Data all gone

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

Hello. I know better than to change something without a backup. I know
better. And yet... Did it anyhow, and now am suffering for it. I have
helped some people on this site, so now is my turn to ask for help.

On my son's XP SP2 machine, I wanted to split a logical partition in
two. There is the primary partition, and an extended partition with
logical drives. I used a Partition Magic 8 floppy, and shrank one of
the logical partitions, and created a new partition. Same thing I do
all the time on other machines. Did it just the other day. Anyhow,
shrank a logical partition and created an additional one in the
extended partition. Upon rebooting, the primary partition is toast.
Won't boot at all. I tried an XP boot floppy to all the partitions, but
it can't find any files on the primary partition. I tried a repair from
the setup CD using recovery console, but it wouldn't mount the
partition. I tried using ERD Commander, which told me all the hives
were gone, and all the files were gone, and it wouldn't repair it. Now,
there are lots of tools on the the recovery console and ERD Commander
that I don't know how to use, and haven't had the time at 10:30 pm to
research, so maybe there is something more to do with those.

Interestingly, all the partitions in the extended partition, including
the new ones, seem to be fine. Data partition is OK, gotta be glad of
that, that's for sure.

So what happened? Why did altering something in the extended partition
fry my primary partition? Why would it even touch it? I have always
wanted to know what is happening when Partition Magic and Drive Image
say "Saving System Information". What is that and what is it doing? I
guess it saved some system information to my primary drive. Did it
overwrite the FAT? Why would it do that? Unfortunate how these tools
work most of the time, but maybe 1-2% of the time in my hands they just
destroy everything.

Anyhow, given the time and my desire to move on, I then backed up the
hosed primary partition to one of the other partitions using Drive
Image (should have done it before, should have done it before, keep
saying it), and restored a backup of the c drive from several months
ago. This works fine, though all the modifications from his school's
requirements and probably a few data files here and there are gone.
Will take days to weeks to get everything back to normal.

So, my turn for help. What happened? Any way to mount that corrupted
image, or recover it and set it back up as a second primary partition?
Crow tastes bad, real bad. Thanks,

Irwin
17 answers Last reply
More about data gone
  1. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    What, no help for this problem? I will to reply to myself to bring it
    to the top and perhaps rekindle some interest. Does anyone know:
    1. What happened to my c drive?
    2. What 'Saving system information is doing?"

    Thanks,
    Irwin
  2. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    getdataback is the program you want. E-mail me and I'll tell you how it
    works


    Irwin wrote:
    > Hello. I know better than to change something without a backup. I
    know
    > better. And yet... Did it anyhow, and now am suffering for it. I have
    > helped some people on this site, so now is my turn to ask for help.
    >
    > On my son's XP SP2 machine, I wanted to split a logical partition in
    > two. There is the primary partition, and an extended partition with
    > logical drives. I used a Partition Magic 8 floppy, and shrank one of
    > the logical partitions, and created a new partition. Same thing I do
    > all the time on other machines. Did it just the other day. Anyhow,
    > shrank a logical partition and created an additional one in the
    > extended partition. Upon rebooting, the primary partition is toast.
    > Won't boot at all. I tried an XP boot floppy to all the partitions,
    but
    > it can't find any files on the primary partition. I tried a repair
    from
    > the setup CD using recovery console, but it wouldn't mount the
    > partition. I tried using ERD Commander, which told me all the hives
    > were gone, and all the files were gone, and it wouldn't repair it.
    Now,
    > there are lots of tools on the the recovery console and ERD Commander
    > that I don't know how to use, and haven't had the time at 10:30 pm to
    > research, so maybe there is something more to do with those.
    >
    > Interestingly, all the partitions in the extended partition,
    including
    > the new ones, seem to be fine. Data partition is OK, gotta be glad of
    > that, that's for sure.
    >
    > So what happened? Why did altering something in the extended
    partition
    > fry my primary partition? Why would it even touch it? I have always
    > wanted to know what is happening when Partition Magic and Drive Image
    > say "Saving System Information". What is that and what is it doing? I
    > guess it saved some system information to my primary drive. Did it
    > overwrite the FAT? Why would it do that? Unfortunate how these tools
    > work most of the time, but maybe 1-2% of the time in my hands they
    just
    > destroy everything.
    >
    > Anyhow, given the time and my desire to move on, I then backed up the
    > hosed primary partition to one of the other partitions using Drive
    > Image (should have done it before, should have done it before, keep
    > saying it), and restored a backup of the c drive from several months
    > ago. This works fine, though all the modifications from his school's
    > requirements and probably a few data files here and there are gone.
    > Will take days to weeks to get everything back to normal.
    >
    > So, my turn for help. What happened? Any way to mount that corrupted
    > image, or recover it and set it back up as a second primary
    partition?
    > Crow tastes bad, real bad. Thanks,
    >
    > Irwin
  3. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Sometimes PArtition Magic goes mad and break data. But i'm sorry i
    cannot help you on this.
    Maybe it's only the partition table that is corrupted ? (we can still
    hope, can't we ?)

