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"Untruncating" files that ScanDisk has truncated.

Posted on 1997-07-17
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Last Modified: 2013-12-29
Some files on my FAT32 partition were deleted. Since I didn't have any utilities that can undelete files from a FAT32 partition, I used a disk editor to restore the missing first characters of the files' names. This worked and they became visible again. After this I ran ScanDisk which told me it had found errors and offered to correct them by truncating the files. Stupidly I agreed and ScanDisk truncated all of my files to 4KB. How do I "untruncate" these files. I know the data is still there because I haven't written anything to the disk since, so why did ScanDisk want to truncate them in the first place?
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Question by:keir
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Accepted Solution

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Costin earned 400 total points
ID: 1689035
If you feel confortable with the disk editor, try to copy the second FAT table over the first one.
Beware, that could restore the files you need but could destroy a lot of other files, so expect a complete reinstall after that!
If this does not help, there are little chances to restore the FAT chains for your files, since you don't know probably the physical sectors where data resides.
A complete back-up before this "hara-kiri" operation could help, but there are chances to loose some data from your files, because every boot process or program launch usually creates some files that could overwrite parts of your needed files.
Also, a "chinese" inspection of your physical sectors to discover the sectors belonging to your files, and copying them one by one onto a floppy could help, but probably you'll need some days to complete this task.
And BTW, a final advice, don't try repairing programs without an "UNDO" option for the future.
Good luck.
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Author Comment

by:keir
ID: 1689036
Costin - I would expect that both copies of the FAT are the same. My understanding of the second copy of the FAT is that it is a backup of the first. When ScanDisk truncated the files, wouldn't it have updated both copies of the FAT?
The most important file that I am after is a 130MB wave file. It is not possible for this file to have been overwritten. Even if a small part of it was damaged, it would still have value. I know that the data is there, I have to find a way of getting DOS to recognise the file's actual size again. Do you know of any utilities that can help me with this problem. The version of Norton that I have can't understand the FAT32 partition I'm working with.
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Expert Comment

by:Costin
ID: 1689037
Ok keir, I'm back, but unfortunately not with a happy answer.
Norton Utilities '96 understand FAT 32 but is useless in this case.
I've spent some time searching utilities for your problem. Only native Scandisk and NU '96 work correct with FAT 32.
Yes, you're right, the second FAT is a back-up, but there was a slight chance that the second FAT to remain intact (not to be updated), now is anyhow too late.
I think your only chance is to work on it manually, extracting sector by sector, and concatenate them in the right order (if the files are text files, no problem. if not...)
It is all I could made.
Good luck.


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Author Comment

by:keir
ID: 1689038
Thanks for your comments, I have bought Norton's Utilities and used the disk editor which understands FAT32 to read the clusters from the starting location of the missing files and write the data into a new file on another drive. This actually retrieved most of my sound data (wav files were what I was trying to recover). Thanks again for you suggestions.

Regards,
Keir.
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