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HD disappeared

By tour93 ·
Hello,
I posted this question into "Discussion Storage" but somebody told me to try here instead, because all the gurus hang out here.
So here is my problem:

I added a month ago a WD 250GB to my computer, partitioned it with w2k (D:10gb, E:240gb).
I have been storing stuff in E. The boot hd is C(60gb).
Sunday morning the E drive disappear from explorer. If I go to MyComputer Manage I can see the C drive and the D drive 10 gb and an empty 240 gb next to it without any label.
I can see the WD hd as I boot up, I downloaded and ran an utility from Western Digital to check the drive and it didn't find any error to it.
Doctor, is it bad ?
What did happen to my drive ?
W2k
AMD XP2000
MSI MS 6341
use latest BIOS
Thanks
Alain

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by _Christian_ In reply to HD disappeared

Something like this happened to me. Similar configuration, just sizes different.

During Windows shutdown (no manual control left), Windows (2000 Pro) suddenly deplayed a message that the "device has been incorrectly removed", as it would for an USB device removed without due process.

From next power up, E: was gone, seen as unformated empty area.

In my case there was nothing important, so I just repartitionned and reformatted the area. The disk was perfectly fine, otherwise.

Basically, either the boot sector or the partition description was corrupt. In my case, it was the boot sector, incorrectly overwritten by Windows when that bug occurred.

There are 2 ways out if you need to recover your partition:

a) tricky, recreate the boot sector as it should be, using a sector editor. That will take a lot of research, but can be done if you are patient enough.

b) use a recovery software to mirror your hard disk and recover the data from the image generated.

Now, if your utility ran a surface check, this is bad news, because it may have scrambled any data left.
Check the doc to find exactly what that utility did. If it did not run a surface check, but only a hardware testing (the electronics and the moving parts), then your data should still be there for a recovery tool to find.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to HD disappeared

The above sounds about right but just as a bit more info to use Data Recovery Tools you need to format the drive first. Now Ontrack is the best and if you have access to a copy great but if you don't it isn't cheap and really is not a home user option. For a cheap alternative X-Ways in Germany makes a cheap and quite effective tool called Davory or if you are into Hex WinHex but that again isn't for the home user or someone not very familiar with HEX either. You can download a trial version of Davory from

http://www.x-ways.net/davory/index-m.html and

you can even pay for it on line it's under 40 Euros and then go to town recovering your data the trial version will only locate the first 200 K of any file so it will show you what is recoverable.

IMPORTANTLY never under any circumstances EVER consider writing the recovered data to the partition you are working from as you will overwrite other data and make it unrecoverable.
You could also try Iolo System Mechanic to see if it can reconstruct the MBR or FAT and that can be found at

http://www.iolo.com/sm/5pro/index.cfm

But be careful with it you can get a fully functioning 30 day Trial Copy from the above site but if it tells you it is about to make some changes to the Partition that will be undo able forget about doing this.

Lets know how you get on.

Col

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