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File recovery NTFS - most files are binary zeros

Who provides an excellent service for recovering 100K+ of files - NTFS;

I clobbered a perfectly healthy drive by putting it in an enclosure that turned out to be a Maxstor Onetouch. 512GB partition is now 128GB. A local recovery service salvaged directories and 100K+ files, but most files contain binary 0's.

Help! Many irreplaceable jpegs, word docs. etc.
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More about file recovery ntfs files binary zeros
  1. They're too corrupted to use. I just use several programs myself to recover last year's tax files, but they were corrupt. I hope you didn't pay anyone to do that.
  2. I use this company when the data is very very important. They have always come thru for me when my own efforts do not produce the desired results. Price tag can be hefty though!

    http://www.cdrdatarecovery.com/?gclid=CMTtuND8hKECFQpN5QodF02iIg
  3. Actually I am hoping that someone can resolve the changes to the partition structure. Disk Manager sees only a 128GB partition; the rest of the drive doesn't appear. It should show a 512GB drive.

    The files with binary zeros are reported as corrupt files. If they are corrupt because fragments are outside the 128GB partition, might they be restored if the partitioning is correct? What I really like to know is what did the Maxstor OneTouch actually do on its own.
  4. What did you do after unstalling your hard disk in the OneTouch bay? Did you just plug it in and whamo the partition size was changed or were you using it for a while before it acted up? Also, how was it connected to the computer before being installed in the bay and was it the same computer or a different computer that it was originally installed in? Whew! That's a lot of questions, but it may help us determine how this happened.
  5. digitalprospecter said:
    What did you do after unstalling your hard disk in the OneTouch bay? Did you just plug it in and whamo the partition size was changed or were you using it for a while before it acted up? Also, how was it connected to the computer before being installed in the bay and was it the same computer or a different computer that it was originally installed in? Whew! That's a lot of questions, but it may help us determine how this happened.



    The drive originally was installed in my home XP system as the G drive. When the home system lost its C drive, I removed the G drive so that I could attach it to an XP laptop. I made the very poor choice of grabbing a decommissioned 300GB OneTouch from the shelf, removing its dead drive, and installing the G drive. When it powered up, it sat and thought for some time. Finally the laptop XP said: Do you want to reformat.... this was a major sign of trouble. I powered down and removed the drive.

    I used a passive enclosure to look at it.. saw the 128GB partition. I downloaded R-Studio to take a look. If found about 70K files and discovered the directory structure; but many of the files were corrupt. I took the drive to a local computer store where they spent several days attempting to do file recovery. They pulled down more files, about 400GB in size, but didn't solve the 'corrupt files' issue.

    From what I can see, the drive is essentially the same as when I removed it from the OneTouch.
  6. I don't think that the OneTouch enclosure caused the problem, but I can't say that I ever actually tried a drive in that exact model to say for sure. It is more likely that your G: drives file system was damaged in the orginal computer as well. What file system is now in use on the drive, FAT32 or NTFS?
  7. I've used Get Data Back for NTFS on corrupt and deleted files, It Works pretty well. Not Perfect(Nothing is) but i've had some good luck with that.

    Try it!
  8. digitalprospecter said:
    I don't think that the OneTouch enclosure caused the problem, but I can't say that I ever actually tried a drive in that exact model to say for sure. It is more likely that your G: drives file system was damaged in the orginal computer as well. What file system is now in use on the drive, FAT32 or NTFS?


    There is no reason the drive would have been damaged in the home system. It was in use until the C drive quit, and certainly didn't request a reformat.

    The reason I think the OneTouch did the dastardly deed was because it led to the request for a reformat and the partition was shrunk. The drive was and is NTFS, as far as I know. But I don't really know what the OneTouch did. I'm guessing that firmware on the OneTouch decided to shape the 512GB drive down to its advertised 300GB size and messed with the drive. Just speculation. Would love to hear from a OneTouch engineer.
  9. True. You won't really know until you try to replicate the problem again sometime with a less crucial drive. I was just speculating that the event that took out the C: drive effected the G: drive as well. The new partition size is right in the range of the limitation for FAT32 partition sizes, so I was curious.

    I am wondering about that appearant partition size change. Unless the OneTouch did indeed do something on its own accord, your partition size might still really be the original size. Take this statement into consideration (it is copier from the website with citation to the original poster:

    IDE hard disks that are larger than 128 GB use 48-bit logical block addressing
    John Fullbright posted on Friday, April 13, 2007 6:40 PM

    IDE hard disks that are larger than 128 GB use 48-bit logical block
    addressing (LBA) as defined in the ATA/ATAPI-6 specification. If the system
    BIOS for the computer does not support 48-bit LBA, the BIOS will report a
    capacity for the hard disk that is equal to 128 GB.