    Regards
    Nick

    On 8 Jan 2005 04:50:46 -0800, "Irwin" <ebct@hotmail.com> wrote:

    >What, no help for this problem? I will to reply to myself to bring it
    >to the top and perhaps rekindle some interest. Does anyone know:
    >1. What happened to my c drive?
    >2. What 'Saving system information is doing?"
    >
    >Thanks,
    >Irwin
  4. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Irwin wrote:
    > What, no help for this problem? I will to reply to myself to bring it
    > to the top and perhaps rekindle some interest. Does anyone know:
    > 1. What happened to my c drive?
    > 2. What 'Saving system information is doing?"
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Irwin
    >

    I think you're probably scr*wed. I hope you can reconstruct most of
    your information from other sources.

    --
    The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
    minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.
  5. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Nick <char-DONTBUGME-les@yy.iiedotcnam.france> wrote:
    > Sometimes PArtition Magic goes mad and break data. But i'm sorry i
    > cannot help you on this.

    PM has had this problem for a long time. Their warning to backup
    before changing anything is serious. Unfortunately the warning
    to back up is in so many places today that it is hard to know
    how serious the individual risk is.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  6. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Arno Wagner wrote:
    > Previously Nick <char-DONTBUGME-les@yy.iiedotcnam.france> wrote:
    >
    >>Sometimes PArtition Magic goes mad and break data. But i'm sorry i
    >>cannot help you on this.
    >
    >
    > PM has had this problem for a long time. Their warning to backup
    > before changing anything is serious. Unfortunately the warning
    > to back up is in so many places today that it is hard to know
    > how serious the individual risk is.
    >
    > Arno

    FWIW, I can speak from experience on that one, too.

    --
    The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
    minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.
  7. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Actually, I take the warning to back up seriously. I was working on my
    d: drive, so I backed up my d: drive before I did anything. I tried to
    do the right thing. I never expected it to screw up my c: drive. I
    worked on the d: drive, which ended up fine, but it screwed up my c:
    drive. So what is the message? That it doesn't matter which partition
    you are working on, it can screw up your primary partition? That is not
    good.

    New message: Before using Partition Magic to work on ANY partition, you
    must back up your OS partition also, not just the partition you are
    working on.

    IMF
  8. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Irwin wrote:
    > Actually, I take the warning to back up seriously. I was working on my
    > d: drive, so I backed up my d: drive before I did anything. I tried to
    > do the right thing. I never expected it to screw up my c: drive. I
    > worked on the d: drive, which ended up fine, but it screwed up my c:
    > drive. So what is the message? That it doesn't matter which partition
    > you are working on, it can screw up your primary partition? That is not
    > good.
    >
    > New message: Before using Partition Magic to work on ANY partition, you
    > must back up your OS partition also, not just the partition you are
    > working on.
    >
    > IMF
    >

    The message I took some time ago (the hard way) is not to use Partition
    Magic.

    --
    The e-mail address in our reply-to line is reversed in an attempt to
    minimize spam. Our true address is of the form che...@prodigy.net.
  9. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    I am sure you are right, but why is it a disk-global operation? What
    does that mean? Do you know what it is doing when it says 'saving
    system information'? I take it that is the disk global thing you are
    referring to, yes?

    IMF
  10. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Irwin <ebct@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > Actually, I take the warning to back up seriously. I was working on my
    > d: drive, so I backed up my d: drive before I did anything. I tried to
    > do the right thing. I never expected it to screw up my c: drive. I
    > worked on the d: drive, which ended up fine, but it screwed up my c:
    > drive. So what is the message? That it doesn't matter which partition
    > you are working on, it can screw up your primary partition? That is not
    > good.

    > New message: Before using Partition Magic to work on ANY partition, you
    > must back up your OS partition also, not just the partition you are
    > working on.

