Hard drive resurrection

Ok the computer company I thought was reliable has gone ferral (it happens doesn't it?)....
They have formatted my 2.5 Gb hard drive and then denied responsibilty.
To compound matters the techy concerned reinstalled a 500Mb partitition at the end of the drive (previously partititioned as two 2Gb and 500 Mb logical drives) which he filled with software.  Talk about the techies from hell!
Now FDISK will only recognise a 500 MB drive (500 Mb partition max).
Norton Disk editor has found a few important text files. I WOULD like to get my JPEG and HTML files back. Any suggestions for other better recovery utilities for files & directories?
I'm about resigned to writing off the data on the drive (part of which was backed up).
I suppose I'll need to do a low level backup then. Can someone point me to the best utility for that. I'll want to run the drive with FATS 32 - then I'll get something out of it.
(Fujitsu drive originally FDISKED and formatted under DOS 6.22 then run under Win 95 FATS16).




danw95Asked:
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jhanceConnect With a Mentor Commented:
FDISK is having trouble with your partitions because the version of FDISK you are using is older than the one your "ferral techie" used and therefore it doesn't recognize it.  The best tool for straightening out partition problems for my money is PowerQuest's PARTTION MAGIC.  This tool give you a lot of flexibility in recovering your old setup.  The biggest feature for me is that you can change the partitions around without having to FORMAT and lose all of your data.  Partition Magic also support FAT32 and will convert a FAT16 to a FAT32 in just a few minutes without losing data.  Of course, you must be using Win95 OSR2 (or later) for FAT32 to work.
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danw95Author Commented:
Thanks for the pointer to Partition Magic.

However my computer budget was already cleaned out by the computer upgrades (new motherboard & memory) plus the varous disasters since then. I can't spend the $170 (Australian price) on more software right now.

I have my original Win 95 OSR2 CD. Are there any options with downloadable shareware to achieve any of the above objectives with this drive?
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jhanceCommented:
The WIN95 OSR2 installation can partition and format your entire 2.5GB hard drive, no problem there.  The MS FDISK program will not preserve any existing data, however.  If this is one of your goals, then you need a 3rd party solution.  There are some freeware solutions out there but I don't have any experience with any of them.
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danw95Author Commented:
Does anyone know of the freeware solutions for jhance has mentioned above for hard drive directories/files recovery?

And do you mean by a "Win 95 OSR2 installation" the formatting of the disk under that OS or the setting up of the actual Windows system, jhance?

The times I've installed it so far it has preserved the FATS 16 file structure and never given the FATS 32 option.


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jhanceCommented:
>And do you mean by a "Win 95 OSR2 installation" the formatting of the disk under that OS or the setting up of the actual Windows system, jhance?

I mean both.  Of course you must start with a Win95/OSR2 boot floppy since you can't partition or format the boot drive.  If you don't have one, you can make one by installing Win95 and then choosing the "Make Startup Disk" option.  Copy the utilities you need (FDISK, and FORMAT) to the floppy and then boot from it.  FDISK will ask you if you want to use FAT32 if you have a large HDD, say yes. (BTW, it doesn't call it by name.  It will say; "Do you want to enable large disk support?") If you don't get this question, you aren't using the OSR2 FDISK program.  This process will not maintain your existing data.  

As far as shareware/freeware utilities, I've not tried this but you might look at:

http://www.ml.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~mranish/part/

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danw95Author Commented:
OK I bit the bullet and got "Partition Magic 3.0" - and guess what it only recognises the 504Mb partition that that idiot technician installed on the 2.5Gb drive after he "accidently" formatted it.
All the BIOS settings are fine: 4982 cylinders; 16Hds; WP 65535; LZ 4982; Sec 63; Size 2571 Mb. That's what BIOS says with autodetect.

However FDISK (I've tried Win95 OSR2 and Win98 FDISK) can ONLY see a crummy 504 Mb available for partitioning.

This is why I gave this question so many points. These idiots have really stuffed an expensive (to me) drive - even beyond retreiving any files off it, it is unusable at this point.

There must be a sector of the drive that is giving wrong data to FDISK and Partition Magic.

Can anyone tel me where this would be located. I could find it and edit it with Norton disk editor if I had some idea.

I am going to try Ranish Partition Manager from

http://www.ml.brooklyn.cuny.edu/~mranish/part/ 

Anyone have any ideas meanwhile?

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