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FAT is damaged

By Mike (from Canada) ·
I have a hard drive which once contained two FAT16 partitions. It seemed that the secondary partition was completely damaged, and since I only used it for the windows swap file, I decided to reformat it as a clean, and new FAT16 partition. Once I did that, it turned out that my first partition is no longer accessible by DOS! Also, DOS does not correctly report the amount of free disk space, and using the /a switch to display all files including hidden files did not help either. I ran Tiramisu software on it, and it was able to see 1/2 the files that were on it before, but I had to pay to recover the files. I think I was hit with some kind of virus. I tried the CIH-FIX and that didnt work because I didnt have any FAT32 partitions.

What can I do to fix this problem?

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by ippirate In reply to FAT is damaged

You'll probably not like this as it is a pay way as well but I user OnTrack Easy Recovery Pro for failed drives, crashed file tables, etc. You can download and try the software for free (this will show you what it can recover as well as allow you to recover .zip and .doc files but anything else you'll have to purchase the s/w. I've used several different s/w packages and this one so far as served me best, hasn't let me down yet.

If you need the data, give it a shot, haven't seen anything it couldn't dig up yet.

Hope it helps


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by dmiles In reply to FAT is damaged
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by Mike (from Canada) In reply to

Thanks, but what I am looking for is an MS-DOS utility that can recover my FAT16 Partition. I could not find a dos utility on your site. If you prove me wrong, I'll give you points.

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by pierrejamme In reply to FAT is damaged

I assume you tried to old remedy?
c:\fdisk /mbr
DOS 5.0 and above at:

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by zlitocook In reply to FAT is damaged

I did alot of work with older systems. It has been awhile but if you did not search around look at these sites, the first on is great.
Just looking around for five minutes or less good luck!

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to FAT is damaged

I know that this may sound overly stupid but when you reformatted the second Partition did you set it as a Primary Partition as what you are describing sounds as if that is what you did so the computer looks at that first and fails to see any other existing partitions. If you where only using it for a Swap File you should be able to delete it and even without the second partition the computer should then boot but with the Swap File defaulted to the Primary partition. If that works you have your data intact and then you can enter FDISK again and setup the second partition as an extended partition and not the primary partition it should work them.

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by triangle In reply to FAT is damaged


If the partititon is gone it is still possible to restore it in the whole. When one of my partitions got lost, a software tool managed to resurrect it. It was Partition Recovery utility. I've got it on a CD image that also included some other data utils for data erase, recover and backup. Imho partition recovery will be able to restore your partition too.

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