    No, that is the original message. Since you are doing a disk-global
    operation, you allways need to back up the whole disk. And I am pretty
    sure thah PM tells you to do just this.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  11. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously CJT <abujlehc@prodigy.net> wrote:
    > Irwin wrote:
    >> Actually, I take the warning to back up seriously. I was working on my
    >> d: drive, so I backed up my d: drive before I did anything. I tried to
    >> do the right thing. I never expected it to screw up my c: drive. I
    >> worked on the d: drive, which ended up fine, but it screwed up my c:
    >> drive. So what is the message? That it doesn't matter which partition
    >> you are working on, it can screw up your primary partition? That is not
    >> good.
    >>
    >> New message: Before using Partition Magic to work on ANY partition, you
    >> must back up your OS partition also, not just the partition you are
    >> working on.
    >>
    >> IMF
    >>

    > The message I took some time ago (the hard way) is not to use Partition
    > Magic.

    I have recenlty made good experiences with GNU parted. It does not have
    the PM "collect every operation into a complicated plan and then fail
    to execute it somewhere in the middle" approach. It is a bit basic
    in the interface thoiugh and there is no undo or safety questions.

    I guess the warning about backing up goes for parted too.

    But it works and it is free, so unlike PM you get actually
    good value for your cash.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  12. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Irwin <ebct@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > I am sure you are right, but why is it a disk-global operation? What
    > does that mean? Do you know what it is doing when it says 'saving
    > system information'? I take it that is the disk global thing you are
    > referring to, yes?

    The thing is that there is only one partition table on the disk. It
    is organised as a chain of elementary tables, but it is in a sense
    just one data structure representing all partitions on a disk. If you
    change anything in that single table, all other information in it is
    at risk. That means that modifying any single partition allways risks
    the whole set of partitions on a disk.

    Still, PM could be more careful. It is possible to keep partition
    ooperations from affecting any partition information on partitions
    before the modifyed one. My guess is that for some reason PM
    allways rewrites the whole partition table and therefore risks
    the whole disk structure on changes.

    And no, I have no idea what PM does on 'saving system information'.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  13. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Arno Wagner wrote:

    > Previously Irwin <ebct@hotmail.com> wrote:
    >> I am sure you are right, but why is it a disk-global operation? What
    >> does that mean? Do you know what it is doing when it says 'saving
    >> system information'? I take it that is the disk global thing you are
    >> referring to, yes?
    >
    > The thing is that there is only one partition table on the disk. It
    > is organised as a chain of elementary tables, but it is in a sense
    > just one data structure representing all partitions on a disk. If you
    > change anything in that single table, all other information in it is
    > at risk. That means that modifying any single partition allways risks
    > the whole set of partitions on a disk.
    >
    > Still, PM could be more careful. It is possible to keep partition
    > ooperations from affecting any partition information on partitions
    > before the modifyed one. My guess is that for some reason PM
    > allways rewrites the whole partition table and therefore risks
    > the whole disk structure on changes.
    >
    > And no, I have no idea what PM does on 'saving system information'.

    How large is the partition table? I was under the impression that it was
    less than a single sector, so there's no way to rewrite only part of it.

    > Arno

    --
    --John
    Reply to jclarke at ae tee tee global dot net
    (was jclarke at eye bee em dot net)
  14. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message news:34fq3eF4btp1fU1@individual.net
    > Previously Irwin <ebct@hotmail.com> wrote:
    > > I am sure you are right, but why is it a disk-global operation? What
    > > does that mean? Do you know what it is doing when it says 'saving
    > > system information'? I take it that is the disk global thing you are
    > > referring to, yes?
    >
    > The thing is that there is only one partition table on the disk.

    So what?

    > It is organised as a chain of elementary tables,

    No it is not, only the extended partition and the logicals in it are.

    > but it is in a sense
    > just one data structure representing all partitions on a disk. If you
    > change anything in that single table, all other information in it is
    > at risk.

    Nonsense, only that of the entry and substantial only if it is an extended partition.

    > That means that modifying any single partition allways risks
    > the whole set of partitions on a disk.

    Nonsense.

    >
    > Still, PM could be more careful. It is possible to keep partition
    > ooperations from affecting any partition information on partitions
    > before the modifyed one.

    Exactly, so now we know that you were just ranting, as usual.

