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Where did my partition table go and how do I get it back?

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August 8, 2011 7:16:07 PM

Update:

I'm pretty sure my partition table was somehow corrupted/lost. However, I'm wondering if this might be a problem with the IDE/RAID control card settings. Also, I wonder if the partition information is located anywhere else? When I tried data recovery software, it found a folder on the drive called "Volume Recovery Information" Do drives have hidden files that back up this info?

Thanks for any help!


Background (how I got here and my hardware):

Hello!

I'm wondering if someone can make suggestions to help me see if my drive data is still intact. Windows XP can see the drive and drive info, but reports it has no file system and needs to be formatted. Apologies in advance since I don't know exactly what I did to cause this........

I have an older IDE hard drive...this one:

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=WD1600JB-N&cat=...

Since my computer did not have any free IDE connections, I have been using it with this Silicon Image SiI 0680 ATA/133 PCI control card for years:

http://www.siliconimage.com/products/product.aspx?pid=3...

I only have the one drive connected, so I'm not really using RAID, but I think it's technically RAID 0.

I thought my computer was overheating, so I installed intel desktop utilities. It came with diskeeper light.
It's possible diskeeper tried to defrag this drive and may have corrupted something.

I also tried to flash my bios, failed, and ended up erasing all the bios settings. It's possible there is a setting in my bios that allows me to use this IDE controller, but beside the SATA setting (legacy or normal), I couldn't find find anything remotely related to HDs/raid in the bios.

I tried a recovery program called Testdisk, but it did not find any partitions. I tried to mount the drive in linux, which normally worked, but linux now reports that either the filesystem in not FAT or there is an error in the partition table.

As an aside, winXP shows the controller card to be working and PC programs like PC wizard or Hardwareinfo (HWinfo32) also indicate it is functional.

Any suggestions on how to really diagnose what is going on?

More about : partition table back

a b G Storage
August 9, 2011 5:00:55 AM

Try runnning R-Studio r-tt.com and see if it can read the file structure on the disk, this might allow you to recover your data

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August 11, 2011 5:11:18 PM

Thanks guys,


I'm wondering about the relationship between the MBR/partition table and my IDE control card. Could the card simply fail to interpret the information correctly or does it directly pass the info to the MB/CPU?

Most programs indicate that my drive has 1 partition that occupies all the space and is of unknown file system. I'm thinking that the MBR or partition table has been corrupted.

I tried a recovery program called EASEUS Data Recovery Wizard and it was able to find files and folders in a FAT32 partition. It had a setting to recover the partition, but did not give the option to fix it, only to search the partition for files and folders.

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Related resources
a c 311 G Storage
August 11, 2011 11:44:06 PM

Could we see the MBR, partition table and boot sector with Microsoft's Sector Inspector?
http://www.users.on.net/~fzabkar/SecInspect.zip

Extract the above archive to the one folder and execute the SIrun.bat file. The procedure will generate a report file named SIout.txt.
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August 12, 2011 3:39:41 AM

lol @ the name "Sector Inspector" :D  .


I have several drives that were scanned. I noticed that with most of them, the "large sectors" was approximately the capacity of the disk. This disk should be about 160GB, so the size seems off.

I haven't yet been able to find any info on what this stuff means, but here's the output:


===========================================================================
Target - \\.\PHYSICALDRIVE2
19457 Cylinders
255 Heads
63 Sectors Per Track
512 BytesPerSector
12 MediaType

===========================================================================
Master Boot Record
===========================================================================
| B | FS TYPE | START | END | | |
| F | (hex) | C H S| C H S| RELATIVE | TOTAL |
===========================================================================
| * | 0b | 0 1 1|1023 254 63| 63| 312581745|
| | 00 | 0 0 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0|
| | 00 | 0 0 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0|
| | 00 | 0 0 0| 0 0 0| 0| 0|
===========================================================================
Disk Signature 0x874ff511



LBN 0 [C 0, H 0, S 1]

