I don't know too much and I'm struggling to get my data back from a 200Gb hard drive, can anyone offer a bit of advice.
I use a WIN98SE system to organize all my music files. Two partitions, FAT32: 3Gb in the boot and the remainder in the extended. Explorer was reporting 40Gb of space remaining on D: so all seemed well then, DISK FULL message! Turned off the computer and restarted only to find that drive D: was now missing in both DOS and Windows (C: partition boots and looks fine).
Turned off the computer and have not used the hard drive again except to make a sector by sector copy using Easeus software. Copied fine with no misreads or miswrites, so now I am using Testdisk with the copy.
I am really out of my depth but I sense that Testdisk looks very good and can probably solve the problem if only I knew how to use it.
I should mention that the disk I copied to is a 250Gb.
Anyway, in Testdisk, I get a message saying endmark 0xAA55 is missing. In the documentation for Testdisk I found a note telling me to use Chkdsk/MBR as this would replace the end of partition marker. When I ran Testdisk again nothing seemed to have changed so I was still stuck.
I then tried adding a partition because there was no logical space listed, I used the following:
*FAT32 is shown as 0 1 1 570 254 63 so I used 571 1 1 30400 254 63 Type 0b (the 250Gb drive is given as 30401 254 63 and Testdisk suggested one cylinder less)
Once I entered these details Testdisk gave *FAT32 as before (0 1 1 570 254 63) and listed both E Extended LBA as 571 0 1 30400 254 63 and L FAT32 as 571 1 1 30400 254 63 so all seemed well so I wrote it to disk and rebooted. The DOS situation is still the same, no drive D: but Windows now shows D: although it is inaccessible from Explorer.
I don't know what to try next and I am completely stuck - does anyone know if my situation is recoverable?
I'm not entirely sure if the situation is recoverable, so to speak, but you can try taking out your disk from the system and placing it within a hard disk enclosure. That will allow you to connect the hard disk to another computer via USB, which you should try doing. Use a computer with a newer OS like XP, Vista or 7, as they've got built-in tools that attempt to recover data from an apparently corrupted drive.