    > My guess is that for some reason PM
    > allways rewrites the whole partition table and therefore risks
    > the whole disk structure on changes.
    >
    > And no, I have no idea what PM does on 'saving system information'.
    >
    > Arno
  15. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    "Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message news:34em4rF49tjl7U3@individual.net
    > Previously CJT <abujlehc@prodigy.net> wrote:
    > > Irwin wrote:
    > > > Actually, I take the warning to back up seriously. I was working on my
    > > > d: drive, so I backed up my d: drive before I did anything. I tried to
    > > > do the right thing. I never expected it to screw up my c: drive. I
    > > > worked on the d: drive, which ended up fine, but it screwed up my c:
    > > > drive. So what is the message? That it doesn't matter which partition
    > > > you are working on, it can screw up your primary partition? That is not
    > > > good.
    > > >
    > > > New message: Before using Partition Magic to work on ANY partition,
    > > > you must back up your OS partition also, not just the partition you are
    > > > working on.
    > > >
    > > > IMF
    > > >
    >
    > > The message I took some time ago (the hard way) is not to use Partition
    > > Magic.
    >
    > I have recenlty made good experiences with GNU parted.

    > It does not have
    > the PM "collect every operation into a complicated plan and then fail
    > to execute it somewhere in the middle" approach.

    Oh? How would you know? Are you the author?

    > It is a bit basic
    > in the interface thoiugh and there is no undo or safety questions.
    >
    > I guess the warning about backing up goes for parted too.
    >

    > But it works

    So does PM, most(or is that some) of the time.

    > and it is free, so unlike PM you get actually good value for your cash.

    I consider that still bad value if it messes up my drive.
    In which case I would hope it had never existed so I
    wouldn't have been tempted to use it in the first place.

    >
    > Arno
  16. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously Folkert Rienstra <see_reply-to@myweb.nl> wrote:
    > "Arno Wagner" <me@privacy.net> wrote in message news:34em4rF49tjl7U3@individual.net
    >> Previously CJT <abujlehc@prodigy.net> wrote:
    >> > Irwin wrote:
    >> > > Actually, I take the warning to back up seriously. I was working on my
    >> > > d: drive, so I backed up my d: drive before I did anything. I tried to
    >> > > do the right thing. I never expected it to screw up my c: drive. I
    >> > > worked on the d: drive, which ended up fine, but it screwed up my c:
    >> > > drive. So what is the message? That it doesn't matter which partition
    >> > > you are working on, it can screw up your primary partition? That is not
    >> > > good.
    >> > >
    >> > > New message: Before using Partition Magic to work on ANY partition,
    >> > > you must back up your OS partition also, not just the partition you are
    >> > > working on.
    >> > >
    >> > > IMF
    >> > >
    >>
    >> > The message I took some time ago (the hard way) is not to use Partition
    >> > Magic.
    >>
    >> I have recenlty made good experiences with GNU parted.

    >> It does not have
    >> the PM "collect every operation into a complicated plan and then fail
    >> to execute it somewhere in the middle" approach.

    > Oh? How would you know? Are you the author?

    >> It is a bit basic
    >> in the interface thoiugh and there is no undo or safety questions.
    >>
    >> I guess the warning about backing up goes for parted too.
    >>

    >> But it works

    > So does PM, most(or is that some) of the time.

    >> and it is free, so unlike PM you get actually good value for your cash.

    > I consider that still bad value if it messes up my drive.
    > In which case I would hope it had never existed so I
    > wouldn't have been tempted to use it in the first place.

    >>
    >> Arno

    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
  17. Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.hardware.storage (More info?)

    Previously J. Clarke <jclarke@nospam.invalid> wrote:
    > Arno Wagner wrote:

    [...]

    > How large is the partition table? I was under the impression that it was
    > less than a single sector, so there's no way to rewrite only part of it.

    It is a bit obscure: There is room for 4 partitions in the partition
    table space the boot/root sector od the disk. You can put primary or
    extended partition entries in each. If it is an extended partition
    entry, the the entry is actually a pointer to another sector, namely
    the root (first) sector of the extended partition. That sector has in
    turn a pointer to the root sector of the first partition in the
    extended partition in its first (second?) entry. The other s are
    unused.

    For the partitions within the extended partition, there is one entry
    in the root (first) sector of that partition and one entry that points
    to the root sector of the next partition in the extended partition and
    so on. The other two entries in these linked sectors are empty.

    In a sense this whole obscure construct forms the "partition table".
    I once traced this with a disk editor. That was a long time
    ago, but I think it is still done this way.

    Arno
    --
    For email address: lastname AT tik DOT ee DOT ethz DOT ch
    GnuPG: ID:1E25338F FP:0C30 5782 9D93 F785 E79C 0296 797F 6B50 1E25 338F
    "The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws" - Tacitus
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