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End of Partitions end of data??

I'm running W98se pIII  750Mhz
20 gig  5/5/10 partitioned.

After a poorly running w98 session, i needed to reboot my system. But there was no boot device available anymore.
my partitions C/D/E were al gone...
Using the W98se startup disk resulted in a RAM drive "C"...  
My HD was compleetly gone...
In the bios it still was there.

There was quite a lot of important data written on it...
Is there any possibility to recover (any of) the written data??

At first I blamed a virus to cause this problem although i have norton anti virus running constantly.
I heard it happens sometime and I have to get over the loss of it...

Anyone on this?
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1 Solution
It seems to be a hardware fault, not the partition table fault. Partition table could fault only in case that you've got repartitioning software running and failed.

Try to run FDISK from Win98 startup disk. If the partition table is really damaged it will display correct HDD capacity, but will not recognize partition table. If the HDD's hardware was failed FDISK probably could not even recognize it.

Verify your HDD cable. Sometimes it leads to problems with data. Try to unblug other IDE devices.

If you will diagnoze a partition table fault with HDD alive you could use some tools such as OnTrack EasyRecovery or Winternals Disk Commander to recover it.
Ouch, most likely your data is gone.  There are data recovery places, but its very expensive.  They usually can recover data even after a repartition and format.  You could try a new cable, or try installing on a second pc as a slave.
Yes, data recovery software unfortunually is very expensive, but the data is more valuable. Just make sure that it is not a hardware fault.

Some service could solve even hardware problems with HDD's. This does not mean that you should use your HDD as before after such repair, but you will have a time to backup your data.

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with the size of the drive you have, most likely it is older and the drive has failed.  you can send it in, if you mention from here, i will inform the office to give a discount.

Free and supposedly VERY good

The newest version of the program and its documentation could be found at:

Ranish partition manager does not recover data does it?

If you want the data recovered, search web for data recovery software...there is lots around or find someone with the software that is willing to help you out...

But it does sound like your problem is merely bios settings... I dont think it is seeing your hard drive properly... Try reconfiguring your BIOS... and check your cabling...

Also, try using fdisk and repair your mbr... might restore the partitions back how they were...  If fdisk doesnt see the drive at all, then you definitely have a problem with bios settings or cables...

Good Luck
Take look at these.


File Recovery is a data recovery program that supports the FAT 12/16/32 and NTFS file systems. The current version 3.x replaces the previous version 2.x, which is now over 6 years old.

For 9x/NT/2K/XP. Restore deleted files that are no longer in the Recycle Bin!

Tool to check and undelete partition
Works with the following partitions:
- FAT12 FAT16 FAT32
- Linux
- Linux SWAP (version 1 and 2)
- NTFS (Windows NT)
- BeFS (BeOS)
- Netware
- RaiserFS


EasyRecovery DataRecovery is a simple, yet powerful tool that recovers data that is lost, inaccessible or deleted. It's the ultimate do-it-yourself solution for nearly all causes of data loss (except physical hardware or system problems) where your hard drive and system are fully functional.

File Rescue 2.5

GetDataBack for FAT
GetDataBack will help you retrieve your files if the hard drive's partition table, boot record, FAT, or root directory have been damaged by a virus, formatting, fdisk or power failure. GetDataBack can even recover your data when the drive is no longer recognized by Windows.

GetDataBack for NTFS
Recover your files when the data is no longer accessible due to formatting, fdisk, virus attack, power or software failure. Get everything back even when the drive's partition table, boot record, Master File Table or root directory is lost or corrupt.
Hard Drives
Floppy Drives
Drive Images
Zip/Jaz Drives

Norton Utilities/SystemWorks
The Norton Protected Recycle Bin helps you recover deleted and overwritten files.
The UnErase wizard helps you retrieve files you've accidentally deleted.


