Trying to repair fat/partitions... getting no love

( heres my posts from another forum because im too lazy to type it all down aginne and it should answer your beginner questions so i dont have to answer them aginne :-)

I hooked up my laptop HD (with a converter) to my pc to transfer music to it faster that over a network. after I shut down the pc removed the laptop drive, and reinstalled the regular Hard drive that goes there (hard drive#3) and when i went into windows i looked at my 30 gig drive and it said it was 4gb and looked just like the laptop hard drive! I realy dont see how that could happen it looked as if the part/fat table was transfered from one drive to another even thoe they were never in the pc at the same time! That was problem 1, now problem 2. I was trying difrent free hd/part recovery tools like partreco.exe, mbrwork.exe, mrecover.exe, and wpartnfix bootdisk. None of them were able to find the correct partition for the damaged disk mentioned above. When I was useing partreco, or mrecover i accidentaly used it on the c: drive because it dident have an option to pick the drive. So now because of my mystake I have 2 bad drives. But, When I boot with a dos disk and access the c drive and do a dir it displays info but somthings are wrong like winnt is not a dir. I am just lost, I was trying to dig my self out of a hole and just fell down further. ANY info will be greatly appreciated.

Windows 2000
drive 1 C: 10gb
drive 2 (not important)
drive 3 e: 40gb

laptop hd (satin's drive) 4gb

Thanks in advance
Brad Richter

PS> If i posted in the wrong goup I am sorry just let me know where to go or if anyone knows any good HD recovery tech forums thanks aginne

Let me clarify what happened

Os windows 2000

3 drives installed in pc
all set to auto in bios
drives are all fat 32
1 c: 10gb
2 d: (no problem so ignore)
3 e: 40gb
4 laptops hardrive (evil) 4gb
step by step what happened

1 removed drive 4 from laptop and connected it to pc with converter where drive 3 is usually connected
2 transferred mp3s to drive 4
3 removed laptop hd put it back in laptop.. works fine
4 reconnected drive 3 (no jumpers or bios changes)
5 when In windows I tried to look at drive 3 and noticed it said it was only 4gb and looked exactly like drive 4 same dir structure and files but you cannot access any files
6 downloaded mbrwork.exe, mrecover.exe, partreco.exe, and wpartnfix bootdisk.
Mbrwork mrecover and wpartnfix dident work they could only see partitions that looked just like drive 4
7 when I used partreco it dident allow me to specify a drive and only was designed to be used on the c drive and when I tried to cancel it went ahead and ran anyways and now my drive 1 is messed up it will not boot and when I use a boot disk and look at drive one it lists the correct dirs and files as far as I can see but some of the dirs are not listed as dirs

I hope this clarifies my problem I know I have difficulties expressing my thoughts for others to understand :-)

still cant boot into windows just to let you know , and all drives are set to auto in the bios and they are being detected properly and show the correct space in the bios, and when i go into fdisk it shows drive 3 as 40gb but when i look at the drive in dos it shows it as 4gb, and my damaged drive 1 in fdisk it shows it as an 8gb which is wrong it is 10

i have reset the bios it is still the same as i suspected it is not like drive 3 looks the same size as the laptop drive it has the same files when i do a dir, i determined the size with windows on drive 1 befor it crashed and with test disk 4.2 (i am trying to get the data from my drive 1 as well as drive 3 so i dont think i want to re-part format and reinstall) and yes i have tried fdisk /mbr that is the first thing i try.. it is a magical cure all that unfortunitaly did not work in this case and theres no point in sysing being that windows 2000 is installed and i am useing a win98 bootdisk pluss like i said it is showing alot of the directories as files not directories... important ones like winnt :-( i have found a program where i can get data back, but i realy want something that can just repair the drive 1 so i dont have to reinstall windows (to recap what i did to drive 1 i accidentaly used a partition recovery software on it (partreco) that i was useing to fix drive 3 but it screwed up drive 1) but i REALY hope someone has accidentaly done that befor and can help and knows of a good program that can repair and rebuild part/fat tables
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Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Hi r4736,
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r4736Author Commented:
i guessing you dident read my question i dont blame you it is long... i have already found a program that can get my "data" back but i am looking for somthing to repair drive 1 (win2k fat32) that i accidentaly used partreco.exe on because it does not alow you to choose what drive you do it to and i dident realize it till it was too late now the partition is not the right size it says it is 8gb when the drive is almost 10, and when i use a boot disk and look at the drive it shows all the directory names but noly 2 of them are actuially directories the rest are files with the name of the directories like there is a file called winnt size 8.192
Did you redetect the drive in you bios?
Sounds like the BIOS might be using the geomertry from the laptop drive...
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r4736Author Commented:
i think that is also in my first post i reset the bios and set all drives to auto and i would agree with you but its not just the size when i do a dir it lists everything that is on the laptops root dir but you cannot acess the files. i have given up on drive 3 i dont care if i can repair it im just going to buy a larger hd and use get data back 2.22 to get all the data off drive 3 my main problem is drive 1 i realy want to repair that one not just get the data off of it heres all the info i have on drive one windows sees it as 4.69gb but fdisk shows it as a 8.25 gb partition and it is a 9.84 gb hard drive. it died when i accidentaly used partreco.exe on it (trying to fix drive 3) i dident realize you cant pick a drive till it was too late. now when i go into dos and dir the directory it only shows 2 actuial directories and the rest are files with the names of my other directories and file sizes of 4,096 and 8,192 (saw on google that thoes are correct dir sizes) so i just need to find a realy good fat/partition repar tool to fix my goof. I was also wondering if i tried to use microsoft scandisk if that might fix the problems, or my fear and why i havent done it would i loose all my data thanks in advance
It may be worth trying to set the CHS (Cylinder heads sectors) manually in the BIOS.
You may want to take a look at this software their is a demo version. I have not tried this.
r4736Author Commented:
i have tried but there is no way of knowing if it works with the demo and im not going to buy somthing if i dont know if it is going to work, and i will try chs in a bit
If you have another drive handy, you might try Ghost'ing it just so you have a backup, in case any of these rescue attempts fail.  Partition Magic will try to fix a bad partition, and so will Norton Disk Doctor, but if your BIOS thinks it is a certain size and it is wrong, it would be pretty difficult for a program to do better.
as for problem 1. by doing an IDE auto detect this should reset the drive parameters, failing that use the user option & enter the drive details manually as Snowguy said.
2. have you tried to do a repair on the win2k installation, does it find a windows installation to attempt a repair on when you boot off the CD?
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
So you can't get into Windows at all at this point?  If you can...see what Disk Management says (start/run/diskmgmt.msc).  Does it show the full capacity?  Sometimes it will bypass the BIOS information and probe the drive directly.  Are you sure none of the IDE cables are a bit loose?  Have you tried resetting CMOS (or remove the motherboard battery for 10 minutes or so with the power disconnected and press the power switch a few times to be sure any stored charge is exhausted) then redetect the drives in BIOS as suggested above by several people.

