*** Corrupt Partition Table ***
Can Anyone recommend a really effective tool / utility software for data recovery - I need something that will search the HDD and attempt to recreate the Partition Table / MBR etc. I'm not scared of some hard work or patience if that's what it takes but there must be some powerful software tools out there to assist with this. Everything I've found so far either works at too high or too low a level to be really helpful. E.g. PTEDIT lets you change the partition table from a nice screen (rather than writing the data to the drive manually) but it doesn't actually help with seeing how the setting you make in the PT relate to the data that is still on the drive.
The pc I'm trying to fix for someone was working fine one day (on internet) then would not boot the next day (possible virus?) I could find no easy way to access the drive. The usual scandisk, virus check, Norton disk doctor all failed to access the drive
Initially, looking at the PT revealed it was total rubbish in all 4 partitions, the BIOS could detect the drive but no software processes including FDISK could see it properly. I've used PTEDIT.EXE from my powerquest partition magic CD and by intelligent guesswork, starting from the basic CHS drive parameters, I have manually set up the PT for a single partition, FAT32.
DOS and WIN apps can now see the drive but when I try any recovery utils, I get messages saying the drive needs to be formatted or is unreadable / unrecoverable. Have tried Norton Disk doctor, Win scandisk, virus rescue, etc...etc...
I know that there are files and data on the drive - I used a shareware program to display some of the HDD info sector by sector....
For all I know, the drive originally had more than one partition but the owner is a beginner and doesnt know what setup / system was on it (other than it was windows 98 and had the original setup from the maker's recovery CD - UK 'Tiny PC' brandname).