Data Recovery
Fast File Undelete


File Recover 2000


File Restore
If you've deleted your data and you want to get it back, you need FileRestore.
FileRestore is a simple, easy-to-use tool for recovering files that have been lost or deleted from your Windows system. Designed for Windows XP, 2000, NT, Me, and 9x

Disk Commander
In virtually any situation where you need to recover lost data from a Windows system, Disk Commander is the solution. Disk Commander performs a wide range of data recovery operations.

As a tool to 'UNDELETE' files that have been accidentaly deleted.
This feature is implemented for HPFS and NTFS only.


Emergency Undelete
I believe this is free
For Win2000 and NT may work on XP


Hard Drive Mechanic
It's true. Even if you just re-formatted your entire hard drive, you can still get all of your data back because, unlike what most people believe, formatting does NOT erase your files! With Hard Drive Mechanic's Unformat Feature, you can restore all of your valuable data in about 10 minutes!
demo version:

Filerecovery for Windows
Filerecovery for Windows. is a safe and affordable do-it-yourself data recovery solution that is designed to recover deleted files from all types of media such as Hard Drives, Floppy Drives, SmartMedia, CompactFlash, Memory Sticks, and other types of removable media.

You know how upsetting it is to accidentally delete a file that you needit takes just a moment to lose hours of work. Undelete file-recovery utility captures ALL deleted files including those that typically bypass the Recycle Bin. You can even recover files you purged from our Recovery Bin. With our Emergency Undelete feature, you can recover files deleted prior to Undelete being installed on your system (provided they have not been written over). Buy Undelete and you'll never again be at the mercy of lost data.

Fast File Recovery
A definite must for the PC guru! It will allow the user to perform all data recovery tasks associated with disks which are not physically damaged.

File Scavenge
File Scavenge is the most comprehensive, award-winning file undelete and data recovery for NTFS volumes on Windows NT, Windows 2000 and Windows XP.

Active UNERASER is a compact and powerful undelete utility that can recover deleted files and folders on FAT12, FAT16, FAT32 and NTFS systems. It can even restore files from deleted and re-formatted partitions.

Undelete 3.0
Undelete 3.0 restores accidentally deleted files within seconds from anywhere on your system. Version 3.0 includes new SecureDelete, full Windows XP support and expanded search options.

Restoration  (FREE)
For 9x/NT/2K/XP. Restore deleted files that are no longer in the Recycle Bin! When a file is deleted from your computer, its contents arent immediately destroyed. Its hard drive space is made available for use, but until that space is overwritten, your old data is usually intact. Restoration by Brian Kato recovers such files on either FAT or NTFS partitions. Only 406 KB (or 200 KB for XP or 2K), it fits easily on a floppy, or runs from your hard drive. Generally, the sooner you try to restore a file, the more successful youll be.

FinalData Data Recovery
FinalData Data Recovery Solution will recover files that have been lost by   quick formatting, FDISK, FAT damage, MBR damage or directory   destruction. It recovers data from FAT12/16/32, NTFS, and EXT2, EXT3.

Or Data Recovery Services

Ontrack offers a full range of data recovery solutions to address your data loss needs. Unlike other data recovery companies, Ontrack provides exclusive and patented solutions that do not require you to send in your media for recovery. In situations where the hardware is functioning normally, our patented Remote Data Recovery service and EasyRecovery software solutions can solve your data loss needs safely and effectively in a matter of hours. If another company claims that there is no alternative to shipping your drive, it's because they don't offer an alternative. For situations in which the hardware is physically failing, our In-Lab services will utilize our Class 100 clean-rooms to retrieve your mission critical data.




Total Recall
Our recovery and forensic technology is used by support and call centers as well as data recovery providers world-wide.

ESS Data Recovery
ESS Data Recovery, Inc. has been removing barriers in the data recovery and computer forensics market ever since its inception
GreenkodiakAuthor Commented:
A little more info here...

