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Need Help: Can't access data on slave drive Win7

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May 29, 2012 5:13:46 PM

Hi guys. Here's my problem. I came into work today and one of our older XP PC's wouldn't boot and I want to try to save some of the files on it. The computer gave me a "device boot error" of some sort so I went into the BIOS to make sure the Hard Drive was set to #1. I did so, rebooted, and got the same boot error. I tried different cables, different sata slots on the mobo (had that experience once with a faulty mobo sata port), and still got the device boot error. Anyhow, I'm not trying to slave the drive (XP based OS) to my windows 7 system. I connected it, and the drive doesn't show up in the "computer" window. I went into Disk Management and it does show up in there.

In Disk Management my drive shows up as "Disk 0" C drive Samsung....the slaved drive I can see as "Disk 1" and it says "unknown" "not initialized" and "unalocated 74.6 GB". My questions:

1) does this mean my slaved drive is blank?

2) Does this mean that my slaved drive is fried?

3) Do I simply need to "initialize" the drive to get access to it?

4) if I initialize the drive, will that delete or erase the data that's on it?

5) If the data has been someone erased, is there a data recovery software I can use to try to recover those lost files? Like this one www.runtime.org ?


I've read people advise others to go into "manage" and give the slaved drive a new drive letter like "S" or something. I don't get an option to do that. Only to initialize the drive. I'm afraid to do that cuz i fear losing the data on it. If it's even there. All advice is appreciated. Thanks.
a c 379 G Storage
May 29, 2012 5:30:34 PM

It's probably dead. You don't want to initialize it if you are going to try and recover from it. You can try to recover the partition or get data back using Easeus tools.

http://www.easeus.com/partition-recovery/
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May 29, 2012 5:44:22 PM

Thanks for the response. I'll give that a try.


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May 29, 2012 7:34:49 PM

How do I "image" the drive?

I used the easeUS software and saved a GB of data with it. That's the limit for the "Free" version. If you want to save more it's $70 for the full software. I was going to try one of those other free softwares to do more, or take the drive home and run the software on another PC, but you have me nervous with respect to each recovery attempt making the drive worse. Thoughts?
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a c 357 G Storage
May 30, 2012 2:53:17 AM

You are probably OK to proceed, but you also are right to worry. Now that's a big help!

Worrying about continued / repeated uses of a failing drive is valid IF the reason for its problems are the hardware. In such cases, continued use may cause failure to accelerate, and sometime soon you will not be able to use the drive at all. That's why the best option usually is to image the entire drive to another HDD first, then work on the image. However, it is also possible that the problem is simply some corrupt data in one of the old HDD's system files like the Partition Table. In that case all the data on the drive is still OK, and getting it off is not causing stress on the HDD itself. So far, that seems to be what is happening, so there is hope that a further session to get more data off is viable. The dilemma is, you can't know for sure until it's all finished.

Most data recovery software includes a drive imaging utility and that is the first recommended tool to use. Imaging means you make a complete copy of absolutely everything on the original (Source) HDD, byte by byte and Sector by Sector, onto a second HDD (the Destination) that must be at least as large as the Source unit. After that's done you normally shut down and disconnect the old HDD so it is no longer in use at all, and use the data recovery tools on the image. However, you might need a second "spare" drive then, because the usual routine in data recovery is that the utility will COPY all the files it can from the original (in this case, the image drive) to a receiving unit that CAN be used as a "normal" drive full of data and files once the job is complete.

Once this is all complete, you still have the old drive that "failed". You can subject it to extensive diagnostics to determine what its problem was originally. IF it turns out that it has no serious hardware problems and the real original problem was just corrupt data, you could choose to wipe it clean, then re-Partition and Format it to use again.
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May 30, 2012 3:19:52 PM

Paperdoc said:
You are probably OK to proceed, but you also are right to worry. Now that's a big help!

Worrying about continued / repeated uses of a failing drive is valid IF the reason for its problems are the hardware. In such cases, continued use may cause failure to accelerate, and sometime soon you will not be able to use the drive at all. That's why the best option usually is to image the entire drive to another HDD first, then work on the image. However, it is also possible that the problem is simply some corrupt data in one of the old HDD's system files like the Partition Table. In that case all the data on the drive is still OK, and getting it off is not causing stress on the HDD itself. So far, that seems to be what is happening, so there is hope that a further session to get more data off is viable. The dilemma is, you can't know for sure until it's all finished.

Most data recovery software includes a drive imaging utility and that is the first recommended tool to use. Imaging means you make a complete copy of absolutely everything on the original (Source) HDD, byte by byte and Sector by Sector, onto a second HDD (the Destination) that must be at least as large as the Source unit. After that's done you normally shut down and disconnect the old HDD so it is no longer in use at all, and use the data recovery tools on the image. However, you might need a second "spare" drive then, because the usual routine in data recovery is that the utility will COPY all the files it can from the original (in this case, the image drive) to a receiving unit that CAN be used as a "normal" drive full of data and files once the job is complete.

Once this is all complete, you still have the old drive that "failed". You can subject it to extensive diagnostics to determine what its problem was originally. IF it turns out that it has no serious hardware problems and the real original problem was just corrupt data, you could choose to wipe it clean, then re-Partition and Format it to use again.



Guys, thanks for all your help. I tried a couple of the different data recovery tools and the one I had luck with was the easeUS Data Recovery Wizard. I used the free version which limited me to 1GB of data I could save ($70 for the full paid software), and since I only needed about 2.3 GB's of data, I just moved the drive to a couple of PC's and saved what I needed. Had I needed more I'd have bought the product as it was that good. Amazingly easy to use.

Here's where I am. I saved all the critical data. Now I am going to "image" the disc using that easeUS tool. Once I save an image, I'm curious what you advise I do next. Here are my questions:

1) If I boot the drive with the XP disc, will it repair or remedy the problem? I read that online somewhere that it might. Thoughts?

2) With an image of the disk saved, can I somehow restore the image to that drive, or to a blank drive if I have one? I've never done that before and am not sure how imaging works exactly.

Again, thanks for your help you've been terrific.
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a c 379 G Storage
May 30, 2012 5:20:53 PM

1. You might be able to boot from the XP disc and do a "repair" install.

http://www.michaelstevenstech.com/XPrepairinstall.htm

You could also try to recover the partition, using Easeus partition tool.

http://www.easeus.com/partition-recovery/

2. You can restore the image to another drive and it will be an exact copy of the drive you imaged. The thing is you imaged a non-working drive, so any drive you restore the image to also won't work. We had you image the drive in case the recovery software did more harm than good, in which case you'd have a backup of your drive.
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a c 357 G Storage
May 31, 2012 1:05:56 AM

As Hawkeye22 suggests, you probably should try using Easeus to recover the Partition. What you describe says it MAY be that the only real problem is corruption of data in the Partition table, and the Easeus tools should be able to correct that.

To be honest, I don't know whether a Repair Install process from the XP Install CD can do a repair to a corrupted Partition Table or C: drive Root Directory.
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a c 379 G Storage
May 31, 2012 11:50:17 AM

Paperdoc said:
To be honest, I don't know whether a Repair Install process from the XP Install CD can do a repair to a corrupted Partition Table or C: drive Root Directory.


Doh, this is true. I don't know what I was thinking at the time.

@OP: Definately try to recover the partition as I previously mentioned. I think this will be your best chance at getting the data back.
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