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FAT32 just dissapeared! Help!

By peikko_nilsson ·
Hello to all.

I just found out that upon starting my computer,
it refused to boot.

Usage of a systemboot-disk revealed that my HD somehow had compleatly lost its FAT32-partition.
How this has happened I have no idea.
(boken drive?/virus?)

New to FAT32/Disk Partitions (I am more of an graphics-artist than an IT-support person) I am now unsure how to proceed.

Does this sudden loss/destruction of FAT32 mean that:

1) The HD is broken and the data stored there will be lost forever.

2) A new FAT32 could be assigned to the drive
but all current data would be lost. or

3) A new FAT32 could be assigned to the drive
AND current data still beeing accessable?

I am desperate to get some advice.

In caseHD-data cannot be recovered any easy manner, is there any PROFESSIONAL specialists who can recover data from such drives?
I had a lot of computer-art on my HD I now fear
I lost forever =(

So please, ANY advice would be really helpful.
Sorrymy poor English.
Thanks in advance.


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U need a professional who can still retrieve the data for u.. So pls some professional help...

Did u use a program named fdisk and deleted any partition?

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did you try this

by dkolas In reply to FAT32 just dissapeared! H ...

First do not reformat partion, it can be reformated but current data will be lost. You might want to try to use the last good known configeration in safe mode. You can get to this screen by selecting F8 as computer is starting up, selecting this option will reinstall registry files that were saved the last time you were logged into operating system, this may work. Also was any of this data backed up, if so you may want to reinstall data from back up.Generally if a partition is deleted and not backed up the data will be lost. The hard drive is probobly still in good shape, but you may need to repartition and format hard drive through the fdisk utility which you can get too through a boot disk at ms-dos prompt in which you will partition hard disk, then format the drive and load the operating system. You may want to consider backing up important data in case of system problems such as these. There are many diffrent ways data can be backed up and recovered, it also depends on the operating system you are using as to which back up programs are available.

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by mbrijun In reply to FAT32 just dissapeared! H ...

Hi Peikko,

there are a few things you can try before you give up. First of all, please check if your bios recognises your hard drive properly: company, size, etc. If not, then you should enable automatic drive detection in your bios. Also, is your hard drive making any strange noise?

Whatever you decide, please be very careful before you proceed. There is software that enables you to recover data even if the fat table is lost. usually you are required to have another hard drive for that as well, so you might ask your friends for some help.

if you decide to go for a professional recovery service, try ontrack: but they are not cheap, that is the problem

Please let me know how it goes, i would be glad to help you.


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Have you tried running scandisk?

by handyman In reply to

Use a system disk, or boot disk to bring up a command prompt, if you can. Scandisk the drive. It is an excellent Dos utility that identifies and repairs disk errors. How big is your hard drive? What were your virtual memory settings, page file size, and finally, how much ram are you using? I am hopeful that you will be able to retrieve your files.

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a sure fix

by jamil_lababidi In reply to FAT32 just dissapeared! H ...

next to the great posts - here are a few more suggestions and a sure fix to get your data back:

1. DO NOT use fdisk within DOS to delete or reformat your hard drive, this will delete all of the data you are trying to back up/retrieve. when you run Fdisk, you can see the type of file system used on the current hard drive - what does your computer say that you're using?

2. ensure that your BIOS is recognizing the hard drive..

3. you can always grab another hard drive, load an OS onit (win 2k, xp, me, etc.), boot from the good HD and then slave the HD with problems.. your computer should see it as the next available drive letter, and let you see all of the data stored on it.

your harddrive may have some issues on the physical level - so i would recommend replacing the HD, just for preventative measures. try using the last known good configuration as well though, that should correct any issues with the boot sector..

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Thanks for replies!

by peikko_nilsson In reply to FAT32 just dissapeared! H ...

Hey all,

Thanks for useful advice and information.
I managed to connect my HD to another computer as a slave as someone here suggested and was able to backup my most important files. Due to viruses (as it seems) I will now, after backing-up, reinstall everything from scratch as it seems viruses have infected many programs (including IE-eplorer) seemingly beyond reparation.

However, now I can do it whitout worrying about my art-files.

Thanks to you all - I would have been in serioustrouble whitout your valuable knowledge =)


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by mrafrohead In reply to Thanks for replies!

Were you able to get your files back??? Your art files that is. If you were not, DO NOT write any more data to that drive. Make a post here and I can walk you through what to do to fix the problem. It will recover your data regardless of corruptpartition or "accidentally" formatted drives.

For this type of situation, you can use a program called Easy Data Recovery by Ontrack or R-Studio by

Let me know if you need any help. As long as you do not overwrite your data that may have been deleted you can recover it at a relatively low cost type of procedure. If it was overwritten then we're looking at a massively expensive repair bill where an actual technician will have to work with the platters themselves.


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by jamil_lababidi In reply to

take a look at his most recent post - he was in fact able to retrieve his files. he slaved his HD with the art files on it, into another PC and was able to view the HD, thus pulling all of his important files off of it..

before considering the worst and dropping hundreds of $ or really, any amount of $, i would highly recommend trying the more basic stuff first.. i mean some people on here were referencing all these web sites and different tech companies that can recover your data, when all he really needed to do was slave the HD into a bootable PC..

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