The HD is quite new... My old 6,2 Gig did not cover al of my needs, so I bought a new one. According to my reciept it was 18 of january this year. It was a new-from-a-box on a PC expo.
If it is a failure I can get a new one so thats not the issue here... It is mainly the Data installed on it...

First I Fdisk-ed the 20 gig to a 10/5/5 partitioned c-,d- & E-drive.
I copied all of the contains from my old HD to the new one, using a small DOS batchtool xcopy/something/something... so everything but one dir were now freshly installed on the new HD.
After that everything was working propperly up to a week ago, when suddenly my HD was unrecognizable.
In the bios, it was the "primairy master", I checked that...
-Is it possible that the bios "sees" the HD but can not instal or read data on it?
-wat would be a good Bios setting for the HD...
Does "auto" not cover it?

And an other thing I forgot to mention but wil be important anough to notice... The bios could not detect a FAT32 type of bootdivice. (if I got it correct)
O jeah, I did not use a partition program besides Fdisk, witch I used when I installed the HD the first time...

The situation up to now is that I have an ol' 1G6 HD installed with W98se.
My scewed up HD is also installed waiting for the right thing to do to recover my data...
Those utilities a I posted are for retrieving data the can't be retrieved in the convetional manner. Most have demo vesrions and the demo will at least show you if it can see the files and if it can see the files chances are good it can retrieve the files.
Did you boot up the drive you ghosted while the the original drive was still hooked up?  This could cause the MBR on one or both drives to be screwed up...

You can fdisk mbr the messed diskdrive... make sure if you do, the other ghost drive is not connected.

Alternatively, you can try booting from nt/2000/xp cd and see if you can do a repair install of the OS (windows) partition, which should restore any lost settings/startup files...  That is of course if the operating system install software can detect your 3 former partitions...

Also, you could try looking at the drive in Partition Magic, you'd have to get a floppy version so you could boot from the Partition Magic floppies and fix the partitions on the messed up diskdrive...

Good Luck! Don't Fdisk or format it yet... This doesnt sound like an unrecoverable problem unless you've done some serious formatting of it since it stopped working...

I do not understand what do you mean under "The bios could not detect a FAT32 type of bootdivice". The BIOS does not detect any file system. It just loads MBR which is stored in the first sector of the HDD into the memory and runs it. MBR is a very small program (512 bytes) which loads system loader and only the system loader (in WinNT/2000/XP - ntldr, in DOS/Win95/98/ME - io.sys, in Linux - lilo, etc.) recognizes the file system to load further data.

Plug your ghosted drive as secondary master (use autodetection) and check if the system will boot from your old 1GB HDD. If it will load OK, try to run FDISK from command line. Use <5> if it will be available. Make a screenshot from window appeared ant place it here. Select your 20GB drive. Use <4> to display partitions information. Place screenshot here. Hit <Esc> to exit FDISK.
GreenkodiakAuthor Commented:
Thanks for all the afford guys...
But the Problem is solved!!
A co-worker of mine has a nasty habbit of solving this kind of troubles... ;-)

Seriously, he tried some of programs witch you probably mentioned yourselves in on my topic...
I still havent got the answer wat exactly the problem was, but his first impresion was that the C-drive (the one originaly on my HD) was damaged, due to a virus (witch actualy, he dit not discover) or to dust or whatsoever inside the HD. So basicly a software- or a hardwaredamage.
And the second impression turned out to be that is was a softwareproblem. So probably it was a virus afterall...

Only a small piece of my data is lost. The most importand stuff was stil unharmed.

But... My points...
hard to tell after all the interests you guys showed...
simpel calculation... tx for the 3 answers you gave me, msa 2003...
For all the other people, kind anough to answer my somewhat silly questioning, Thanks for your help!!!
GreenkodiakAuthor Commented:
like I wrote previously, no one actualy solved the problem but my co-worker. But your aford to answer my question and commands up to 3 times counds as a winning answer!


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