    Look for a setting in your computer's bios to set the type as 48 bit lba.
    If your bios does not support 48 bit lba, udate your computer's bios.

    http://support.microsoft.com/kb/327202/en-us


    I don't know if your hdd is SATA or IDE, but the BIOS angle is something to consider.
    What is the verdict on your desktop PC. Are you going to repair it with a new C: drive? If so, it would be real interesting to see if your G: drive (reinstalled in the desktop) would be seen as its original size again (assuming the tech shop didn't also play with the partitioning and formatting).
  10. Thanks for the knowledge update. This might be useful when further diagnosing...

    BIOS says it is a ST3500841 with Size 137.4GB. Correct on the Seagate device type, incorrect on the size. It is IDE. Btw, I don't need my C drive to enter BIOS..

    I don't know if the drive has been altered. Probably hard to do by the OS if it needs formatting. The local tech shop was careful to avoid any changes.

    The good news is that my C drive is bootable again. Don't know what zonked it earlier, but will attempt to get it imaged asap.

    Any suggestions for next steps?
  11. SO it appears that the Maxtor enclosure really is capable of resizing the partition! Just goes to prove that you can learn something everyday.

    The old link I am posting is your situation exactly (except I don't know the brand of disk you have). It will likely help us get your drive back to the right size, but I'm not sure about your data. It might be better to try and run some data recovery programs the way the drive is right now.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/217883-32-upgrade-maxtor-touch-external-drive
  12. I don't think the enclosure is capable of altering your partitions. The firmware, the laptop's BIOS, or an outdated service pack may be limiting the size of the drive being recognized.

    You said your C drive is now bootable again. I would suggest putting it back in your home system and getting that PC running again. Once you've done that, remove the drive from the enclosure, and reinstall it in the PC. The BIOS is still the same as before, you'll need to make sure you have SP3, but then it should see your entire drive.
  13. I don't think the enclosure is capable of altering your partitions. The firmware, the laptop's BIOS, or an outdated service pack may be limiting the size of the drive being recognized.

    You said your C drive is now bootable again. I would suggest putting it back in your home system and getting that PC running again. Once you've done that, remove the drive from the enclosure, and reinstall it in the PC. The BIOS is still the same as before, you'll need to make sure you have SP3, but then it should see your entire drive.[/quotems

    Per earlier post, I did put the drive back in the original system, and BIOS reports the size as 137GB. I still think the Maxstor OneTouch did me in. But still hoping that with smart software someone can retrieve most of the files - uncorrupted.
  14. That sounds like a good plan. Let us know how you make outtathom!
  15. digitalprospecter said:
    SO it appears that the Maxtor enclosure really is capable of resizing the partition! Just goes to prove that you can learn something everyday.

    The old link I am posting is your situation exactly (except I don't know the brand of disk you have). It will likely help us get your drive back to the right size, but I'm not sure about your data. It might be better to try and run some data recovery programs the way the drive is right now.

    http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/217883-32-upgrade-maxtor-touch-external-drive



    Thanks for the research. You found another victim of Maxtstor.

    But in this case he wasn't also trying to salvage the data. If have a Seagate drive. Hmm. Maxstor was purchased by Seagate, as I recall. I think the drive is in warranty.
  16. Have you tried something like Easeus to expand your partition?

    Do you have SP3 installed?
  17. Hi tathom,

    Have you tried what aford10 is proposing yet? Just to verify whether or not the partition is really changed (as it seems to have been in that old post I referenced) or just maybe it is a BIOS/Service Pack issue that would resolve itself by being back in its original computer.
  18. digitalprospecter said:
    Hi tathom,

    Have you tried what aford10 is proposing yet? Just to verify whether or not the partition is really changed (as it seems to have been in that old post I referenced) or just maybe it is a BIOS/Service Pack issue that would resolve itself by being back in its original computer.



    My XP systems are at SP3, and the BIOS is relatively current. As I mentioned earlier, I did check the drive on my old system where BIOS said it is 137GB on a ST3500841. At this point the OS is not involved but on other systems, XP Disk Management said it had a 128GB partition with no space left over.

    Would Easeus or Partition Magic be able to see a disk larger than what BIOS can see?

    In looking at your Maxstor OneTouch reference http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/ [...] rnal-drive it took special software to change the drive back to native size. That got my attention.

    I'm reluctant to make any changes to the drive without a backup. When trying to make an image I only got 128GB, not 512GB.

