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"Lost" Partition in Windows XP


melmerby

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Hi all

 

I am trying to find a way to reconnect a drive full of data with Windows XP

Disk Manager shows it as unformatted free space with no volume label.

However a disk utility I have still shows it as a NTFS partition with a volume label and can list all the files on it.

 

The problem happened when the GRUB bootloader I had for a Linux OS went funny and wouldn't boot into either Windows or Linux.

Windows itself was on a seperate HDD so that was safe and I was able to get Windows back easily by FIXMBR which I have used before with Grub problems.

However the Linux partitions were it seems corrupt as even the Ext2 disk utility reported a problem.

I decided, rather stupidly it now seems, to re-format the Linux partitions, (which were at the start of the disk) and that's when the rest of the disk vanished.

It went from being a 600Gb NTFS partition to "unformatted" in Windows disk management.

 

Any suggestions how to get the partition back?

 

Cheers

 

Keith

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Hope it didn't contain anything you wanted ..

Unfortunately it was a disk full of video taken on an old camcorder, fortunately I still have the tapes and a means to copy/edit them. But it's rather long winded so I'd rather get the disk operating again!

The utility I tried to access them was the "Free" version with some options disabled. One of them was the ability to re-map the drive!

 

Keith

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Can you see it in Linux?

Keith

No, the Linux also went AWOL!

 

However I have now managed to recover the partition completely with a utility called EaseUS Partition Recovery.

The only outstanding error is a left over drive "I:" with no bytes which was the original designation of the lost logical drive (which has now become "K:")

Windows has put this in "My Computer - Other" as Local Drive I: with a question mark over it!

There must be a way to delete I suppose.

 

Keith

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Glad you got it back - copying the data to an external disk (or stick, if the amount of data is small) is always useful for when the worst happens.

 

I'm surprised that grub broke - it's usually pretty reliable once the config is working [ that refers to my experiences with past versions such as 1.97 and a separate /boot partition in linux - at one time I needed a symlink before grub could find anything ]. Just out of interest, what did you change before it broke ? And was it grub-legacy (0.9x, with menu.lst) or grub2 (1.97 .. 2.0, with grub.cfg) ?

 

ĸen

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Yes, I used EaseUS recovery software to recover a friends valuable photos on a dying hard disk. A highly recommended program. Their partitioning software is also very useful.

 

DOS commands fixmbr and bootcfg are useful tools too.

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Glad you got it back - copying the data to an external disk (or stick, if the amount of data is small) is always useful for when the worst happens.

 

I'm surprised that grub broke - it's usually pretty reliable once the config is working [ that refers to my experiences with past versions such as 1.97 and a separate /boot partition in linux - at one time I needed a symlink before grub could find anything ]. Just out of interest, what did you change before it broke ? And was it grub-legacy (0.9x, with menu.lst) or grub2 (1.97 .. 2.0, with grub.cfg) ?

 

ĸen

Wasn't doing anything, it just failed to boot after being OK the night before!

You could always have used your backup....

 

Glad it's working again.

 

I have a Windows backup on another drive but haven't yet got all the media backed up I need a 2Tb disk!

You can reassign drive letters in Disk Management, it loads as a child snap-in to Computer Management or can be launched on it own by running diskmgmt.msc

 

HTH.

Disk "I:" doesn't show up in disk management, only in My Computer!

 

Thanks for the replies

 

Keith

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I'd be more interested in why Grub went funny in the first place? What did you do?

As I mentioned before, it was working the night before when I shut down and when I came to boot up the next morning I got an error (can't remember exactly but) something like "Grub failure file xxx not found". (don't quote me on that!) Then it hung.

I didn't recognise the file was that was missing/broken. I tried to boot up several times and so decided just to use FIXMBR to get Windows going again, Windows being on a separate drive to Linux.

The Linux drive also had a large NTFS partition, which allowed me read and write with either Linux or Windows.

As I hadn't used Linux (Kubuntu 10.04) for a while I decided to jettison it and re-use the space for other NTFS files. That's when I lost the partition.

 

Keith

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Second attempt to reply to this (first attempt appeared to fail) -

We know grub was ok when you booted it the previous time. Did you

update something after that ? If not, I suspect a disk problem - in

linux I would use smartmontools to check the SMART variables, no

idea what is available for windows. If that looks ok, I suppose bad

RAM might do it, although it seems unlikely - try memtest86.

 

A backup of the *data* is the important thing - you could copy some

of the files to one smaller external disk, and some to another, if the

amount of data really is too large for one external drive.

 

Good luck!

 

ĸen

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