0x0000 eb 48 90 00 00 00 47 52-55 42 50 1f fc be 1b 7c ëH...GRUBPü¾|
0x0010 bf 1b 06 50 57 b9 e5 01-f3 a4 cb bd be 07 b1 04 ¿.PW¹å.ó¤Ë½¾.±.
0x0020 38 6e 00 7c 09 75 13 83-c5 10 e2 f4 cd 18 8b f5 8n.|.uƒÅâôÍ‹õ
0x0030 83 c6 10 49 74 19 38 2c-74 f6 a0 b5 07 b4 03 02 ƒÆIt8,tö µ.´..
0x0040 80 00 00 20 01 00 00 00-00 02 fa 90 90 f6 c2 80 €.. ......úö€
0x0050 75 02 b2 80 ea 59 7c 00-00 31 c0 8e d8 8e d0 bc u.²€êY|..1ÀŽØŽÐ¼
0x0060 00 20 fb a0 40 7c 3c ff-74 02 88 c2 52 be 7f 7d . û @|<ÿt.ˆÂR¾}
0x0070 e8 34 01 f6 c2 80 74 54-b4 41 bb aa 55 cd 13 5a è4.ö€tT´A»ªUÍZ
0x0080 52 72 49 81 fb 55 aa 75-43 a0 41 7c 84 c0 75 05 RrIûUªuC A|„Àu.
0x0090 83 e1 01 74 37 66 8b 4c-10 be 05 7c c6 44 ff 01 ƒá.t7f‹L¾.|ÆDÿ.
0x00a0 66 8b 1e 44 7c c7 04 10-00 c7 44 02 01 00 66 89 f‹D|Ç..ÇD...f‰
0x00b0 5c 08 c7 44 06 00 70 66-31 c0 89 44 04 66 89 44 \.ÇD..pf1À‰D.f‰D
0x00c0 0c b4 42 cd 13 72 05 bb-00 70 eb 7d b4 08 cd 13 .´BÍr.».pë}´.Í
0x00d0 73 0a f6 c2 80 0f 84 ea-00 e9 8d 00 be 05 7c c6 s.ö€.„ê.é.¾.|Æ
0x00e0 44 ff 00 66 31 c0 88 f0-40 66 89 44 04 31 d2 88 Dÿ.f1Àˆð@f‰D.1Òˆ
0x00f0 ca c1 e2 02 88 e8 88 f4-40 89 44 08 31 c0 88 d0 ÊÁâ.ˆèˆô@‰D.1ÀˆÐ
0x0100 c0 e8 02 66 89 04 66 a1-44 7c 66 31 d2 66 f7 34 Àè.f‰.f¡D|f1Òf÷4
0x0110 88 54 0a 66 31 d2 66 f7-74 04 88 54 0b 89 44 0c ˆT.f1Òf÷t.ˆT.‰D.
0x0120 3b 44 08 7d 3c 8a 54 0d-c0 e2 06 8a 4c 0a fe c1 ;D.}<ŠT.Àâ.ŠL.þÁ
0x0130 08 d1 8a 6c 0c 5a 8a 74-0b bb 00 70 8e c3 31 db .ÑŠl.ZŠt.».pŽÃ1Û
0x0140 b8 01 02 cd 13 72 2a 8c-c3 8e 06 48 7c 60 1e b9 ¸..Ír*ŒÃŽ.H|`¹
0x0150 00 01 8e db 31 f6 31 ff-fc f3 a5 1f 61 ff 26 42 ..ŽÛ1ö1ÿüó¥aÿ&B
0x0160 7c be 85 7d e8 40 00 eb-0e be 8a 7d e8 38 00 eb |¾…}è@.ë.¾Š}è8.ë
0x0170 06 be 94 7d e8 30 00 be-99 7d e8 2a 00 eb fe 47 .¾”}è0.¾™}è*.ëþG
0x0180 52 55 42 20 00 47 65 6f-6d 00 48 61 72 64 20 44 RUB .Geom.Hard D
0x0190 69 73 6b 00 52 65 61 64-00 20 45 72 72 6f 72 00 isk.Read. Error.
0x01a0 bb 01 00 b4 0e cd 10 ac-3c 00 75 f4 c3 00 00 00 »..´.ͬ<.uôÃ...
0x01b0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-11 f5 4f 87 00 00 80 01 ........õO‡..€.
0x01c0 01 00 0b fe ff ff 3f 00-00 00 71 9e a1 12 00 00 ...þÿÿ?...qž¡..
0x01d0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
0x01e0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 ................
0x01f0 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 00 00 55 aa ..............Uª

