General discussion


Primary partition seen as "unformated"

By clearscotch ·
Here are the problems:

-- Hard disk (160 GB) has two partitions; while running, the computer started giving me error messages about system files being corrupted, however several programs in use still worked fine.

-- After rebooting the computer, the hard disk is acting as if it had the operating system partition wiped clean, or had been never formatted. The second partition and all data located there is visible and ok. I installed the problem hard drive as a slave, together with a functioning hard drive set as master. The two partitions on the problem hard drive are visible, but the system partition is seen as being unformatted; the data on the second partition is fully accessible.

-- Could it be that the hard drive has some sort of boot-sector virus? I run a Symantech antivirus check but nothing was found. Is there any way to access the data on the bad partition (if it's still there...)? My goal is to save/get as much data out as possible and then reformat the hard drive and start from scratch..... :-(

Thanks a lot for any help!

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by ReWrite In reply to Primary partition seen as ...

Since you have the drive hooked up as a slave you have a couple of options. There are some freeware apps that you could try like Active@ Partition Recovery:

or a commercial app like Easy Recovery Pro:



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by willcomp In reply to Primary partition seen as ...

Is boot partition on 160GB drive NTFS and second partition FAT32?

If boot partition is NTFS and you are booting from a Win 98 or Win Me boot drive, you will not be able to see files on 160GB HDD boot partition.


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by razz2 In reply to Primary partition seen as ...

Willcomp is correct that if you boot to a Win9x system then the
problem drive will not be accessable, but the fact that it stopped
booting and you had to move the drive to another box makes
me think you have a corrupt partition.

RW gave some links to recovery software and of course the is the
Winternals Admin Pak which has Disk Commander in it.

Good Luck,


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by Poettone In reply to Primary partition seen as ...

I'm a little baffled by your explaination.

You stated that you started getting system errors, you then rebooted but the operating system partition was wiped clean? How is this possible if your in the operating system partition?

Also you stated that you installed the apparent bad drive as a slave and could see the two partitions, but the systam partition is seen as unformatted.. Are you referring to your operating system also as your system partition? You stated it was only a two partition drive..

Please clarify the issue: What operating system you have, can you boot windows or not? If not where are you getting your information from about the drive appears wiped clean or has never been formatted?

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