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r4736Author Commented:
once aginne i will state i have reset the know what... i give up i have gotten no where just waisted my time by repeating my self alot im just going to buy  a new larg drive and get the data off bolth drives with a program called get datd back that i found and then just re install windows oh well
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
That's fine, do what you like.  However, PeteLong suggested using GetDataBack so you should choose to Accept his Comment as the answer.

r4736Author Commented:
true true, but i did find out about get data back befor i posted here but he guessed the closest ammount withought going over and thats how you play the price is right. i was just hopeing someone here knew more about data recovery than me:-( if noone else can actuially help me i will be giving the points to that guy
i also just wanted to thank everyone who posted and posts here i might not be able to be helped but it is great how you come here every day trying to help people. it just shows that there are good people out there :-)
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
Well if you found out about it before coming here, then Pete shouldn't get the points.   If you would like to allocate points to several people who helped, use the "Split Points" link below then allocate points to those who helped.  If you don't feel that any of the other comments helped especially, then post a request in Community Support to have your points refunded.  

Many of the other utilities PeteLong posted might help however. Callandor suggested NDD, I've had good luck with Norton in this case, but AFAIK it only works for FAT32 partitions.  With such extensive damage to the partition table on your system, its going to be very difficult to get things sorted out.  If GDB works, great.  The situation is pretty strange, all I can figure is that somehow when you switched back to the normal HD, the BIOS didn't properly auto-redetect it and left the geometry setting for the laptop drive.

Good luck and sorry we couldn't be of more assistance!

r4736Author Commented:
i would agree with you dog if it just changed the partition size to look like it but the actuial fat table was transfered somehow from the laptop drive to drive 3 because you could look at the root dir on bolth drives and they look identical but you cant acess the files because there not there it just looks like it is because it has the fat of the laptop hd i have seen this befor but only with compact flash cards i put one card in removed pics pluged in new card clicked refresh and it accidentaly transfered the fat from one card to the other i could see it happening with somthing like cf cards where you swap them while the power is on, but i have no idea how it happened with my harddrive when you shut down the pc to swap them.... i just hoped someone else out there has seen it before and had a fix that could look at a hard drive and rebuild the fat table

is there a program that can rebuild the fat by looking at the raw data.. ? prob not they all seem to rebuild by looking at the last partition and fat table installed
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
It is truly bizarre how the FAT tables were apparently copied over...that makes no sense whatsoever.  The utility I've had the best luck with for recovering deleted partitions is Norton Disk Doctor which is part of the Norton Utilities (now, Norton Systemworks) package.

At this point, and depending on how valuable your data is to you, you may want to investigate a professional data recovery service like  It won't be cheap, but its probably the best bet for recovery (maybe they were already mentioned above, didn't check).  Or if you can find it anywhere, PowerQuest Lost & Found may be able to get you back on track...

r4736Author Commented:
thanks dog, and i know it is the craziest thing i have ever seen it realy left me speachless, what was even crazier is that right after it happened i put it in my friends pc he had linux installed and we wanted to see if it could see it and windows was just being gay.. what happened next defies all laws of physics... we tried to mount the drive and it killed linux... i mean DEAD he had to re install it it wouldent even boot anymore... we were speachless.... just speachless
Kyle SchroederEndpoint EngineerCommented:
I think you need to call a priest for an exorcism...
r4736Author Commented:
we were thinking of just burning it and screw the data but we were afraid it would open up a gate to hell and swallow half the house
Pete LongTechnical ConsultantCommented:
Hello this question has been open a while please take the time to come back and clean it up.

Closing Questions

Best Wishes

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