---------------------------------------------------------------------------
Primary Partition 1
FAT32 BIOS Parameter Block Information

BytesPerSector : 1551
Sectors Per Cluster : 0
ReservedSectors : 0
Fats : 255
RootEntries : 65535
Small Sectors : 65295 ( 95 MB )
Media Type : 255 ( 0xff )
SectorsPerFat : 4095
SectorsPerTrack : 25520
Heads : 141
Hidden Sectors : 70
Large Sectors : 268435455 ( 397054 MB )

LargeSectorsPerFat : 10
ExtendedFlags : 65535
FsVersion : 4095
RootDirFirstCluster : 12
FsInfoSector : 13
BackupBootSector : 0
Label :

LBN 63 [C 0, H 1, S 1]

0x0000 f8 ff ff 0f ff ff ff ff-f8 ff ff 0f 06 00 00 00 øÿÿ.ÿÿÿÿøÿÿ.....
0x0010 ff ff ff 0f ff ff ff 0f-b0 63 8d 00 46 00 00 00 ÿÿÿ.ÿÿÿ.°c.F...
0x0020 ff ff ff 0f 0a 00 00 00-ff ff ff 0f 0c 00 00 00 ÿÿÿ.....ÿÿÿ.....
0x0030 0d 00 00 00 0e 00 00 00-0f 00 00 00 10 00 00 00 ...............
0x0040 11 00 00 00 12 00 00 00-13 00 00 00 14 00 00 00 ............
0x0050 15 00 00 00 16 00 00 00-17 00 00 00 18 00 00 00 ............
0x0060 ff ff ff 0f 1a 00 00 00-1b 00 00 00 ff ff ff 0f ÿÿÿ.......ÿÿÿ.
0x0070 1d 00 00 00 1e 00 00 00-1f 00 00 00 20 00 00 00 ......... ...
0x0080 21 00 00 00 22 00 00 00-23 00 00 00 24 00 00 00 !..."...#...$...
0x0090 25 00 00 00 26 00 00 00-27 00 00 00 28 00 00 00 %...&...'...(...
0x00a0 29 00 00 00 2a 00 00 00-2b 00 00 00 2c 00 00 00 )...*...+...,...
0x00b0 2d 00 00 00 2e 00 00 00-2f 00 00 00 30 00 00 00 -......./...0...
0x00c0 31 00 00 00 32 00 00 00-33 00 00 00 34 00 00 00 1...2...3...4...
0x00d0 35 00 00 00 ff ff ff 0f-ff ff ff 0f 38 00 00 00 5...ÿÿÿ.ÿÿÿ.8...
0x00e0 39 00 00 00 3a 00 00 00-3b 00 00 00 3c 00 00 00 9...:...;...<...
0x00f0 3d 00 00 00 3e 00 00 00-3f 00 00 00 40 00 00 00 =...>...?...@...
0x0100 41 00 00 00 42 00 00 00-43 00 00 00 44 00 00 00 A...B...C...D...
0x0110 ff ff ff 0f 00 00 00 00-06 04 00 00 00 00 00 00 ÿÿÿ.............
0x0120 00 00 00 00 00 00 00 00-00 00 00 00 ff ff ff 0f ............ÿÿÿ.
0x0130 00 00 00 00 4e 00 00 00-4f 00 00 00 50 00 00 00 ....N...O...P...
0x0140 51 00 00 00 52 00 00 00-53 00 00 00 54 00 00 00 Q...R...S...T...
0x0150 55 00 00 00 56 00 00 00-57 00 00 00 58 00 00 00 U...V...W...X...
0x0160 59 00 00 00 5a 00 00 00-5b 00 00 00 5c 00 00 00 Y...Z...[...\...
0x0170 5d 00 00 00 5e 00 00 00-5f 00 00 00 60 00 00 00 ]...^..._...`...
0x0180 61 00 00 00 62 00 00 00-63 00 00 00 64 00 00 00 a...b...c...d...
0x0190 65 00 00 00 66 00 00 00-67 00 00 00 68 00 00 00 e...f...g...h...
0x01a0 69 00 00 00 6a 00 00 00-6b 00 00 00 6c 00 00 00 i...j...k...l...
0x01b0 6d 00 00 00 6e 00 00 00-6f 00 00 00 70 00 00 00 m...n...o...p...
0x01c0 71 00 00 00 72 00 00 00-73 00 00 00 74 00 00 00 q...r...s...t...
0x01d0 75 00 00 00 76 00 00 00-77 00 00 00 78 00 00 00 u...v...w...x...
0x01e0 79 00 00 00 7a 00 00 00-7b 00 00 00 7c 00 00 00 y...z...{...|...
0x01f0 7d 00 00 00 7e 00 00 00-7f 00 00 00 80 00 00 00 }...~......€...
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a c 311 G Storage
August 12, 2011 5:05:24 AM