    I think I need a doctor, no, a specialist, for this patient.
  19. Probably. Normally if i had the drive in my shop, I would be running programs like Final Data Recovery on it to retrieve your files and pictures.

    I think the next step for you is to check out this link, and try some of the free data recovery programs that he lists and reviews. The first on his list is the Recuva program which is made by the same people that make the ccleaner registry cleaner program that I trust and use daily.

    http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2008/01/24/top-10-free-data-recovery-software/
  20. digitalprospecter said:
    Probably. Normally if i had the drive in my shop, I would be running programs like Final Data Recovery on it to retrieve your files and pictures.

    I think the next step for you is to check out this link, and try some of the free data recovery programs that he lists and reviews. The first on his list is the Recuva program which is made by the same people that make the ccleaner registry cleaner program that I trust and use daily.

    http://www.raymond.cc/blog/archives/2008/01/24/top-10-free-data-recovery-software/


    The bad news is now I can't see the drive at all using an external enclosure. I would use my original XP system but at the time it went down, it was having great difficulty with a Windows update and did not complete the install when the C drive stopped. When I boot up now XP it won't complete login, but XP disk is working hard. Until it has been imaged to another drive I don't want to take a chance on crashing it.

    Back to status:
    Recapping some history: The local tech shop retrieved approx 400GB of files along with folders and directories. A good percentage of the files are corrupt. I used highly recommended file recovery software (R-Studio) and tried to recover the corrupted files but had the same results as the tech shop.

    In reading about Maxtor OneTouch, I believe it uses FAT32 for the 300GB drives. It was likely not impressed with my loaded NTFS drive, and likely left FAT32 tracks.

    My Seagate drive is in warranty, so I plan to talk to Seagate about their recovery service. Hopefully their Maxtor engineers can help advise.
  21. Seems like the Maxtor engineers might be your only avenue forward at this point, considering the status of your other equipment. Best of luck with recovering your files, and hope you let us know how you make out. It will be good for future reference!

    Best wishes!
  22. digitalprospecter said:
    Seems like the Maxtor engineers might be your only avenue forward at this point, considering the status of your other equipment. Best of luck with recovering your files, and hope you let us know how you make out. It will be good for future reference!

    Best wishes!


    So far, I have learned that Seagate's recovery service, I365, is a subsidiary, and doesn't have special access to Maxtor engineers. When calling tech support, I have to select between Seagate and Maxtor,etc. and will be charged $15 to chat.

    You have been very helpful, and I have one further request: are you aware of other forums that might help me discover someone who has had a similar challenge and was successful or unsuccessful in recovering good data? Or has technical knowledge of OneTouch behavior?

    Thanks for the help!
  23. Ok... one last try... it seems Maxtor OneTouch has done this on at least three occassions that I've found and this forum link claims to have used a tool that not only restored the partition size, but all the data was there too! The only problem is I don't see a link to the utility (maybe it came with the Maxtor OneTouch, so I am looking for it) but here is the link so everyone can look:

    http://forum.hddguru.com/hard-drive-size-wrong-and-can-resize-t8733.html
  24. Best answer
  25. digitalprospecter said:


    Hey, this looks great! I found at least two similar stories of users regaining full capacity on drives whose setting had been changed by a Maxtor enclosure, such as OneTouch. Thanks for the heads-up.

    To make the changes in a drive, it must be installed on a 32bit system.

    At my house that means I'll have to get my original XP system running again. Gotta deal with a shaky C drive. I have a spare 500GB SATA drive. What the best way to clone an operational image of my 320GB Sata XP drive to the 500GB Sata drive?
  26. Try out the free Easeus Disk Copy utility at:

    http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/
  27. digitalprospecter said:
    Try out the free Easeus Disk Copy utility at:

    http://www.easeus.com/disk-copy/


    Thanks again!
  28. One other thing tathom.

    If I've pointed you in the right direction and this solves your issue, could you please select the Best Answer button. That way other people having the same issue and searching the forum or Internet for an answer will know that they can find one on this thread because Best Answer selection marks the thread as solved!

    Thanks.
  29. Best answer selected by tathom.
  30. digitalprospecter said:


    This small utility did just what was needed to change the capacity of the drive back to its original 512GB.

    With that change, I had great success using the File Recovery software from http://r-studios.com/. This software ran for hours but recovered ~450GB of my original drive; I think I lost less than 5%. This software did much better than the recovery that was performed at the local tech shop.

    Thanks, digitalprospec, for the your great advice. I back out of the doghouse :p
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