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About 40GB of data lost... any tips for recovery?


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Hi there... I just now have the most annoying problem, and it looks like about 40 GB of data that I used to have has disappeared into the void.

I turned on my computer this morning and to my surprise, the new Maxtor 120 hard drive I installed on Tuesday, moved all of my large files to, and worked for two days straight did not show up in Windows Explorer, even though it was on the list of hard drives when the UltraDMA controller initialized in the boot.

I opened the case, pushed in the cables a little tighter, started it up again, WinXP loaded, and this time, the drive shows up in Explorer, but the label has been reset to the original "Local Disk", and when I try to access it from Explorer, it complains that the drive is not formatted, and asks if I would like to format it.

I really would like to get out of this without reformatting my drive and losing pretty much everything on my computer that I care about. I know that the data is still there because I haven't really done anything with the drive... I just need some tips on how to get it back!


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Those are neat suggestions... I also searched on Google (should have done that first, but you know....) and got a program called GetDataBack, which is currently about 30% finished recovering. I'll let you know how it works in about half an hour.


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What can I say... I'm a really cheap bastard.

GetDataBack totally wasted my time by not mentioning that it was a trial version until *after* the 45 minute search process, and what's on the drive isn't really worth 80 bucks to me, so that's a no-go.

EasyRecovery Pro is $100, so that's a no-go.

The Windows Recovery Console doesn't recognize the I drive (the one that got fubarred), and running FixMBR on other disks gives me a message about possibly losing everything on those disks without recovering anything on the one I care about.

The program PCI Fast Recovery on the boot Cd that was mentioned gives me some kind of division by zero error when it gets to the drive in question, so that's a no-go.

Any other software suggestions? I'm gonna reformat the drive in a couple of days and just start from scratch if nobody has any freeloader-friendly ideas.

Thanks all!

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Make an image of your entire hd, sector for sector and save to a new HD. Any attempts of recovery will almost always result in further degradation of both your data and chance of recovery.

Personally, I have used Disk Director 9 will a reasonable amount of success at finding lost partitions.(Recovery Expert to be more specific.)

I have also (by chance) recovered some lost NTFS partitions by installing Win2003 on a clean HD and then attaching the damaged HD right after setup finishes copying the install files and reboots. Win 2003's dskchk kicked in and automatically did a very long NTFS Stage 2 fix.

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