RAW Format

I am working a laptop for a business. It is running Windows XP Home and it is giving a blue screen shortly after the Windows XP splash screen and then reboots itself. The Windows boot menu appears and no matter what selection (safe mode, command prompt, etc.) same result.

So I took the hard drive out to backup the data before doing anything and found the drive has 2 partitions. One is the Acerdata which the D drive. However, the C drive or the boot drive is reading in RAW format and thus unreadable by most things. I tried Windows XP Pro SP2, Ubuntu Linux 7.04, Norton Ghost 12 and even Windows XP setup (Boot from install CD). Nothing is able to read this partition which, of course, is where the client's data is all kept.

So now I am looking for ideas. I am thinking that perhaps the drive is encrypted somehow since this laptop was used for accounting purposes but the client didn't mention anything able this (but they rarely do). My reasoning is that the drive starts to boot, so the data is readable. But I honestly don't know since I don't have much or any real experience with partition encryption.

Any suggestions on how I could retrieve the data from this partition?

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  1. I am not an expert with it either, but I will tell you that it would probably help if you could supply the model number of the drive and the computer so these guys can look it up, from what I do understand, an encrypted drive will not boot at all or even spin up if it is removed from the laptop.

    It sounds more like a corrupted windows install honestly. I will do some digging as I had the RAW problem once too, but so long ago I forgot...
  2. Thanks for the link, I'll give that Recover My Files program a try. The drive itself is a Hitachi Travelstar 80Gb 4200 RPM.

    I talked to the owner of the laptop this morning and she was quite sure that it did not have any data encryption so you are probably right RoyalCrown, it's just a corrupted install of Windows. So hopefully this program will help. I'll keep informed of what happens.

    Thanks again.
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