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Cloning killed all my HDs

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March 30, 2009 7:33:28 AM

My system drive has only been getting older, its 7 years old now, so on friday i figured id upgrade it to a faster drive ( was running out of space anyways, so more space was needed too)
Not really interested in having to reinstall my OS and all programs again, i opted to go for cloning my old system drive onto the new drive

So now my system looked as follows;

Disk A, current system drive
Disk B, the new HD
Disk C, hd with nothing but stuff on it, no installed programs
Disk D, same as C

-I used Acronis True Image, cloned A onto B, rebooted, nothing happened, it would not boot to B
-Removed B and booted to A, -> A C and D worked just fine, B showed as a 8 gb FAT16 partition AND a TB (the actual size of the disk) as a "missing" partition, in disk manager. Neither of these 8 gb or 1 TB entries could be that could not be formatted and no programs could read the disk or get any info out of it (its obviously bigger than 8 gb)

-Went to bed

-Got up, turned on PC, with all drives in, now C and D shows as "unreadable" in disk management, with B only showing the 8 gb partition (the 931 gb one dissapeared)

What on earth ?

Ive been googling this for some time, and asked on various forums, but not found a solution so far
At this point i dont care about B, im returning it to the store for a replacement, i just want C and D to survive, loosing all the data on these drives is not an option

I am willing to buy another HD to use as an intermedium to transfer the data on these drives to if that is needed

What has happened to my drives ? Is it an MBR error or something ?
What can i do ?
Any option that runs the risk of deleting some data is very uninteresting to downright not an option (depending on severity)

More about : cloning killed hds

a b G Storage
March 30, 2009 1:12:25 PM

Did you initialize and format the new drives before you started? Or somehow get confused about which drive you had where?

I have been using Acronis for more than a year to backup or clone different laptop and desktop computers. I've had no problems. Of course, I also name drives and partitions - "Boot", "Storage", and "Backup", for example. That way, there's no doubt about what I am working with.

I do not know how you are going to try to recover. My first suggestion is to clone the drives and work with the copies, but that's sort of how you got in trouble.

March 30, 2009 3:17:12 PM

No, i didnt clone to the wrong harddrive (i could access my stuff-hdds, C and D, after the cloning was done)

All my hds are aptly labelled, and they all have different sizes, so this kind of mishap wouldnt happen

The new drive was initialized and formatted, same file system as the source of the clone process

After the cloning was done both my stuff-hdds (C and D) was perfectly accessible, and continued to be so for several reboots while i tried to get my new clone to boot. It wasnt until the next day when i started the pc after waking up that they dissapeared

Now they ARENT visible in explorer
ARE visible in my computers hardware management
ARE visible in control panel - disk management, though shows up with a red X and "unreadable" When i right click it here the only option i have is "convert to basic disk" (though i dont see its size)

At this point i dont care about my new hd (which is an entire mind numbing case no one can figure out on its own) i just want the data on my 2 old HDs. If buying yet another new hd to transfer this stuff over to somehow, is what is needed, then ill buy a new hd

My main interest is knowing what has happened, so i can apply the correct measures to fix it, or get to know if trying to recover it means that they are altered and somehow harder to recover later on. Basically, will me using a tool such as iRecover to scan the disks potentially cause me to loose data (sorta like how you cant know the velocity AND direction of an electron at the same time, if you observe it you alter it) or am i free to scan the disk with several different tools to try to find one that gives me the best results for my particular case

When i open acronis and have a look at my HDs now i can see the size of the unreadable ones, something disk management or my computer cant



TestDrive?
iRecover?
PartitionMagic?
Acronis disk suite (the other program, not true image)
Related resources
March 30, 2009 7:33:21 PM

oooh

I tried a very very expensive professional oriented recovery software, and managed to recover 100% of the files on both my drives (well it found them, ill buy harddrives tomorrow to transfer all the stuff to)

Not going to post a name, as this whole thread would just seem like some sort of publicity stunt.
Its expensive as gold though, roughly 2000$, quickly converted from my currency and to dollars, so not recommended for most. I only tried the trial version, and will phone them tomorrow to find out if i really need the top professional version of the software to get all my stuff out
March 30, 2009 8:11:52 PM

things to consider before doing backups:

1- initialize and format the system disk as a primary partition (so it can boot)

2- make sure your 7year old system can accept drives with large partitions (my guess is that a 7yr old system would not allow >128gb)

3- Don't rush anything, read the explanation files and do it slowly.

