GB in good shape. CaptainCrazy directed you to a youtube video recovering data with PhotoRec. You did recover some data. The thread then hung with two members indicating that you should now discard the disk.

My comments: Your drive showed one 129MB unallocated space. That positively indicates that the drive was partitioned by you as a GPT drive for no reason at all. That was later converted to an MBR drive and perhaps in that process you lost access to the D drive. PhotoRec recovered some files but you didn't have sufficient space for all. I don't know what happened later. At that stage if you had copied that whole partition to another formatted drive using Copy Partition in Partition Wizard, you would have perhaps got back all your files and folders in their original shape.I am also surprised why testing your drive with the manufacturer's utility was not advised.

Be that so, the whole problem was a self-inflicted injury on partitioning it as GPT drive and then converting it to a MBR drive. Again if only you had backed up the important data you wouldn't have been crying for help. Most programs would advise - notwithstanding the assurance that data will be preserved when you make changes to the partition - backing up as a precaution to cater for unforseen events that can spoil the broth. The lesson: Don't meddle with the partitions.

From July 2014 to this date I do not know what all experiments you had done, the 129MB partition is not there now - I also do a lot of experiments and sometimes it goes awry but I don't bother for I always have a back up and restore it to near original condtion - but the four small boot partitions are the result of those frequent partition changes and you have now written a partition table incorporating those small partitions.

Now to delete those partitions and restore the drive to its original condition is going to be a herculean task and experiment which may or may not succeed. One of it is a primary and the other three are logical. I am already shivering in my pants :). Anyway if you have got all your data in some shape we can go ahead and try it.

But the first thing once PhotoRec recovery is complete, check the status of your drive.(my post #24)

Then familiarise yourself with bootice.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Internal Hard Drive Troubles (Not Reading)

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