Sector 0 appears to be a GRUB MBR such as is used in Linux systems. Either you are, or were, a Linux user, or TestDisk overwrote the original MBR with its own.

Sector 63 would normally be a boot sector. In your case I believe the file system would have been FAT32.

In your case, sector 63 is actually the first sector of the FAT, whereas on my Win98SE box the FAT begins at sector 95. Therefore it may be that your FAT32 boot sector is located at sector 31, and its backup at sector 37.

My alternative observation is that the above structure could be consistent with two drives in a RAID 0 configuration with a stripe size of 32 sectors, ie a 16KB stripe.

sector 0 - 31 --- drive #1 --- LBN 0 = MBR and partition table
sector 32 - 63 --- drive #2 --- LBN 63 = FAT32 boot sector, 69 = backup boot sector
sector 64 - 95 --- drive #1 --- LBN 95 = beginning of FAT
...

If you now remove drive #2 from the array and examine drive #1 ...

sector 0 - 31 --- drive #1 --- LBN 0 = MBR and partition table
sector 32 - 63 --- drive #1 --- LBN 63 = beginning of FAT

ISTM that you could be seeing only the first drive in a two-drive RAID 0.

At this point I would use a disc editor to examine sectors 0 through 95. Look for a sector with a "FAT32" text string.

You could use either of the following freeware tools:

HxD - Freeware Hex Editor and Disk Editor:
http://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd

DMDE (DM Disk Editor and Data Recovery):
http://softdm.com/download.html
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a c 311 G Storage
August 12, 2011 9:03:55 PM

ISTM that the quickest way to confirm whether your drive is indeed the first drive in a RAID 0 pair would be to examine sector 64.

If sector 64 is the second sector of the FAT, then the drive's structure would be that of a JBOD drive.

OTOH, if the drive were part of a RAID 0, then sector 64 would look like sector 128 in a typical FAT32 file system. Notice that the sector contains entries which are grouped as 4 bytes. These are the cluster numbers in a 32-bit FAT (FAT32).

Here are the corresponding sectors on my FAT32 drive:

Sector 63:

