hard drive partitions lost

ok i upgraded to a new motherboard and cpu the other day and wanting to test it out i put in my 120 gig WD hdd  (partitioned  as 20 and 92 gigs) that was in my older pc wondering if it would boot up without needing to reformat as i had about 80 gigs of stuff i needed to burn to dvd and didnt currently have them on hand.

anyways the motherboard just sat at verifying dmi pool data and did nothing else so after that i realized i would have to burn everything and format, but when i put the drive back in the old pc it wouldnt even detect in bios so i put a secondary 16 gig  Maxtor hdd in to see if that one would boot and it did

once in windows on the 16 gig it  had the popup sayin new hardware found  and showed the 120 gig WD drive partitions  in my computer and i could still use all the files and music fine on it, so thinking everything was fine and i could play with it later i decided to wipe the 16 gig MAxtor hdd and put windows on so i could try out my new pc.

 after playing with the new pc for a day i decided i wanted to make sure i could get everything off the 120 hdd fine so i put it in the old pc and i kept getting the windows did not shut down properly screen and so i played around with the options trying to start normally or last known good config and safe mode and none worked, they would all get to the windows xp loading screen and then got the blue screen  after about 5-10 seconds.

 i then started getting worried and put in the windows xp cd to goto repair and fix it but when i got to that screen it said c:\windows not a valid system directory or something along those lines so after that i decided to checkto see what windows would detect for partitions in the setup new windows xp option and it shows up as unpartitioned 114 gigs or whatever the real file size is for 120 gig hdd's.

now i just reformatted the 16 gig drive back to the old pc to see if i would be able to access the files on the 120 drive like before and i got the new hardware found again but now nothing shows up for the drive in my computer this time, so now i dunno what to do as i had alot of stuff i need for school and otherstuff that i dont wanna lose so im wondering if anyone knows what happened or how i can get it to read the files again and if not if theres any programs ill be able to use to get the data back if i have to reformat like undelete or a program ive seen like that on ads on websites and if they will actually work if its reformatted.

btw the hdd seems fine physically i just think i might have messed something up switching it back and forth, and i know this is a pretty long post but any help would be great.

also dont know if this should go in storage or hardware section but i figured id try here first.
Who is Participating?
LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
Hi eggable,

Take a look here to get your data back: http:Q_20827883.html


Hi eggable,

Easy Recovery plus, is a program that will recover your data, regardless weather deleted, or disk was formated.
I would try partition magic first, to see if anything can be done.
What ever happens, don't write anything on the hard disk, as it might be written on the same track where data is on.

I hope this helps.

eggableAuthor Commented:
never used partition magic before but ill check it out as my brother has a cd, also how do these recovery programs work do they just make the data and/or  partitions show up again or do they just let u move them to somewhere else?
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LucFEMEA Server EngineerCommented:
They let you move the data elsewhere. So you will need some storage where you can put the data on.
Hey LucF, can I ask for a split ;o)
thanks for pointing that
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