Drive conversion from NTFS to FAT32 in PQ Parition Magic ends in lost data and corrupt partition

I will give a detailed step by step of what happened.

I just built a new windowsPE tool and was testing on a home pc with partition magic 8.0
I moved a few drives around and for some reason messed up my ntfs permissions causing WinXp not to boot (no biggie there)
Then i thought i would get creative in the fix i thought i would try and convert my NTFS drive to FAT32 to just "fix" this issue
After some time PQmagic failed with errors about stream fail (i forget the Exact error but it was something along those lines)

i then realized that i had some important source code for a project i just finished on the desktop of the XP install on the drive ... then i realized that i should have been more cautious and backed up

where i am now....

The drive is a 80gb drive
There is a visible partition in PQmagic that says C: ?m? 76gb (so it's a 76gb partition that is unknown) i can not browse or use any standard windows tools on the drive ...i can see it in my computer because for some reason the unmounted drive has a drive letter

I have ghosted the drive with ghost -ia to prevent any loss to what might be left
      after lost of research i don't think i can get into the GHS files at all to get anythign from them and i cant use ghost explorer to get data From the gho files

I have ran a copy of WinturnalsDiskCommander on the drive and it will return no data or information that was usefully

I tried using a demo product called 'recover it pro' and it will scan the drive and find a bunch of xxxxx$ files in a root (however i cant recover them to see the data they contain because of the demo)
one files is 80GB it's a txt file according to the program

I have not gone as far to uninstall the drive form the PC yet to see if a demo of ontrack will give any data.

To my best judgment i have ruined the master file tables and have corrupted any partitions ...

So my question is Can i get my desktop folder back ? and What else shoudl i try - obviously money is a factor, i dont want to spend any ... but there is a a few weeks of code that i woudl rahter not redo so if i must spend the cash, and if ontrack could hand me my data on a DVD and nice and pritty ..it might be worth it.

And will i be forced to have only RAW data? it seems that i should be able to get the data back some how.

The folder in question has about 300 files and they are small (1-2mb) so getting back a bunch of RAW data would suck to manage.
KellyKeetonAsked:
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YinCommented:
1st Make sure you do not write ANYTHING to this disk.

If you have tried Ontracks Easy recovery Pro with all posible settings and scans you are probably stuck with a serious problem. Ontrack is a very good program in my opinion but there  are loads of others as well. Take a look at this question.
http://www.experts-exchange.com/Storage/Q_20801699.html
or search for 'data recovery' here in EE


Good Luck
//Yin

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KellyKeetonAuthor Commented:
Well i put it into a windows 2k box to try the ontrack ERP and AAARRRGG check disk ran and i couldnt stop it. Wrote a bunch of lost.000 and stuff to the drive. ARRRG

then i continued to run ontrack ERP and tried to use the various methods ... when i used Format recovery i started to see full names of files i actually lost fly thru the program.

It says that i have 30 hours remaining. I am wondering will that mean i can get the data back?
surly1966Commented:
I never make enough backups either. Oddly thats how I learned to use these tools . LOL Irony

I used to use an old norton tool called diskedit.exe. It can be found in The Norton Utilities, Version 8.0 if you can get it. Iit has the ability to work with a fat partition as well as a physical disk if you can find the file you may be able to recover it. Note: put it in read only mode while you are looking.

also there was a diskedit program that came inside of  Windows NT 4.0 sp4 .  It had an MFT walker that might help and its free....

There is also a tool to read ntfs partitions callde NTFS reader for dos. It is available as freeware and I have used it on unaccessible drives, to retrieve deleted info. It can be a little frustrating because you can only read and copy from the drive. If it could write it would be amazing.

You can download the iso for the floppy at:  http://download.lsoft.net/boot-cd-iso.zip

simply boot from the floppy and choose the disk you want to view. it may take a while but if is reconized as a ntfs partition you may be able to read it.


If it is not readable you may have to repair the partition Active@ also makes a partition recovery tool  available at
http://www.partition-recovery.com/downloads/partitionrecoveryfloppysetup.exe

this works on ntfs and fat I have used it to restore logical drives, recover data and preview data on a bad diskrestore MBR and partition tables and detect deleted partitions on dead drives.

Hope this helps!
JML





KellyKeetonAuthor Commented:
after stressfull hours Ontracks Easy recovery Pro did the trick ...6 hours later whole drive recovered with minor damage to the file system... shoudl have just tried it form the start ... thanks to the help however.
YinCommented:
Great. Glad I could Help.
//Yin
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