000 F8 FF FF 0F FF FF FF 07-18 CC 0A 00 04 00 00 00
010 05 00 00 00 06 00 00 00-07 00 00 00 08 00 00 00
020 09 00 00 00 0A 00 00 00-0B 00 00 00 0C 00 00 00
030 0D 00 00 00 0E 00 00 00-0F 00 00 00 10 00 00 00
040 11 00 00 00 12 00 00 00-13 00 00 00 14 00 00 00
050 15 00 00 00 16 00 00 00-17 00 00 00 18 00 00 00
060 19 00 00 00 1A 00 00 00-1B 00 00 00 1C 00 00 00
070 1D 00 00 00 1E 00 00 00-1F 00 00 00 20 00 00 00
080 21 00 00 00 22 00 00 00-23 00 00 00 24 00 00 00
090 25 00 00 00 26 00 00 00-27 00 00 00 28 00 00 00
0A0 29 00 00 00 2A 00 00 00-2B 00 00 00 2C 00 00 00
0B0 2D 00 00 00 2E 00 00 00-2F 00 00 00 30 00 00 00
0C0 31 00 00 00 32 00 00 00-33 00 00 00 34 00 00 00
0D0 35 00 00 00 36 00 00 00-37 00 00 00 38 00 00 00
0E0 39 00 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-FF FF FF 0F FF FF FF 0F
0F0 FF FF FF 0F 40 00 00 00-FF FF FF 0F FF FF FF 0F
100 52 00 00 00 42 00 00 00-43 00 00 00 44 00 00 00
110 45 00 00 00 46 00 00 00-47 00 00 00 48 00 00 00
120 49 00 00 00 4A 00 00 00-4B 00 00 00 4C 00 00 00
130 4D 00 00 00 4E 00 00 00-4F 00 00 00 50 00 00 00
140 51 00 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-6A 00 00 00 54 00 00 00
150 55 00 00 00 56 00 00 00-57 00 00 00 58 00 00 00
160 59 00 00 00 5A 00 00 00-5B 00 00 00 5C 00 00 00
170 5D 00 00 00 5E 00 00 00-5F 00 00 00 60 00 00 00
180 61 00 00 00 62 00 00 00-63 00 00 00 64 00 00 00
190 65 00 00 00 66 00 00 00-67 00 00 00 68 00 00 00
1A0 69 00 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-6B 00 00 00 6C 00 00 00
1B0 6D 00 00 00 6E 00 00 00-CA 02 00 00 70 00 00 00
1C0 71 00 00 00 72 00 00 00-73 00 00 00 74 00 00 00
1D0 75 00 00 00 76 00 00 00-77 00 00 00 78 00 00 00
1E0 79 00 00 00 7A 00 00 00-7B 00 00 00 7C 00 00 00
1F0 82 00 00 00 6D 73 00 00-7F 00 00 00 80 00 00 00

Sector 64:

000 81 00 00 00 3E 04 00 00-83 00 00 00 84 00 00 00
010 95 00 00 00 86 00 00 00-87 00 00 00 88 00 00 00
020 89 00 00 00 8A 00 00 00-8B 00 00 00 8C 00 00 00
030 8D 00 00 00 8E 00 00 00-8F 00 00 00 90 00 00 00
040 91 00 00 00 92 00 00 00-93 00 00 00 94 00 00 00
050 FF FF FF 0F 96 00 00 00-97 00 00 00 98 00 00 00
060 99 00 00 00 9A 00 00 00-9B 00 00 00 9C 00 00 00
070 9D 00 00 00 9E 00 00 00-9F 00 00 00 A0 00 00 00
080 A1 00 00 00 A2 00 00 00-A3 00 00 00 A4 00 00 00
090 A5 00 00 00 A6 00 00 00-A7 00 00 00 A8 00 00 00
0A0 A9 00 00 00 AA 00 00 00-AB 00 00 00 AC 00 00 00
0B0 AD 00 00 00 AE 00 00 00-AF 00 00 00 B0 00 00 00
0C0 B1 00 00 00 B2 00 00 00-B3 00 00 00 04 03 00 00
0D0 B5 00 00 00 B6 00 00 00-B7 00 00 00 B8 00 00 00
0E0 B9 00 00 00 BA 00 00 00-BB 00 00 00 BC 00 00 00
0F0 BD 00 00 00 BE 00 00 00-BF 00 00 00 C0 00 00 00
100 C1 00 00 00 C2 00 00 00-C3 00 00 00 C4 00 00 00
110 C6 00 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-C8 00 00 00 FF FF FF 0F
120 C9 00 00 00 CA 00 00 00-CB 00 00 00 CC 00 00 00
130 CD 00 00 00 CE 00 00 00-CF 00 00 00 D0 00 00 00
140 D1 00 00 00 D2 00 00 00-D3 00 00 00 D4 00 00 00
150 D5 00 00 00 D6 00 00 00-D7 00 00 00 D8 00 00 00
160 D9 00 00 00 DA 00 00 00-82 71 00 00 DC 00 00 00
170 DD 00 00 00 DE 00 00 00-DF 00 00 00 E0 00 00 00
180 E1 00 00 00 E2 00 00 00-E3 00 00 00 E4 00 00 00
190 E5 00 00 00 E6 00 00 00-E7 00 00 00 E9 00 00 00
1A0 FF FF FF 0F EA 00 00 00-EB 00 00 00 EC 00 00 00
1B0 ED 00 00 00 EE 00 00 00-EF 00 00 00 F0 00 00 00
1C0 F1 00 00 00 F2 00 00 00-F3 00 00 00 F4 00 00 00
1D0 F5 00 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-F7 00 00 00 F8 00 00 00
1E0 F9 00 00 00 FA 00 00 00-FB 00 00 00 FC 00 00 00
1F0 FD 00 00 00 FE 00 00 00-FF 00 00 00 00 01 00 00