My guess is that you don't need a 2000$ software to recover your files. What you need is to make sure that the procedure was done properly in the first place. If not, then just restart again and make sure that you follow all the necessary steps :) 

good luck!
March 30, 2009 10:47:05 PM

the disk is 7 years old (and in ship shape)

The system itself is fairly new, just my system drive the last old remnant of my pc 2 pcs ago

No, im not going to fork out 2k dollars for a piece of software, hehe

If 1 recovery program can find the files, they all propably can, biggest problem now is finding somewhere to put all the files, considering each of my 2 stuff hdds are fairly big

This IT guy in my WoW guild told me theres a documented bug with the particular setup i tried to clone with, and that it bugs out the samsung drive (1 TB ones)

Still havent seen anyone manage to explain how my 2 hdds that werent connected at the time of the cloning, and were working fine for a day, suddenly didnt work any more after i turned off the pc for the night (while they worked every time i booted it that day, when trying to get the new hdd i cloned to to boot)
a b G Storage
March 31, 2009 1:57:17 AM

Apologies.

Every time that I have helped a friend with a blown cloning or backup process, I have been able to step through the process and say, "OK, here's where you went wrong."
March 31, 2009 10:24:42 AM

free recovery - recuva
slightly less free but ive paid for in the past - handyrecovery
a b G Storage
March 31, 2009 11:59:26 AM

Your OS cannot be on disk "A". (if you are running Windows anyway)
It MUST be on "C", so I am wondering how you came up with the drive letter assignments you have... this is definetly the root of the problem.......so how/what/when with the weird drive letter assignments???????
March 31, 2009 8:36:53 PM

Lol, sigh

The letters were what i named them for for the purposes of this post

Not their letter asignments in my OS
a b G Storage
March 31, 2009 10:00:15 PM

braille said:
Lol, sigh

The letters were what i named them for for the purposes of this post

Not their letter asignments in my OS


:lol:  :lol:  :lol:  :lol:  Okay, got it duh. (smacking myself on the forehead) Beyond that, I have no idea what could have happened.
I have used Acronis a lot, but never had any problem with it. Even used it on RAID arrays back and forth to single drives and back to RAID arrays.
Very odd indeed.
March 31, 2009 10:15:36 PM

I use this for recovery... cost $50 and finds everything after its deleted.

-Active partition Recovery
http://www.partition-recovery.com/

***I also use this program @ work, its great and $1950 less expensive.
April 1, 2009 12:01:02 PM

braille said:
-I used Acronis True Image, cloned A onto B, rebooted, nothing happened, it would not boot to B
-Removed B and booted to A, -> A C and D worked just fine, B showed as a 8 gb FAT16 partition AND a TB (the actual size of the disk) as a "missing" partition, in disk manager. Neither of these 8 gb or 1 TB entries could be that could not be formatted and no programs could read the disk or get any info out of it (its obviously bigger than 8 gb)


After you cloned A onto B did you disconnect A before you booted up the system?

If you booted with both drives operational you screwed up big time!

Of course you're fully aware of that now.

FYI anytime you clone one drive to another you should disconnect all additional drives except the 2 in the cloning process and after a successful clone disconnect the source HDD before booting the system, thats why Acronis shuts down your system after the initial cloning process.

So where are you at now, whats your situation?

http://www.pcinspector.de/Sites/file_recovery/info.htm?language=1

100% free file recovery, best I've ever used.
April 1, 2009 4:29:48 PM

I have probed forth all the data on hd C and D, the stuff HDDs, but not copied it anywhere yet (need to buy 2 more HDDs to get it onto...)

Still havent found a solution to the messed up hdd, have threads going in muliple forums and everyone is just scratching their heads and going huh?, but aparently there is a samsung utlity (the hdd is samsung) that lets you edit the max adress of a drive, or restore it to default value
Bets are this value somehow got changed into tricking the pc that its 8 gb

However, i cant get this program to work. I DL the .iso and the cd i make is bootable, it does boot to dos and goes through some processes, then i get an error message about out of ram or similarly worded.
I have also tried UBCD (ultimate boot cd), which boots fine too, but has no program to let me alter the max adress in such a way
April 1, 2009 5:06:52 PM

Quote:
After you cloned A onto B did you disconnect A before you booted up the system?


To be able to help you its necessary to discover what got you in this situation, in the first place. Please answer my original question.

And additionally what operating system are we talking about!
April 2, 2009 5:39:43 AM

XP pro 32bit

Yes, i had both in at the same time
April 2, 2009 11:01:00 AM

OK your boot record is seriously damaged because when you rebooted you had 2 identical operating systems trying to boot at the same time with either A or B installed by itself you should be able to do a repair reinstallation of XP if and only if after the F8 agreement the setup installation finds the damaged operating system.

That would have needed to be done immediately after discovering the mistake and may not work now after all you've done since then, but its worth a try.

Your other HDDs with the stuff on them should easily be able to be accessed as external USB HDDs if you snag an external USB2.0 HDD enclosure, thats a lot cheaper solution than 2 more HDDs.
April 5, 2009 3:48:38 PM

I managed to fix every HD

The weird 8 gb one i fixed with the samsung tool "estools" and set max adress command in the program to the hd's native LBA

My stuff HDs i recovered 100% of files on both with file recovery software
April 5, 2009 6:53:31 PM

Congratulations man!!!
!