Hard drive letters replaced by questionsmarks

By bmwmopped ·
Unfortunately I have a very big problem with my HD.

I cannot access the HD, because all HD letters C:, and E: have been replace by a '?' each. Therefore I cannot use any repair tool like XP Recovery console or LINUX because always C: is required.
I have used Seagate diagnostic tool, which is showing the correct partitions and also the relevant drive letter. But I only can run the Short test. The Long test did not run, the PC hung up.

How did this happen?

1. I switched the PC off during controlled shut down although it was still writing on the HD, because I have re-installed the sound card. The next day when started XP a failure notice showed up, NTFS.SYS cannot be found or is

2. I run the PC with LINUX, to over write existing NTFS.SYS from the XP installation CD, but I had no rights to do this. Therefore I thought it would be a good idea to alter the rights with Linux of the HD. Since then I have these severe difficulties. Linux is now giving the information that the super block is defective. I can see the drives but I again have no access because they are not "mounted".

As described above I cannot access the drives at all, because of missing letter of the C-Drive. I still have hopes, that I can save the data at least on the other two partitions, because I saw the correct HD letters during
the test with Seagate diagnostic tool.

I add some additional information, taken from the screen messages at various stages during attempts to fix the problem:

FIXBOOT: XP recovery console:

Target partition: The file system on the starting partition is unknown.
Fixboot tries to identify the file system.
Fixboot cannot open the partition.

DIR: invalid path or file

? 4048 \device\Harddisk0\Partition1
? 10081 \device\Harddisk0\Partition2
? 14582 \device\Harddisk0\Partition3

A: \Device\Floppy0
F: \Device\CdRom0
G: \Device\CdRom1

This is the Boot info (AMIBIOS 1999 Released 13.June 2001) displayed during boot operation:

Auto detecting Pri Master .. IDE Hard Drive
Auto detecting Pri Slave... IDE Hard drive
Auto detecting Sec Master..ATAPI CDROM
Auto detecting Sec Slave..ATAPI CDROM
Pri Master 3.2 ST330621A
Ultra DMA Mode-4. S.M.A.R.T Capable but Disabled
Pri Slave TM100-24 Samsung SP1614N
Ultra DMA Mode-4. S.M.A.R.T Capable but Disabled
Sec Master BSGB Benq DVD DD DW1614

This is only the case if the PC was completely switched off. With a re-start the drive is not detected, with the PC not switched off. The second disk is disconnected now.

I hope this is enough for you to identify the issue I have with that HD and somebody can possibly help me to fix it.

Thanks in advance for your help

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Re: Hard drive letters replaced by questionsmarks

Is it possible to go into "safe mode"?, when booting up press the "F8" key, this should take you into safe mode once in here you could do a "restore". You could just load on Windows again but the best way would be to buy another hdd and load Windows on this instead then you could drag your files across to the new drive. You have a linux boot disk put this in and then find you hdd's and try to mount them so that they get the numbers you are looking for. Sorry i can not help more than this, i could do more to fix it if i had your computer but that is out of the question.

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