Sector 128:

000 81 10 00 00 82 10 00 00-83 10 00 00 84 10 00 00
010 85 10 00 00 86 10 00 00-87 10 00 00 88 10 00 00
020 89 10 00 00 8A 10 00 00-8B 10 00 00 8C 10 00 00
030 8D 10 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-8F 10 00 00 90 10 00 00
040 91 10 00 00 92 10 00 00-93 10 00 00 94 10 00 00
050 95 10 00 00 96 10 00 00-97 10 00 00 98 10 00 00
060 99 10 00 00 9A 10 00 00-9B 10 00 00 9C 10 00 00
070 9D 10 00 00 9E 10 00 00-9F 10 00 00 A0 10 00 00
080 FF FF FF 0F A2 10 00 00-A3 10 00 00 A4 10 00 00
090 A5 10 00 00 A6 10 00 00-A7 10 00 00 A8 10 00 00
0A0 A9 10 00 00 AA 10 00 00-AB 10 00 00 AC 10 00 00
0B0 AD 10 00 00 AE 10 00 00-AF 10 00 00 B0 10 00 00
0C0 B1 10 00 00 B2 10 00 00-B3 10 00 00 B4 10 00 00
0D0 FF FF FF 0F B6 10 00 00-B7 10 00 00 B8 10 00 00
0E0 B9 10 00 00 BA 10 00 00-BB 10 00 00 BC 10 00 00
0F0 BD 10 00 00 BE 10 00 00-BF 10 00 00 C0 10 00 00
100 C1 10 00 00 C2 10 00 00-C3 10 00 00 C4 10 00 00
110 C5 10 00 00 C6 10 00 00-C7 10 00 00 FF FF FF 0F
120 C9 10 00 00 CA 10 00 00-CB 10 00 00 CC 10 00 00
130 CD 10 00 00 CE 10 00 00-CF 10 00 00 D0 10 00 00
140 D1 10 00 00 D2 10 00 00-D3 10 00 00 D4 10 00 00
150 D5 10 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-D7 10 00 00 D8 10 00 00
160 D9 10 00 00 DA 10 00 00-DB 10 00 00 DC 10 00 00
170 DD 10 00 00 DE 10 00 00-FF FF FF 0F E0 10 00 00
180 E1 10 00 00 E2 10 00 00-FF FF FF 0F FF FF FF 0F
190 E5 10 00 00 FF FF FF 0F-FF FF FF 0F FF FF FF 0F
1A0 E9 10 00 00 EA 10 00 00-EB 10 00 00 EC 10 00 00
1B0 ED 10 00 00 EE 10 00 00-EF 10 00 00 F0 10 00 00
1C0 F1 10 00 00 F2 10 00 00-F3 10 00 00 F4 10 00 00
1D0 F5 10 00 00 F6 10 00 00-F7 10 00 00 F8 10 00 00
1E0 F9 10 00 00 FA 10 00 00-FB 10 00 00 FC 10 00 00
1F0 FD 10 00 00 FE 10 00 00-FF 10 00 00 00 11 00 00

Notice that the cluster numbers in sectors 64 follow on consecutively from the numbers in sector 63 (80 -> 81), whereas there is a big jump (0x1081) in sector 128. Note that the cluster numbers are in little endian hexadecimal format.

In short, if your sector 64 looks like my sector 128, then your drive will be one half of a RAID 0 array, in which case your data will not be recoverable without the other drive.
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August 12, 2011 9:23:01 PM

Thanks for all the info. I'm not sure if you saw in my original post, but I used a RAID/IDE control card to add this drive to my computer. It is the only drive on the card and it is configured for RAID 0.

I used DMDE as you mentioned to scan sectors 1-95. It did not find anything. However, in the partitions menu, it says that the first sector of the primary FAST32 partition in 63. When I select show volume for that partition or the drive itself, it shows me all my files and folders. (Even ones that were deleted years ago)

I just tried to examine the drive again with DMDE and somehow I lost the drive. First time that's happened. I'll restart and try to look at those sectors you mentioned above.
m
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l
August 12, 2011 10:20:56 PM

Hi again,

well, just to be clear, according to DMDE, there are physical sectors and volume sectors. If I look at physical sector 63 (LBA: 63), which shows as vol.sec: 0 Boot sec: 0, it looks very similar to your 63. It also ends with cluster 80 (7ff0:00-80), however, sector 64 (vol.sec:1 Boot sec:1) begins with 8000:52. If I look at LBA 128, it is listed as vol.sec: 65 FAT1 sec:33 and begins with cluster 81 (or 10000:81, I'm not sure how to read it. I'm also not sure how you read "0x1081" from your above data either.)

I couldn't figure out how to copy the text out of the editor window to post. Maybe DMDE won't allow this?
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a c 311 G Storage
August 13, 2011 2:10:14 AM

I numbered my sectors to correspond with yours, but I confused myself in the process. In fact they correspond to physical LBAs 95, 96, and 128, and volume sectors 32, 33, and 65. In my case the partition table is indicating that the volume begins at LBA 63.

What is happening in your case is that your partiton table is also pointing to LBA 63 as the start of your first volume (logical sector 0). However, your LBA 63 is actually a FAT sector, not a boot sector. In the normal case, including my own, LBA 63 should be a boot sector. It looks something like the following:

http://thestarman.pcministry.com/asm/mbr/MSWin41BRinHex...

The boot sector should precede the FAT, yet you state that you have been unable to locate it or its backup copy. I find this very odd.

As for copying the sectors, you could go to Tools -> Copy Sectors and save each sector to a separate Destination File.

BTW, when DMDE displays the following ...

000010000: 81 10 00 00 ....

... it is indicating that the offset into the drive is 0x000010000 bytes, ie 64KB (= 128 sectors x 512 bytes per sector).

The first 4-byte entry is 0x00001081.

The bytes are presented in reverse order, ie in "little endian" format.

FYI, Google's calculator can perform hexadecimal arithmetic for you, eg ...

http://www.google.com/search?q=0x000010000+in+decimal
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August 13, 2011 2:57:42 AM

I probably should have asked this before, but, should my disk have a boot sector even though it is not a bootable disk? ie, I don't have an operating system on it, I just use it for data.

As far as I can tell, LBA sectors 1-15 have data on them; most likely pertaining to GRUB. If I recall, long ago I may have ran linux off this drive. However, the drive was reformatted and used as a FAT32 data drive now for 2-3 years. It is likely I was asked if I wanted to remove the GRUB MBR thing at the beginning and I left it.

All the sectors from 16-62 show zeros. LBA 63 (vol.sec:0 BOOT sec:0) has data but no Volume label or File system ID as your link implies should be there. However, LBA 69 says "mkdosfs.....FAT32......This is not a bootable disk. Please insert a bootable floppy and press any key to try again."

LBA 95 seems to start the vol.sec:32 FAT1 sec 0. I guess there is data there, but the text translation to the side is like "1.......2......3.......4............a....b.....c.....d....e.....f.......". This goes on for many sectors

The copy sector option in DMDE allows you to save as .ima, .img, .bin, which I am assuming are binary file types. I might be able to find another program that allows me to grab the text so I can post it here?
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August 13, 2011 3:18:41 AM

oh, btw, the partitions box in DMDE shows my physical drive with the table (T) is listed for sectors 0-312581807 while my primary partition (A) is FAT32(OB) at sector 63-312581807, but the EBCF column shows ExCF, meaning table entry, a damaged boot sector, a boot sector copy, and Root for FAT. Not sure if that helps.....
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a c 311 G Storage
August 14, 2011 12:30:05 AM

If you could upload physical sectors 0, 63, 64, 96, and 128 as .ima files, then I could easily convert them to text format for you, and we can then see how your file system is laid out.
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